“It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Hebrews 10:31
Luke 12:4-5 – “And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.”
Acts 9:31 “Then had the churches rest throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.”
2 Corinthians 5:11 “Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience.”
2 Corinthians 7:1 “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
Ephesians 5:21 “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God”
Colossians 3:22 “Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eye-service, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God.”
I Peter 2:17 “Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.”
Revelation 14:6-7 “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.”
Revelation 15:4 “Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.”
Well, there you have it my friends. Right out of the writings of the early church. Believers who walked with CHRIST!
THE FEAR OF THE LORD IS WHERE WISDOM, KNOWLEDGE and UNDERSTANDING begin! Our Heavenly FATHER loves us. He is still the KING OF ALL.
Let’s take a look at two different types of relationships but both related to GOD and us.
Number 1: THE KING. As we are reminded in 1 Peter 2:17, the people living in the early days of the New Testament, still had an earthly King. A true King that ruled with all authority and freedom to do as he pleased. Some nations today still have Royalty, but their powers are limited these days. Even so, people who attend to, are related to or marry into Royalty learn very quickly how to tread softly around a KING or Queen for that matter. Even today, they can have you imprisoned or even disappeared, among a list of other things that they could do to you and your future.
We here in America have no experience whatsoever with the reverence and fear that belongs to Royalty. Americans are rather arrogant and prideful. Not accustomed to obeying anyone. Let alone cow-towing to anyone – God forbid. But, a King (a true king) is ultimately responsible for the health, wealth and well-being of everyone. Their every decision affects the lives of their subjects in many ways large and small. It is a great weight, and is deserving of great respect and awe. In ancient times, you did not dare come into the presence of a King without permission and an appointment, you did not raise your head or even your eyes to look up to them without permission, and you NEVER spoke to them without permission and you better have something worthwhile to say, or you could lose your head!
Number 2: Our FATHER Though truly everyone has a earthly father, things have changed tremendously. In the past, the Father was respected and honored. He was the bread winner and the decision maker, and he ruled the house. Again, carrying a great weight. The father was usually the disciplinarian. Which meant he dealt out the punishments. So you wanted to be very sure not to displease or worse yet, anger him.
Now, I realize that having children today is frowned upon. Parenting is not seen as honorable. Children no longer are expected to OBEY their parents. There is no respect for anything or anyone, especially not anyone in authority. Fathers are most often portrayed as useless deadbeats and mothers rule the roost. Disrespectful, rude and obnoxious children are glorified and seen as precocious and entertaining. NO ONE is allowed to discipline their children, that practiced has been stigmatized and outlawed. This should not be so, and is one of the main reasons the world is in the mess its in.
I was fortunate enough to raise my children before punishments became obsolete. I don’t know about your children, but my children were very strong willed and self centered. I think that is probably human nature. My point is, though I loved my children with all my heart, sometimes I had to do something that I did not enjoy, to get their attention and force them (if you will) to do what was right.
As witnessed throughout history, the human race can get pretty out of control, to the point where they are self destructive and in danger of annihilation. There are naturally all kinds of degrees in between peaceful existence and annihilation. Points where GOD as a loving and merciful parent, is compelled to move in the situation and redirect. As our Heavenly Father, he must discipline us, and we as his children owe him respect and gratitude for his love and his provision.
AS the Heavenly KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS… meaning he is KING over everything, including anyone who might have a kingly position. HIS POSITION DEMANDS RESPECT AND YES, FEAR. When He is compelled to move in a disciplinary manner, he has every right to take whatever steps he deems necessary. Though it would grieve him deeply to have to destroy lives and property… he knows the whole story. He sees everything from the beginning to the end. He knows what is coming and what has to be done to prevent disaster.
Let’s face it folks there is NO ONE on the face of the Earth that is in a position to argue with HIM. Not even the heavenly angels or Satan himself. There is no one greater than GOD. There is no one else that knows the END from the Beginning. Go ahead and argue… I dare you!
Now, let’s take a look a 1John 4:15-21. This scripture is used by Christians to dismiss the idea that people today should FEAR GOD.
1 John 4:15-21 “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”
What kind of fear, I ask you, causes torment? I submit that earthly fears (dark, spiders, heights, drowning) cause torment, the fear of death causes torment, the fear of the unknown causes torment, the fear of demons and Satan causes torment. The love of our heavenly father casts out these fears. Fear of other humans and what they can do to us, is cast out when we love our neighbor even unto death, because we know death has no torment for us.
I submit to you that this is what John was relating to us in the above scripture. He was not saying that love between us and our heavenly father casts out all fear of HIM! Wrong. I loved my earthly father and I know beyond all doubt that he loved me… but I had a healthy fear of my father. I knew that he held a lot of power over my life. (not in anyway implying that he could take my life) He could punish me certainly. He could abandon me… but I knew that was not at all likely. My greatest fear of all, was that my father would be displeased with me. It would absolutely destroy me to think that my father thought badly of me. If he thought that I ever did less than my best, would make me sad. Why? Because I loved him so much. My greatest desire was to please him. To make him proud of me. Even though I always knew he was and that he would never love me less.
I think that is how we should all feel toward The Almighty GOD, our Heavenly Father. We should have a great respect for the power he holds over our lives and for how much greater He is than ourselves. To recognize that he is so powerful he could squash us all in a moment, yet he is so loving that he desires for us to know him. We should have a great appreciation for the his provision and blessings that he bestows on us daily. We should desire to be in his presence and to please him with every thought and word and deed. We should be ever vigilant to avoid offending him. Obeying his commandments is not a burden, and is the least that we owe, to our loving Creator. To see him smile and to hear “well done, my good and faithful servant” should be our fondest desire. My greatest joy in this world is when he calls me by my name.
Moving right along… where do you think we are today, in our relationship with GOD? Let’s look at some factors that might give us a clue.