The fear of the Lord
I was talking with a friend. He brought up an observation he made. He thought that there are many people who claim to be Christian, but won’t open their Bibles. He observed that they also have several abhorrent personal practices, and beliefs. He was frustrated by their resistance to him, attempting to, lovingly correct them with scripture. He said, “It’s almost like they’re afraid to see what’s in there.”
How many of us have had the same experience? It seems pretty typical. Usually this is the person who claims to be Christian, but loves tons of other things, over Jesus and His Church. They might go to Church, but Jesus, His word, and His bride, are far from their thoughts, or affections.
I would have to agree with my friend. I think people are afraid to look in the Bible, and see what it says. I believe that, in their hearts, they suspect they are wrong. They know that they might be the goats, on the left waiting to be told, “‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’” They have every reason to be afraid to look in the word, but they also have that much more of a reason to look, and see. If only they would open the word, read, and study it.
We know that gospel is the power of God unto salvation. We know that faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. We need to pray for them, and be faithful in our witness to them. They have the wrong kind of fear. They fear, finding out they are wrong. They fear having to give up the things they love. They fear, having Jesus as their Lord, when they should fear Jesus as their Judge and punishment under condemnation. They know just enough to be scared off from finding the precious grace offered to us by Christ, in repentance and faith. Their fear needs to shake them to their very core, and break every allegiance and bond of worldliness.
The fear they have is impotent because they don’t understand how truly fearsome God is. To them God is just a little old master craftsmen in a story book, who put together the world. If they could only see, even if it is just with limited sinful human understanding, how vast, infinite, holy, and powerful God is, perhaps they could see their idolatry and repent of it. I pray that we all are kept from undue worldliness and that God will convict us of our sins through the Holy Spirit that we may repent. May He keep us from temptation and deliver us from our oppression, in the name of Jesus our Savior, Amen.