Fear of God: Missing Element in Today’s Christianity :: By Dr. Donald Whitchard

Fear God
“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 forewarn you whom ye shall fear. Fear Him which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, Fear Him” (Luke 12:4-5).

Now that’s a sobering thought. In this day of “fluff and icing” “feel good” belief and teaching, the Christian church has, by and large, abandoned the call to holiness and separation from the world. I find in my observation of the faith that we who call ourselves believers in Jesus Christ have regulated Him to a way to heaven, not the way (John 14:6). We have emphasized the Jesus of love and peace, and have neglected the fact that when He comes back He is going to slaughter all those who have rejected Him and took the mark of the Beast, and will rule with a rod of iron.

Before that event, we who had been raptured (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) were taken to heaven for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb and to face judgment by the Lord Jesus for the service that we did and didn’t do for Him (2 Corinthians 5:10). There we will have to face him and give an account for our Christian walk, with many people’s works going up in smoke because they built a foundation of wood and stubble (1 Corinthians 3:11-15) instead of building on the precious jewels of the Word and service.

There will be a lot of believers who never grew beyond their initial salvation and failed to develop maturity and a sense of godly living. You will not be judged for salvation. That has been taken care of by the sacrificial death of Christ on the cross. You will either gain or lose rewards. The tragedy is that there will be a lot of believers who have nothing to show for their walk with the LORD.

I never hear of preachers preaching on the coming judgment. It could be due to the fact that they want to be relevant and acceptable in society. Preaching on hell and accountability is not in fashion (when has it ever been?). Truly we are living in an age where people, including those in the church, want to hear pleasant things that make them feel good. After all, isn’t your “self-esteem” more important to God than living a holy life, desiring to please Him by those works which are a fruit of salvation?

WILL YOU PUT DOWN YOUR PHONE FOR JUST A MINUTE AND FINISH READING THIS ARTICLE? Thank you. That call or text can wait. Let’s get back to the issue at hand. Does the modern church fear God anymore? Not hardly. We’re having too good a time watching the news about the latest celebrity divorce, or what the British Royal Family is doing this week, or reading about the latest politician to lambast and damn President Trump, or what’s going on with your Facebook “friends,” or who’s saying what on Twitter – anything that the devil can use to get your eyes off of Jesus.

I shudder for the modern church. I’m guilty of it, too. I find that my mind wanders on worldly things, then I think of just how good the LORD has been to me. How can I consciously disobey Him and keep my eyes on things that really don’t matter in the end? I face God with a broken heart for what I’ve said and done. I don’t want anything to stand in the way of having a deep, meaningful relationship with Him.

I expect the world to be godless and evil. That’s the nature of sinful men who want to live their lives apart from the grace of God and do things that are reprehensible and reprobate. The world thinks that this life will go on forever with no consequences for their behavior.

Just look at the world around you. Christians are slaughtered around the world and no one raises an eyebrow. The world system hates us, so why are we trying to be like them with services that have light and laser shows, cool bands, preachers who do dialogues instead of preaching from the Bible, dressed like a teenager instead of the man of God they’re supposed to represent, and things like coffee bars in the foyer?  Excuse me, but Jesus did not die a horrible death on a cross for our sins and rose again just so you can have a mocha latte while watching the worship team perform.

I come from a background where I was taught to revere the Scriptures, love and fear God, and love Jesus for what He did for me on Calvary. I like to hear a “hellfire and damnation” sermon every so often to remind me that because of Jesus I don’t end up in an eternal hell separated from His love forever. If there were more preaching on hell from the pulpit, there would be a lot less hell in society. The trouble is that neither the church nor the world fears God anymore!

Do you realize that you can’t take your next breath without Him? Do you have any idea of how much He has blessed you with a roof over your head, food in the refrigerator, a job, or a relief program, clothing, a mode of transportation, health and medicines, clean water, plumbing, friends, and common grace such as rainfall and fresh air? Do we take the time to thank Him for the salvation we possess in Christ? Do we thank Him that we possess a copy of His word in the language we speak? Do we comprehend the decisions we make and how they do or don’t please God and the consequences thereof?

Do you now see what we have in Christ? Just think for a moment how precious the gift of salvation is. Have you thanked Him today?

The church definitely needs a spiritual renewal and a return to holiness. We need to get on our faces before a holy God and ask Him to renew our love for Him, to repent of worldliness, and to have our churches preach the life-giving gospel in order to convict people of their sins and save them from God’s eternal wrath in hell. This is the message I preach and in which I believe. The world may not like it, but according to the Scriptures, I am to please God; and I don’t need a coffee bar in my local house of worship to accomplish it. Fear God.