by Pastor Greg Laurie
"They have no fear of God to restrain them." (Romans 3:18)
I think there was a time in history when God was misrepresented as a divine being who threw lightning bolts down from heaven on people who displeased Him. We've heard derogatory references to fire-and-brimstone preaching. But I don't think this is the problem today. We don't hear that much about preachers delivering fire-and-brimstone messages anymore.
What we do hear are messages about how we can be successful. We hear messages about how God will prosper us. But it is more rare to hear about a holy God who wants us to repent of our sins and walk with Him. That is not very popular anymore. In a way, I think many people have come to develop a new God, an all-loving, benign being who is hovering up there in the universe. If that is your God, then I'm sorry to tell you this is not the God of the Bible. That is a god of your own making. Without question, the real God is a God of love who loves you deeply. But the real God is holy. Not only should we love God, but we should also fear Him.
What I mean by "fearing God" is not necessarily to be afraid of Him. It is to have a respect for God, a reverence for Him. One of the best translations of the term I have heard is, "A wholesome dread of displeasing Him." I think this is lacking in lives of many people today, and sadly, even in the lives of people in the church. While it is true we will stand before a God of love one day, it is also true that we will stand before a holy God. So, we need the fear of God.
Copyright (c) 2004 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright (c) 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.