Speaking the Truth in Love
The Fear Of The Lord
Tonight we would like to talk about something that everyone on the face of the earth should be aware of. That is “The Fear of The Lord”. As we will see tonight, if we do not possess this fear, we will be lost for eternity.
1. The Fear of The Lord is a basic requirement for spiritual wisdom and knowledge (Psalm 111:10, Proverbs 1:7, 9:10, 15:33)
2. What does it mean to “fear” God? In the verses above from Psalms and Proverbs, the Hebrew word for “fear” is “yirah”. This word implies both reverence and being afraid. Words associated with the definition include reverence, dreadful, exceedingly fearful, etc.
3. Many times we emphasize the “respect” or “reverence” part of the definition of fear, but forget the “being afraid” part.
Exodus 19:16-20:21 is example of how scary it was when God came to Mt. Sinai.
Hebrews 12:18-21 shows how scared Moses was. The Greek word “ekphobos” means “frightened out of one’s wits”.
4. The purposes of God’s Fearfulness is seen in Exodus 20:20; “to keep you from sin”. Pure old fear (being afraid) is what may have motivated many of us initially to obey the gospel. We were afraid of going to Hell!
5. Rahab was motivated by Fear. Notice Joshua 2:8-11. The scripture says “our hearts melted within us”.
6. It takes more than just being afraid, as those of Jericho were. Proper fear of the Lord involves keeping His commandments (Deuteronomy 6:2, 8:6, 13:4, Ecclesiastes 12:13).
7. As we mature in our spiritual lives, we need to move from being motivated by fear to being motivated by love (John 12:15).
8. We also need to realize that God is a God of both kindness and wrath (Romans 11:22).
Conclusion - Notice Matthew 10:28: “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell (Gehenna).”
Gehenna is defined as a place (or state) of everlasting punishment; hell of unquenchable fire. Gehenna Hell is a real place and is referred to many times in the scriptures (Matthew 5:22, 29, 13:42, 18:8-9, 25:46, Mark 9:43-47, Luke 12:5, Philippians 3:19, 2 Thessalonians 1:9, Hebrews 10:39, James 3:6, 2 Peter 2:17, Jude 13, Revelation 2:11, 19:20, 20:6, 10, 14, 21:8).
God’s message is clear. He has given yet another motivating force. That is fear of Him. Jesus says we need to be afraid of Him who can destroy both body and soul in Hell.
What about you in our audience tonight? If you are not a Christian, let the fear of God help motivate you to obedience. Repent and be baptized for the remission of your sins and then you will not have to be afraid of Judgement.
If you are a Christian, who has let sin creep back into you life, it is good for you to be motivated by fear also. Peter in 2 Peter 3:17 says to “beware lest you fall from your own steadfastness, being led away by the error of the wicked”. On Judgement Day, the ones who have fallen away from the Lord will not be in any better shape than those who never obeyed the Lord. Let the fear of God motivate you to repentance!
We hope you will consider seriously the things we have talked about tonight and that you will take action before it is too late for you. On our next program we plan on studying “Misplaced Fear”. We hope to see you next time on “Speaking The Truth In Love”!