Every problem in our society can be traced to the lack of fear of God. But what does this term mean, “fear of God”? You see it all through the Bible, but it’s rarely preached on. Growing up in evangelical protestantism, we were very confused by this term. If God is love, how could you fear love? You are supposed to embrace God, not run away from Him. I was told that it’s really like a deep respect, which seemed like a stretch.
So I’m going to define it for all of you, and you will see how simple it is.
You fear God in the same sense that you fear your father. You love your father, and so you are afraid of him being disappointed in you. You fear his lack of approval, so you do what he wants of you. And especially as a child, you are afraid of your father’s punishment. If a child does whatever he wants, clearly he does not keep in mind the punishment his parents have for him, and therefore he does not fear his parents.
So our society doesn’t fear God, and by that I mean that we don’t fear Hell. We don’t fear the Great Day of Judgment, when every person will stand before God and give an account for how he spent his life. These are just abstracts to us, even as Christians. This is the greatest trick of Satan, to convince Christians that Judgment Day is merely a formality.
Christians spend their lives watching television and buying a nicer car because they don’t think they will ever have to give an account. After all, it’s not necessarily a sin to watch television or buy a nicer car, so therefore there’s nothing wrong with making that the primary focus of your life. They think that as long as they are saved (or going to purgatory, whatever) that they will be able to skip the Great Day of Judgment.
Fools! They have blinded themselves. The Bible has no shortage of warnings, and America has no shortage of Bibles. And yet most American Christians still believe that the Final Day will just be like standing in line at Disney World for them.
I live in constant mindfulness of my death. Every night as I go to bed, I consider how I might not wake up in the morning. One day I will die, and then I will have to give an account of what I have done. How much of this account will be given at my death and how much on that Final Day, I do not know, because God only gave us a warning and not an explanation. But I know that with every sin — and perhaps even with anything that is less than perfection — I am choosing hell.
The protestants will say that this is merely works-salvation, that the Apostle Paul clearly teaches that works are irrelevant to salvation. Let me then quote this same Apostle:
[All Bible verses are NKJV.]
1 Corinthians 5:9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
Is that a metaphor? Did the Apostle mean something else than what he said? Will you fault me for taking the Bible at face-value? Should I base my entire theology on three chapters of Galatians and nothing else? Μη γενοιτο!
Our society pretends that death doesn’t exist. We shut this out of our minds. We don’t tell children about death. We fantasize about transhumanism, the singularity or cryogenics. Some people even believe in reincarnation. Our medical science is based upon living longer instead of living better, that we are more focused on cures than prevention.
But death is coming for each and every one of us. At that time there will be no more excuses.
2 Corinthians 6:2 For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
The evangelicals believe that repentance is a one-and-done thing, not a lifelong journey of introspection. But we do not even know ourselves. We have always repented less than we think we actually have. Only God knows the depths of our hearts. We are all more selfish than we think.
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
The Bible says to remain watchful. You should never let down your guard. Otherwise the demons will swallow you up, which clearly means that those who were saved can go to Hell. I don’t know how this could be more obvious in the Bible. It’s right there.
Matthew 24:42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
Why would Jesus say to continue watching if salvation is a guarantee? Why continue to be ready if all the preparations have been made?
Revelation 3:2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. 3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. 4 You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. 5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
And you can go to these people, Christians even, who live in fornication and ask them why do they do the things they know will send them to hell, and they will merely say, “I don’t know.” They may even admit that fornication will send them to hell, but they continue in it anyway. It is not ignorance — only lack of fear.
But we do know why, and that is because they worship the creation instead of the Creator. Sex is the true American god. People will sacrifice anything for Christ except for sex. On that one issue they will not move an inch. Numb people down with porn, and you can rule the world.
Matthew 24:45 “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. 47 Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. 48 But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ 49 and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, 50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, 51 and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
The wicked servant is not an outsider. He is one of the congregation, and he chooses to do the opposite of what he has been told to do. What then will his excuse be?
At your job, if your boss tells you to do something, and you do not do it, you will get in trouble. If you continue to not do it, he will cast you out of his business. And so you do what your boss tells you to do because you fear being unemployed.
Only the faithful and wise servant is “blessed”.
Every problem in our society — and in our churches — is rooted in the lack of fear of God. We have sex outside of marriage, we condone sterile sex, we get divorced, we cheat on our taxes, we watch Game of Thrones, we value money over family, and we eat ourselves obese all because we either do not believe or do not care that one day we will all answer to God for what we have done with our lives.
Most people, Christian or otherwise, float through life waiting for the next good feeling in whatever form that might be. They don’t think about end times. They don’t think about a morality that aspires to a higher ideal. They only think about what is the minimum of what you should not do, and then they play with that line to move it a little lower.
If American Christians want a third Great Awakening, I suggest they begin fearing God again.