Lou Tiscione, Pastor, Weatherford Presbyterian Church (PCA)
Whether you profess to be a Christian or not, fearing God is the only reasonable response of a creature to his Creator. All too often, I’ve met professing Christians who rail against the thought of fearing God. After all, aren’t we believers in Jesus and therefore need not fear God anymore? Such a statement reveals a dangerous lack of the knowledge of God. Christians above all others should know the holiness, sovereignty and transcendence of the God who saved them.
Fearing God is the subject of much of Scripture. God’s self-revelation declares that He made all things for Himself! For example, the Apostle Paul declared to the “Epicurean and Stoic philosophers” in Athens that, “In him we live and move and have our being,” Acts 17:28. That same Apostle wrote to the Colossian Church that the Jesus who is the Savior and Lord is the One by whom and through whom all things were created. Jesus, the only Son of God holds all things together. Colossians 1:16, 17
Three additional texts of Scripture come to mind concerning man’s response to his Creator. Ecclesiastes 12:13, Matthew 10:28 and 1Peter 2:17 all provide clear motivations for fearing God.
Solomon who was declared by God to be the wisest man who ever lived expressed his deepest thoughts concerning life. He had every opportunity for greatness. He had great wealth. He had absolute worldly power over his kingdom. He pursued every passion and desire of his flesh. After evaluating all of his pursuits, he declared them all to be like hot air, “vanity of vanities”, Ecclesiastes 1:2; 12:8. Solomon repeated the vanity of man’s pursuits in the beginning of Ecclesiastes and at the end.
Solomon came to a conclusion concerning the purpose of life and all of man’s pursuits. “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandment, for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13
From Solomon, king of Israel to the Apostle Peter the fear of God was known and declared to be central. Peter wrote, “Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.” 1Peter 2:17
Peter wrote to the church and exhorted her members to be holy people, set apart to God. He encouraged them to behave as those who have been changed by God. He called Christians to honor everyone; to sacrificially love those within the household of God and to fear God. Their fear of God was demonstrated in their worship. Fear includes a sense of awe, trembling and reverence. When the Church gathers for worship we enter a Sanctuary not an auditorium! We are gathering with other believers to meet God. Hebrews 12 reminds believers that we are being lifted up into the presence of “the assembly of the first born who are enrolled in heaven and to God the judge of all…” Hebrews 12:23.
The basis of man’s relationship to the Creator was given by Jesus. “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Men fear God because of who He is and what He can do. We are His creatures! Even those who are in Christ are still Creatures made by the Creator.
Jesus said only God has absolute sovereign rule over His creatures. Therefore, we approach Him with great humility, reverence and awe. We are finite. He is infinite. We have limited power. He has absolute power. The Risen Lord Jesus said He was given all authority in heaven and on earth, Matthew 28:18.
Only fools live in denial of the absolute power and authority of God, Psalm 14:1. Only a fool would risk an eternity in hell! Only fools live without fearing God!
Do you think that your life is hidden from God? Are you blind to the reality that you are a Creature created by God? Do you think that there are numerable explanations for Creation. Do you think that somehow the “big bang” did it or that you are the product of millions of years of evolution? Do you think that there is no God to fear?
Everything you see is there because of our Creator God. He made us to worship Him. He is to be feared because He is God. He is the one who sent Jesus, His one and only Son. He is the One who saves men from and for Himself.