By Larry Cook
In Part 1, we considered a survey of Americans on the subject of their fears. This survey sought responses on the level of fear experienced in eighty-eight domains. These domains included terrorist attacks, government tracking of personal data, insects, public speaking, and eighty-four others. Interestingly, the designers of the survey did not include the fear of God in the eighty-eight.
I find this omission interesting not because I would expect a secular institution such as Chapman University to consider the fear of God a valid and rational thing, but more so because it is, at the very least, a possible fear in the universe of fears, and therefore adequately valid to justify its inclusion.
But those of us united in Christ are not to fear the exclusion of this foundational element of our faith by a secular university conducting a survey. We all, to a greater or lesser degree, understand that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. And we hold this to be true regardless of what might or might not be put forth by the unbelieving world.
Charles Spurgeon, in the following quote, presses on us the vital nature of the fear of God by implying that we need not consider moving forward in our religion unless and until we grasp this fundamental concept. He writes:
The fear of the Lord is the beginning and the foundation of all true religion. Without a solemn awe and reverence of God there is no foothold for the more brilliant virtues.
But lest we fail to consider the corresponding attribute of God, namely His mercy, Spurgeon reminds the believer of the love God showed us in our redemption.
The roaring thunder of the law and the fear of the terror of judgment are both used to bring us to Christ, but the final victory culminating in our salvation is won through God’s loving-kindness.
And so we ask, where does this leave us?
If we are to be faithful to God’s Word, then according to Revelation 14:7, we will proclaim God’s command that all are to fear the one who will judge, to give glory to the one who made heaven and earth, and to worship him who made the sea and the springs of water.
But we must do so with compassion, remembering that the man or woman to whom we speak these words is lost and without God in this world. We must muster the same level of compassion that Jesus displayed when he tells the unbelieving world in Mathew 11:28, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
God bless you.
© The Christian’s Report, 2016