Fear of God vs Fear without God
Fear of God vs Fear without God
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7 New International Version (NIV)
A spiritual maturation of one’s belief in God must exist to experience the Peace of God.
Sincerity in penance and conviction of sins brought to the foot of the cross, where the blood of Christ Jesus justifies righteousness, is how faith leads to salvation, by the grace of God, and not by one's accomplishments nor piety. Justification invites the Holy Spirit to dwell in one who, now, experiences the Trinity as long as they obey God's law and do His will.
As flawed beings in evil's dominion, the need to repent regularly becomes necessary. If God's word becomes a faint echo of the past, it is safe to say that one's Christian practice has given way to the world's demands. Persevering obedience to God places Him first in one's life as the first commandment states,
- Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Immersion in the world's tempting pleasures of flesh and pride place God, at best, second in one's life. For many, God is lost and becomes a subject of youthful fantasy or momentary participation. For some, God no longer exists so neither does the devil. The Fear of God vanishes from a large segment of the population and moral lessons become dilute as generation after generation are further removed from God.
The Way of the Master
Appealing to the Conscience
Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort randomly survey people in their Evangelist study, The Way of the Master: seek and save the lost the way Jesus did (2006). A few simple questions embarrass some participants when they have difficulty remembering three of the 10 Commandments but immediately recite as many as 10 beer brands. Ray Comfort elicits angst rather than comfort when he confronts these people using the 10 Commandments as a light that shines on mankind’s sinful nature. Reluctantly, people admit that they have sinned by lying, stealing, lusting, and coveting even though they feel they are "good" people. Ray points out that, according to the Bible, living a life as a liar, thief, or adulterer results in an eternal banishment to the fires of Hell at the time of judgment. Lack of attention to one’s most vital development, the “born again” phase of cultivating spirit over the external desires of the world and flesh, condemns one to this unnecessary fate. Compassionately allowing participants to voice their sin and admit that they are born sinners appeals to the conscience, where the internal arbiter of right and wrong exists. The appeal is not to the argumentative intellect which can be easily fooled. Ray then shares the way out of damnation through prayer, repentance, and faith in Christ.
Lost souls live a self centered life in society that satisfies worldly desires and selfish cravings. There is little thought of God unless a crisis arrives; then a weak spiritual life asks for a miracle.
Fear and anxiety overwhelm souls who feel alone. Comfort and peace is what they seek. What is lacking is the Fear of God. Without it, people forget what the Bible actually says so they do not feel the urgency to repent of their flawed nature. Hell awaits those who do not repent.
Paul writes in his letter to the Ephesians 1:7 (NIV), In Jesus we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace.
Unresolved problems lead to anxiety. It could be the routine of daily life: traffic, timecards, family, children, work, and money which can eventually lead to disease. The cure is the living word of God; but how would anyone know this if the Bible is not part of their lives and is regarded as a book of Fairy Tales. The peace, for which so many yearn, is absent.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6 (NIV)
TURN IT OVER
Always view the big picture of eternity with the One Creator, free of pain, want, and anxiety rather than the narrow view that keeps eyes closed and heads down. An imperfect world is where lost individuals base their life on personal, convenient rules. Such a life accumulates anxieties that shape one's personality lacking the peace that only God can provide.
The Peace of God is attainable right now in this cursed world where evil is dominant. Christ Jesus, the sacrificial lamb, took on the full extent of Satan’s temptation and then the misery of mankind’s deserved damnation for sins past, present, and future to free us from that curse. Without this gift from God there would not be redemption.
Christ rises on the third day, as prophecy predicts in the Old Testament, and defeats death. Now, anyone who accepts Jesus as the Christ has a path to eternal life through His justification of one’s faith.
The only recourse the devil has is to cunningly deceive people into believing that he does not exist and, therefore, neither does God. People’s opinions of themselves are good enough, then, in the finite world of flesh, to satisfy themselves without any repercussions for their behavior and intentions. No attention is given to the bigger picture, their eternal spirit.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
Jesus Christ is the way to truthfully pursue an eternal life that God, the Father, wants for everyone. The blood of Christ Jesus purifies all who believe in Him as the gateway to heaven, a perfect, pure place.
In the meantime, Christians should strive to be obedient to the Will of God, repent their transgressions, their sinful nature, and their iniquities which bolster pride and places one’s self above God. Without repentance, there is no salvation.
The self-ordained “good person” unwittingly serves the devil if he or she is not regularly walking with the Spirit of God.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10
Jesus teaches that He is the one to seek to obtain the Peace of God. Freedom from anxiety exists when one becomes that suitable dwelling for the Holy Spirit. Then, one experiences being a part of the holy Trinity. All problems of the world cannot shake the peace of this communion.