By Kim Fettig
Pew Research just reported that people claiming to be Christians in the US has declined by 10 percent in the past seven years. That’s a faster rate than at any time in history. While we could shrug that off with the thought that “they probably weren’t believers anyway”, the statistic should be sobering and get our attention.
Everyone asks why? It shouldn’t be a surprise. Solomon said there is nothing new under the sun. Christians are doing the same thing the Jews did in the Old Testament.
“Love Wins” is nothing new either. It is just a more recent label on an already watered down gospel. But that watered down message is winning, which means obedience becomes optional because Truth is optional. The problem is always a lack of obedience to God due to a lack of Fear of God (not reverence like most bible foot notes and some versions convert it).
Adam and Eve did not fear God to the extent they should have. The Jews did not fear God and neither do most “Christians” today. Love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, and peace are all taught in the Bible. They also are much more comforting than the concept of fearing God. God is love. Why should we fear Him?
Because He commands it! Whether it plays well in pulpits or not. There are over 70 references to fearing God in the Bible. There are around 20 references to loving God. It appears our sermons are way out of balance. God knows our propensity to sin is so strong that developing a healthy fear of Him is the last safety net we have.
James 1:14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.
You sow a thought and reap an act.
You sow an act and reap a habit.
You sow a habit and reap a life.
You sow a life and reap an eternity
Listed below are 38 passages from the NASB version of the Bible. How can there be this many crystal clear commands from Genesis to Revelation, and very few of us know the depth of this teaching?
While it may not play well in the pulpit, or in music, it appears to be foundational to our Christian faith. My experience is that I can’t just “know” that I need to fear God to keep out of trouble, I need to develop a habit of fearing Him.
The concept is similar to believing God exists but making no commitment. Being born again is a matter of the heart. So is a deep seated fear of God.
If you want a return to real Christianity and a cure for porn and other sinful addictions, read the following passages before you begin each day for the next six months (Ephesians 6:10-17).
Notice how often fearing God is listed as either a priority to obedience or the first character trait of a true believer:
Gen 22:12 He said, “Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”
Ex 18:21 Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens.
Deut 5:29 ‘Oh that they had such a heart in them, that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always, that it may be well with them and with their sons forever!
Deut 8:6 “Therefore, you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him.”
2 Kings 17:25 At the beginning of their living there, they did not fear the LORD; therefore the LORD sent lions among them which killed some of them.
2 Kings 17:34 To this day they do according to the earlier customs: they do not fear the LORD, nor do they follow their statutes or their ordinances or the law, or the commandments which the LORD commanded the sons of Jacob, whom He named Israel;
2 Chron 19:7 “Now then let the fear of the LORD be upon you; be very careful what you do, for the LORD our God will have no part in unrighteousness or partiality or the taking of a bribe.”
Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job; and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil.
Psalm 25:12 Who is the man who fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way he should choose.
Psalm 34:7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, And rescues them.
Psalm 34:9 O fear the LORD, you His saints; For to those who fear Him there is no want.
Psalm 36:1 Transgression speaks to the ungodly within his heart; There is no fear of God before his eyes.
Psalm 90:11 Who understands the power of Your anger And Your fury, according to the fear that is due You?
Psalm 103:11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His loving kindness toward those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:13 Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
Psalm 112:1 How blessed is the man who fears the LORD,
Psalm 145:19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them.
Prov 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;
Fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Prov 1:28 Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the LORD.
Prov 3:7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.
Prov 14:27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, That one may avoid the snares of death.
Prov 16:6 By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for, And by the fear of the LORD one keeps away from evil.
Prov 19:23 The fear of the LORD leads to life, So that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil.
Prov 31:30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
Ecc 8:12 Although a sinner does evil a hundred times and may lengthen his life, still I know that it will be well for those who fear God, who fear Him openly.
Ecc 12 :13 The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. 14 For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.
Jer 32:40 “I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; and I will put the fear of Me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from Me.”
Matt 10:28 “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Jn 9:31 We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him.
Acts 7:32 ‘I AM THE GOD OF YOUR FATHERS, THE GOD OF ABRAHAM AND ISAAC AND JACOB.’ Moses shook with fear and would not venture to look.
Acts 13:16 Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said, “Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen:
Rom 11:20,21 Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; 21 for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either.
Romans 3:18 “THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES.”
2 Cor 7:1 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Phil 2:12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;
1Pet 1:17 If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth;
Rev 14:7 and he said with a loud voice, “Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters.”
Rev 19:5 And a voice came from the throne, saying, “Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great.”