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. (Matthew 10:28 ESV)
For those who refuse to love, respect or honor God, there is one last card – fear. This fear comes from a place of wisdom because it is impossible to escape the judge and judgement after breaking the law. This fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom but unfortunately, the devil has blinded many eyes in this era of history.
Some believers will even criticize those who mention hell, and warn people about hell, but the words ” fear Him who can destroy body and soul in Hell ” comes from the lips of Jesus. Nowadays, some believers know more than Jesus or maybe they are deliberately watering down the message to be more acceptable to the world. A lot of people in the world do not want to hear that word hell.
God prefers love and wants humans to see Him as a loving, gracious Father, and love Him. However, a lot of people do not go down that route. God then permit’s fear of Him as a judge. Those who experience this fear experience it as grace from God. This holy fear makes them run to God for shelter and peace. By the time they dwell under His canopy, God begins to give them more grace and revelation of Him as a good, loving, perfect God.
This insight then makes the believer love God with awe, respect, wonder, admiration and reverence. This is a holy fear. The other kind of fear is dread and terror. The holy fear comes from love and wisdom but the dread and terror come from sin and self.
Those who do not have any fear of God at all end up living in fear of the devil and exalt death and destruction over the grace and love of God. I know a lot of believers who came to the Lord through fear or problems. However, today they are filled with love for God and are on fire for God. Even Paul the Apostle was arrested by judgment, power and fear. He was struck blind and had no choice but to obey God and stop the killings. God can use bodily sorrow to make people repent and submit. Every sorrow and judgement attracts fear.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. Romans 13: 1-5
Even in the physical world, the wise ones fear the law and the judge. They might not agree with everything in the law but they still keep the law to avoid the judge and law enforcement officers. Even when they travel to foreign countries, they try to learn their laws and avoid punishment. It is only the not so wise that go to foreign countries and live in ignorance of the law. When they break the law in ignorance and are caught, they end up in prison. At the end of the day, no amount of pleading or begging can save them.
Is it not baffling that those who fear the physical law, scorn and deride the spiritual law that was established to uphold and maintain the life of every human.? The reason for this, is that some people do not believe that there is a spiritual law – they do not also believe in judgement. This leads them to loose every form of fear and respect for God.
Jesus advised that men should fear God. This fear of the Lord is a holy fear that comes from love and respect. It will save men from fear of the devil, demons and hell. When men refuse to fear God, it is inevitable that they end up fearing judgement, death, Hell and destruction. May God fill us with godly fear and respect for Him – the type that leads to obedience.