The Fear of God


“And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!” (Luke 12: 4 -5)


Today God’s love is preached with overwhelming supremacy; which often leaves little room for sermons that correctly emphasize the importance of fearing God. According to Jesus Christ, the fear of God and His potential judgements (including the sufferings of hell) are critical components of healthy Christian living. The fear of God produces obedience and adherence to His will. We read in Proverbs 9: 10, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Thus we adhere to the commandments of our Savior because we love Him and He loves us; but also because we desire to avoid the pain of God’s correction and the anguish of hell.

According to historical documents and tradition, Saint George was a decorated military officer and a Christian serving in the Roman Army around 300 A.D. He was under the command of the Emperor Diocletian. In 303 A.D., the Emperor issued an edict of persecution against Christians, demanding that all of his soldiers offer pagan sacrifices as proof of their loyalty. Saint George promptly gave his belongings to the poor and presented himself before Diocletian, where he denounced the Emperor’s idols. When threats and promises could not move him from his steadfast confession, he was subjected to inhumane tortures, which he endured with great bravery. He was eventually beheaded because he feared and loved God more than man.

Like Saint George, our love and fearful reverence of God must never waiver. Because we are not of this world, we will endure persecution. And yet no matter how terrible the threats and punishments we might experience upon this earth, they are nothing compared to the splendor of heaven and the avoidance of hell. May we know the true fear of God and become wise; choosing those things which are above, rather than those things which are below.

“Lord Heavenly Father, we ask for an honest understanding of what it means to fear You. In the midst of our reverence, may we continue to feel Your love and affection. As we focus on the virtues that are eternal, may we never succumb to the fear of man. You alone Lord are worthy of all honor and glory. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You. And we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

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