Is There Fear of God in His Church?

“They feared the LORD, yet served their own gods…” (2 Kings 17:33) Is it possible to fear the LORD, yet serve your own god? If so, the reason that there should be a fear of the LORD is not properly understood or regarded, and this lack of understanding or regard leads to disobedience of the One who is to be feared.

Why should the LORD be feared? It is because He created all and controls all. Our times are in His hand (Psalm 31:15). We will all appear before Him to be judged for our behavior (2 Corinthians 5:10), and either punishment or reward naturally follows judgement. This scripture does not tell us that those who are saved by believing the gospel will not have to appear for judgement, but lets us know that all will appear.

It is amazing that although the LORD created all, He allows mankind to make choices. He has given freedom, including the freedom to choose whether to fear, love, and obey Him. 2 Kings 17: 34 tells us “…they neither worship the LORD nor adhere to the decrees and regulations, the laws and commands that the LORD gave the descendants of Jacob…”. Many in the church think that now, since we are under a new covenant, we are free to choose whether to obey the commandments of certain scriptures. There is a mixed message being taught from the people and the pulpit of the church. Some commandments of the LORD are emphasized, such as not stealing, murdering, and so on, while others that are equally clear in the Bible are minimized. One of the most unambiguous and frequently disobeyed commandments is found in 1 Timothy 2:11-15: “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.” This command is obviously avoided by many individuals, preachers, elders, and congregations. Why is this clear command so often blatantly disobeyed? This same scripture answers this question. The deceiver is still at work today just as he was in the time of Adam and Eve, and deceiving in the same way. The first sin was by a woman who was deceived into taking authority over God and man. She took authority over God by ignoring what He had told her, and she took authority over man by making such a drastic decision without consulting him. This scenario is repeated time and again in churches and families as women ignore God’s commands and bypass their husbands, or take the lead from their husbands (men have their own problems, but this particular scripture concerns women). The positive ending to this passage of scripture is likewise being brushed aside, particularly as childbirth and holiness with propriety are by many being given little consideration. This God given role for women is confirmed in other passages of scripture, such as 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, “Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.” In verses 36-38, Paul goes on to emphasize that this is the Lord’s command, “Or did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached? If anyone thinks they are a prophet or otherwise gifted by the Spirit, let them acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command. But if anyone ignores this, they will themselves be ignored.” A woman’s beauty is revealed in their submissive, gentle, and quiet spirit. “Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.” (1 Peter 3:1-6) Perhaps the fear mentioned here is the fear that a woman may have that if she doesn’t take control of a situation by taking authority over her husband or the men of the church, then things will go wrong. Possibly things will go wrong, but if a woman does take authority in this way, then things have gone wrong before they even started.

There are many areas of disobedience within individuals and congregations, such as immodesty, fornication, homosexuality, filthy language, gossip, and so on. This is a constant battle since the beginning of time which must be continually addressed. Praise God there is forgiveness for sins. Jesus paid the price and we have forgiveness if we turn from such things and believe in the sacrifice Jesus made. For many however, there is little or no fear of God. They are committing a form of idolatry where they have made their own God who is all forgiveness and no justice. Our continual battle against sin is just that, a battle. That is why we are advised in Ephesians 6 to put on the full armor of God. Galatians 6:7-8 states, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” Pleasing the flesh comes in many forms, including doing what seems best to oneself instead of what God has told us to do. As was the case with Eve is the case with us.

Sin equals disobedience, disobedience equals a lack of fear of God, and a lack of fear of God equals unbelief in God and His Word. God is our heavenly father, and in performing His proper role as our father, he must discipline (Hebrews 12:7-11). Also, since God is righteous, He requires justice. 2 Corinthians 5:10 says, “For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” In Luke 12:5 Jesus tells us “… fear Him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him.” As Dietrich Bonhoeffer is quoted as saying, “Only he who believes is obedient and only he who is obedient believes.”

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Comments

  1. Good response in return of this issue with firm arguments and explaining everything regarding that.

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