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What Happened to the Fear of God?

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By Greg Laurie

The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant. 

Psalm 25:14

We don’t hear much about the fear of the Lord anymore. We used to say things like, “He’s a God-fearing man” or “She’s a God-fearing woman.” This was meant as a compliment, by the way.

Today we hear a lot about the love of God. Of course, the Bible teaches about the love of God, and we should preach about the love of God. But it seems to me that in the days in which we’re living, we never hear about the fear of God.

We hear a lot about the glories of Heaven, but we never hear warnings about Hell. We hear a lot about forgiveness, but we don’t hear much about repentance. All of that is the gospel, you see, and it all needs to be proclaimed.

In days gone by the criticism of the church was about hellfire-and-brimstone preachers. My question is where are they? I want to hear one. I hear preachers talking about health and wealth and prosperity and free parking spaces and blessings galore, no matter what. But I would like to hear a hellfire-and-brimstone message. And I would like to hear something more about the fear of God.

The fear of God doesn’t mean cowering in fear before Him. That is not what I mean by the fear of God. Replace the word fear with respect, reverence, awe, or honor. One definition of fearing God is “a wholesome dread of displeasing Him.” It’s thinking about the repercussions of sin.

We need to know the love of God, and we need to have the fear of God. They’re both important. As Oswald Chambers put it, “The remarkable thing about fearing God is that when you fear God you fear nothing else, whereas, if you do not fear God, you fear everything else.”


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