Whom Do You Fear

"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)


The popularity of our Lord was probably at its highest since the first verse of our context says: "In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another."  Before speaking to this crowd Jesus warned His disciples about the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and then He admonished the people not to be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.  The conflict that Jesus faced with the religious leaders would be carried over to the apostles and the church.  Therefore, Jesus is pleading with them to understand that their faith may require their life at the same hands that will take His. Jesus had said, "If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also" (John 15:18-20).   In light of this fact, you should fear God who has the power to kill you and also to cast you into hell.  If one stands before others and "confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 10:32-33).


Men have no influence or power beyond this world.  However, God does and He is the only One who can cast one into the lake of fire or hell. If we want to escape being cast into this lake of fire for all of eternity, then we must fear God.  There is life beyond this earthly existence for Jesus said, "Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation" (John 5:28-29).  The wise man said, "The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe" (Proverbs 29:25).  The fear of man is a snare because man can kill you but he cannot hurt you in the world which is to come.  Therefore, we should not fear or "dread" what man can do because it cannot compare with the worst that God can do.


I am sure that we prefer to talk about the grace, love and mercy of God because God has paid such an enormous price to save us by providing the only sacrifice adequate to purchase our redemption, the precious blood of Jesus Christ (I Peter 1:18-20).However, if we reject Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior then we are rejecting the grace, love and mercy of God and we are choosing to suffer in a devil's hell forever.  We should fear God's wrath against sin for it will be our punishment for our transgressions.  Without His mercy and grace Jesus paints a picture of a fiery hell as the sure end of all of God's enemies.




"Daily Devotions by Guy Roberson"

Walnut Street, Church of Christ



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