Bless the Lord, O my soul,   
And all that is within me,   
bless His holy name.   
Bless the Lord, O my soul,   
And forget none of His benefits.   
- Psalms 103:1-2   
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As A Result Of Fear

           The word fear is used 387 times in the Book of Books, the Bible.  Although it takes one time for something to be mentioned in the Bible for it to be important, this should impress upon on minds the importance understanding some things relative to fear.

            The word fear is used in various ways in the Bible.  One such usage has to do with our attitude in serving God.  For example in the Book of Hebrews chapter 12 and verse 28 the text says:  "Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear."  Fear in this passage comes from a Greek word which means:  "Properly, caution, i.e. (religiously) reverence (piety); by implication, dread (concretely)."  There is no doubt, we are to have reverence toward God and serve Him in all things according to His will as revealed in the Bible.

            Yet, the Bible also uses the word fear in the sense one having a lack of faith.  It is to this usage that I want us to direct our attention and think about some things that can occur as a result of this type of fear.

No. 1:  Doubt

            In Matthew chapter 8:18, Jesus after concluded the Sermon on the Mount, and performing a number of miracles and has now given commandment to depart unto the other side of the sea.  While on the sea, a great tempest arose and the ship was covered with waves (v. 24).  Awakening the Savior, the frantic disciples said:  "Lord, save us:  we perish" (v. 25).  Jesus responded:  "Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?" (v. 26).  He rebuked the winds and the sea and there was a great calm (v. 26). 

            Fear as used in this passage comes from a Greek word which means:  "Timid, i.e. (by implication) faithless."  The disciples were afraid as a result of a lack of faith.  This caused them to doubt their safety in the company of the Son of God.

No. 2:  Inaction

            When we have fear, it can lead to inaction on our part.   In other words, there are things we know we should do, in fact, have an obligation to God to do, but because of fear we do not act.  This may be a fear of others rejecting what we have to share with them, i.e. the Gospel of Christ.  This may be a fear which comes from a lack of self-confidence as we may be unsure about our abilities.  Don't allow fear to hinder your service to God.  Remember, the power to save is in the Gospel of Christ (Ro. 1:16) not in the individual who is doing the teaching. 

            When we fear what others may do to us, it will cause us to refrain from sharing the Gospel with them.  As God's people, we have a responsibility to share the message with those about us (Mk. 16:16; Ac. 5:42; 2 Tm. 2:2).  However, when we fear what men may do to us, we will grow timid and fearful and not share the truth.  Jesus said:  "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul:  but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" (Mt. 10:28).

No. 3:  Denying Jesus As Christ

            When Jesus had healed a blind man as recorded in John chapter 9, the blind man's parents would not confess that Jesus was Christ.  Notice the reason:  "...because they feared the Jews:  for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue" (v. 22). 

            Remember what Jesus taught concerning confessing and denying him?  Read it:  "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess before my Father which is in heaven.  But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven" (Mt. 10:32,33).  When we have a fear of what others may do or say, it can lead to us denying our Savior.  Evidently, Peter had such a problem (Lk. 22:54-62). 

No. 4:  Eternal Damnation

            Having the type of fear we have discussed in this short article will cause one to be eternally lost.  John penned by inspiration of the Holy Spirit:  "But the fearful, and unbelieving , and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone:  which is the second death" (Rev. 21:8).  Yes, when we are overly fearful, timid, etc. this can have eternal consequences. 

            Let us be faithful to God in all things that we may that crown of life in the end (Rev. 2:10).

 - Donnie Oliver