FearBro. David Chancellor
11/21/2004 11:00 AM
And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, and saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: and so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.
Peter was affected by what had happened. The disciples had never caught fish like this before. Peter told Jesus, "Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord." Why would Peter say this? He was afraid because he realized that he was seeing the power of God, and he knew that he wasn’t fit to be in the presence of God.
When we realize how unworthy we are, fear comes on us. Some people would push God away when this fear comes. Jesus told Peter, "Fear not." He called Peter to do something different than fishing.
Fear is a motivator. Sometimes it causes us to do foolish things. It can also help us to change so that we need not fear that thing anymore.
1 Peter 1:17
And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
If we recognize that God judges according to every man’s work, it brings fear. It should motivate us to prepare for what lies ahead. We realize that we will stand before God, and that we need to know how to handle it.
For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
It is a serious thing to deal with God. "Depart" is not a good answer. "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." "For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins" So far as the law was concerned, you could offer sacrifice for sings of ignorance, but there was no sacrifice for willful disobedience. God was upset with the people because they changed his law to allow for that.
What should the punishment be for willful disobedience? What should it be, especially since Jesus came? It is serious to keep sinning when Jesus died for you. You throw his sacrifice back in his face.
This takes nothing away from the mercy of God and his plan of salvation. It points out the seriousness of ignoring the sacrifice and dying lost. It’s fearful when we realize that God is actively involved in what is going on down here, if we aren’t ready to face him.
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Every knee shall bow – those in heaven, those living, and those in hell. Everyone will recognize that Christ is God. Christ will be our judge. He has our situation in his hand. We need to deliver ourselves from a bad judgment. Change your situation ahead of time. Prepare for your day before the judge. Make sure that there is nothing between you and God. God wants you to get it worked out ahead of time. Get your soul’s needs taken care of.
Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
There is a promised rest. We don’t have to live terrified of the judgment, but we should be afraid of coming short. This fear should motivate us to stay close to God. We should be concerned that nothing would come between us and God. We can’t think that God doesn’t care, or that he doesn’t exist. We will stand before him, and we need to be ready. We can have rest if we put our faith in God. We can rest when our lives are in tune with God. God manifests himself to us by his grace. It brings fear, but through his grace, our souls are relieved from that fear. When his grace has worked and cleared our souls, the fear is gone.