The Fear of God and the Judgment to Come

Introduction 2PE 3

The purpose of this study is to soberly consider the coming judgment that we will all face before Almighty God and take stock of our lives in light of it. It is an exhortation to fear God and to get right with him. And if you are right with him, to keep the faith and wait with patience for his glorious return. It aims to provoke sinners to repentance and to comfort the righteous who are troubled by the evils of this world and long for the new heavens and the new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness.

There is a coming judgment and every man will stand before the judgment seat of Christ. ROM 14:10-12; 2CO 5:10; ACT 10:42; ACT 17:30-31; JOH 5:22; ROM 2:16 Nobody will escape the judgment. The righteous and the wicked will be judged. ECC 3:17; MAT 25:31-46 The wicked will be consigned to everlasting destruction, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. MAT 25:41; 2TH 1:9; JUD 7 Nobody’s works will be good enough to be acquitted. Only those found written in the book of life are saved. REV 20:12-15 The book of life contains the names of every single one of God’s elect whom he chose before the foundation of the world. He gave them to Christ to save and he saved every one. EPH 1:4-5; JOH 17:2; JOH 10:28; 2TI2:19 How do we know if our names are written in that book? JOH 6:47; JOH 10:27 This great judgment is why we need salvation. Apart from the grace of God we will all be damned. God would be perfectly justified to damn everybody to hell because we have all sinned. ROM 3:23 That he chose to save even a single person is owing completely to his grace. ROM 3:24; EPH 1:4-6; EPH 2:8; 2TI 1:9 Secret sins will be brought to light and judged. 1CO 4:5; LUK 12:1-3; 1TI 5:24 Therefore, if you have secret sins, confess and forsake them now so they are covered by the blood of the lamb before the judgment. PSA 32:5; PRO 28:13; 1JO 1:9 If you reject the Lord Jesus Christ, you will answer for it. JOH 12:48

The fact of the final judgment ought to put us in fear of God. ECC 12:13-14 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. fear: The emotion of pain or uneasiness caused by the sense of impending danger, or by the prospect of some possible evil. This emotion with regard to an object; the state of fearing (something). Apprehension or dread of something that will or may happen in the future. A mingled feeling of dread and reverence towards God. It is God that we should fear, not man. MAT 10:28; LUK 12:5; PRO 3:7; HEB 13:5-6; PRO 29:25-26 Man is not our greatest enemy. Neither wicked nations, corrupt politicians, great conspiracies, evil men, nor the devil and his angels are things we should fear. God never tells us to fear these things. Instead he tells us to fear him. 2TI 1:7; PSA 118:6 c/w HEB 13:6; ISA 8:12-13 PSA 37:1 Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the wicked. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and whither as the green herb. The devil is our adversary, but even when God warns us about him, he does not tell us to fear him. He tells us to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God and resist the devil stedfast in the faith. 1PE 5:6-9; JAS 4:7 Jesus showed us how to do this: by believing the word of God and quoting it to the adversary. MAT 4:1-10 The devil can only afflict us as far as the Lord allows. JOB 1:8-12; JOB 2:3-6 PRO 8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. PRO 16:7 When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. PRO 28:14 Happy is the man the feareth alway; but he that hardeneth his neck shall fall into mischief.

Sometimes we focus too much on the oppressions that we see in the world, the wickedness and injustice of it all and we lose our perspective. ECC 4:1-3 But such a view fails to take into account the comfort of God available to believers when human comfort fails. ISA 51:12-13; MAT 5:4 And it fails to take into account that the Lord will punish evil and deliver the righteous. PSA 37:7-17; PSA 37:27-40; PSA 97:10; PSA 145:20; ECC 5:8 And it fails to take into account the many deliverances God has already wrought for his people that demonstrate his great power. ROM 15:4 God saved Noah and his family from the global flood and the wicked in that day. GEN 6:17-18; HEB 11:7 God saved the children of Israel from the great army of Egypt. EXO 14:13 God fed the children of Israel in the wilderness for forty years. EXO 16:4; PSA 78:24-25 God saved Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the burning fiery furnace. DAN 3:28 God saved Daniel from the lions. (DAN 6:22) God blessed the end of Job more than the beginning (JOB 42:12). JAS 5:11 God can save you from whatever evil you are facing. Call upon him. PSA 18:3; PSA 145:18; ISA 55:6-7 The reality is that these things do sometimes cause us fear (the emotion of pain or uneasiness caused by the sense of impending danger, or by the prospect of some possible evil). BUT we need to keep a proper perspective. We need to remember the truth that God will never leave us nor forsake us, that he is greater than all, that he will avenge his children and punish the wicked. DEU 31:6 c/w HEB 13:5-6; JOH 10:29; LUK 18:7-8; ROM 12:19; 2TH 1:7-9 The gospel is the greatest comfort of all, for it tells us of Jesus Christ who fully and faithfully kept God’s law (MAT 5:17; ROM 10:4) and offered himself to God a sacrifice for us (EPH 5:2) which God accepted so that our sins have been washed away and we have been made righteous in him (2CO 5:21; HEB 10:14), and at the final judgment we will be cleared of all wrongdoing and receive the eternal inheritance. HEB 9:15 We need to keep an eternal perspective. 2CO 4:16-18; ROM 8:18

Benediction

TIT 2:11-13 11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

2TH 2:16-17 16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, 17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.

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