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What Will Fear Look Like in 20 Years?

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Unless we return to a true fear of God, the church nor the country will improve or honor God again.

Notes & Transcripts | Handout
Introduction: 4 men were arrested and convicted in 2015 for break in and stealing from churches in 4 SI counties in 2014, Anna Heights being one of 7 in Union. Who remembers? The interesting part of the story is that all 4 men were between the ages of 20 and 22.
I believe there are more incidents like this today than 20 years ago. Among youth and young adults in our current society I believe there exists a lot more disrespect and rebellion against authorities, parents and older adults than 20 years ago, and I bet some of you might say especially 30 or 40 years ago. I also believe it is because these youth and young adults, these millennials and gen z’s, are being deprived of what they should be getting, from what they deserve in life.
We will see in a moment what has been withheld from these teens and young adults.
First, let’s stand in awe and reverence of God and His Word to read together 3 particular verses that speak to this crucial issue.
The fear of God is a major theme within the book of Malachi. Let’s stand in fear and reverence of God and His Word to read together 3 particular verses that speak to this crucial issue.
Malch
Malachi 1:6 NKJV
“A son honors his father, And a servant his master. If then I am the Father, Where is My honor? And if I am a Master, Where is My reverence? Says the Lord of hosts To you priests who despise My name. Yet you say, ‘In what way have we despised Your name?’
Malachi 1:14 NKJV
“But cursed be the deceiver Who has in his flock a male, And takes a vow, But sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished— For I am a great King,” Says the Lord of hosts, “And My name is to be feared among the nations.
Malachi 3:5
Malachi 3:5 NKJV
And I will come near you for judgment; I will be a swift witness Against sorcerers, Against adulterers, Against perjurers, Against those who exploit wage earners and widows and orphans, And against those who turn away an alien— Because they do not fear Me,” Says the Lord of hosts.
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The fear of God for the Israelites was a foundational part of their religious life. Their acknowledgement of it required a specific behavior from each individual, especially the priest. Malachi was bringing the charge against priest and people that the Fear of God was non-existent during their time after the return of the exile.
The fear of God for the Israelites was a foundational part of their religious life. Their acknowledgement of it required a specific behavior from each individual, especially the priest. Malachi was bringing the charge against priest and people that the Fear of God was non-existent during their time after the return of the exile.
Illustration: When Christian Smith and his fellow researchers with the National Study of Youth and Religion found that the faith held and described by most adolescents came down to something the researchers identified as "Moralistic Therapeutic Deism." As described by Smith and his team, Moralistic Therapeutic Deism consists of beliefs like these: 1. "A god exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth." 2. "God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions." 3. "The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself." 4. "God does not need to be particularly involved in one's life except when God is needed to resolve a problem." 5. "Good people go to heaven when they die."
The church at large has downplayed the fuller dimension of the fear of God by emphasizing awe, respect, or reverence, while ignoring its other dimensions such as fright, dread, or terror. Consequently, many have inadvertently adopted a soft concept of God, disrespecting and showing contempt for God's authority and power. - (Becoming Submissive - John W. Ritenbaugh)
The fear of the Lord is not something that comes naturally. The fear of the Lord is something that must be learned. And indeed it must be learned because it is the essence of true religion. -(Becoming Submissive - John W. Ritenbaugh)
When Christian Smith and his fellow researchers with the National Study of Youth and Religion took a close look at the religious beliefs held by American teenagers, they found that the faith held and described by most adolescents came down to something the researchers identified as "Moralistic Therapeutic Deism." As described by Smith and his team, Moralistic Therapeutic Deism consists of beliefs like these: 1. "A god exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth." 2. "God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions." 3. "The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself." 4. "God does not need to be particularly involved in one's life except when God is needed to resolve a problem." 5. "Good people go to heaven when they die."
More interestingly, for many of these teens, the interview itself was the first time they had ever discussed a theological question with an adult. What does this say about our churches? What does this say about this generation of parents? Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/moralistic-therapeutic-deism-the-new-american-religion-6266/#YAjt0wYgEOcT7SOt.99
When Christian Smith and his fellow researchers with the National Study of Youth and Religion at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill took a close look at the religious beliefs held by American teenagers, they found that the faith held and described by most adolescents came down to something the researchers identified as "Moralistic Therapeutic Deism."As described by Smith and his team, Moralistic Therapeutic Deism consists of beliefs like these: 1. "A god exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth." 2. "God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions." 3. "The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself." 4. "God does not need to be particularly involved in one's life except when God is needed to resolve a problem." 5. "Good people go to heaven when they die." Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/moralistic-therapeutic-deism-the-new-american-religion-6266/#YAjt0wYgEOcT7SOt.99 Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/moralistic-therapeutic-deism-the-new-american-religion-6266/#HS7XuZpz6qdpEPqh.99 Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/moralistic-therapeutic-deism-the-new-american-religion-6266/#HS7XuZpz6qdpEPqh.99
When Christian Smith and his fellow researchers with the National Study of Youth and Religion at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill took a close look at the religious beliefs held by American teenagers, they found that the faith held and described by most adolescents came down to something the researchers identified as "Moralistic Therapeutic Deism."As described by Smith and his team, Moralistic Therapeutic Deism consists of beliefs like these: 1. "A god exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth." 2. "God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions." 3. "The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself." 4. "God does not need to be particularly involved in one's life except when God is needed to resolve a problem." 5. "Good people go to heaven when they die." Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/moralistic-therapeutic-deism-the-new-american-religion-6266/#YAjt0wYgEOcT7SOt.99
What we see then is the younger generations are being deprived of a healthy teaching of what it means to fear God and how to live that out in their life. Their living for self satisfaction, where did is come from?
Illustration: I heard a comedian once discussing the complaints and griefs of all the parents and older adults about the attitudes and actions of their kid’s and grandkid’s generation. He agreed then laughed and said wait a minute you are the ones that raised them!!
It makes me wonder if it is like this in the current culture, What Will Fear Look Like in 20 Years?
Fear of the IRS is real. People fear being audited about as much as they do hearing they have a terminal disease.
Then he softened: There was someone who might be able to help her, but he could make no guarantees. He transferred her to another agent, who said that if he could get a 1099-C form for out-of-court restitution for cancellation of debt, he might be able to call off the police, whose calls were already showing up on her cell phone. But there was not much time. Soon she was racing to the bank with her teenaged son in tow, afraid to hang up the phone lest the arrest team descend.
Fear of the IRS is real. People fear being audited about as much as they do hearing they have a terminal disease.
Illustration: “People who complain about taxes can be divided into two classes: men and women.” — Unknown
— Unknown
"Like mothers, taxes are often misunderstood, but seldom forgotten.'' — Lord Bramwell, 19th Century English jurist
“Income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf.” — Will Rogers, humorist
Is the fear of the IRS justified? Maybe. Are you doing what you should do in filing? Is it deserved? Maybe, but the Fear of God is most definitely deserved.
Is it justified? Maybe. Is it deserved? Sure!
Many people have not filed in years. They want to know, “How do I overcome my fear of the IRS and become tax compliant once again?” Thousands of Christians have not been active in Church attendance in months or years - gone from 2-3 times a week to 2-3 times a month or quarter. Christians need to ask the question: How do I gain back my fear of God and become committed again? Our goal in life should be that We become the most committed Christ followers we can become. Our goal in this church should be that we help as many people as possible to become a Committed Christ follower. It begins with a fear of God.
Some people, especially non-believers or Christ followers but also Christians who are more progressive or liberal, now tend to de-emphasize the fear of God saying in NT “God is Love.” But that is not the case when you study the NT as the gospel was lived out through Early Church.
Many people have not filed in years. They want to know, “How do I overcome my fear of the IRS and become tax compliant once again?” Thousands of Christians have not been active in Church attendance in months or years - gone from 2-3 times a week to 2-3 times a month or quarter. Christians need to ask the question: How do I gain back my fear of God and become committed again? Our goal in life should be that We become the most committed Christ followers we can become. Our goal in this church should be that we help as many people as possible to become a Committed Christ follower. It begins with a fear of God.
(Christians need to ask the question: How do I gain back my fear of God and become committed again? Our goal in life should be that We become the most committed Christ follower we can become. Our goal in this church is that we help everyone become as much a Committed Christ follower as they can become. It begins with a fear of God.)
Religious Fear of The Fear of God is the Human response to the presence of God
The fear of God was intended to protect the Israelites from taking God for Granted or from presuming upon His grace. In he is pointing to the lack of the fear of God as the cause of all sin among the nation of Israel and all the other nations. What we sense and see in our society today is no different. Terrorist attacks everywhere. Spikes in theft and other personal property attacks. Facebook live killings. We see it because:
falling down in reverent worship of Him
Some people, especially non-believers or Christ followers but also Christians who are more progressive or liberal, now tend to de-emphasize the fear of God saying in NT “God is Love.” But that is not the case when you study the NT as the gospel was lived out through Early Church.
confessing their sins against Him
surrendering themselves to Him”
The fear of God was intended to protect the Israelites from taking God for Granted or from presuming upon His grace. In he is pointing to the lack of the fear of God as the cause of all sin among the nation of Israel and all the other nations. What we sense and see in our society today is no different. Terrorist attacks everywhere. Spikes in theft and other personal property attacks. Facebook live killings. We see it because:
If you have spent much time in Bible study, you know very well how often God commands us to fear Him and no one else. In fact when we see the words “fear not” it is commanding us to only fear God and no one else, in the sense of trusting Him. This was not so that God can have us build His ego, but so that God can build and keep our societies in peace. God declares throughout the giving of the Law by Moses, its intention is to lead everyone to Fear Him and refrain from sin.
Exodus 20:20 HCSB
Moses responded to the people, “Don’t be afraid, for God has come to test you, so that you will fear Him and will not sin.”
Deuteronomy 10:20–21 HCSB
You are to fear Yahweh your God and worship Him. Remain faithful to Him and take oaths in His name. He is your praise and He is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome works your eyes have seen.
Those who do not fear God do not make wise decisions and prove themselves to be ignorant rebels.
Proverbs 1:7 NASB95
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.
There is no respect for life because there is no fear of the life giver.
Exodus 20:13 NASB95
“You shall not murder.
Exodus 20:3 NASB95
“You shall have no other gods before Me.
Acts 17:25 NASB95
nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things;
Exodus 21:17 NASB95
“He who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.
Exodus 20:12 NASB95
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.
2 Timothy 3:1–2 NASB95
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,
Illustration: Recent Poll in Ladies Home Journal testing the religious temper in America seemed to prove that American people are obsessed with self-satisfaction instead of the fear of God.
2 Timothy
Leviticus 19:32 NASB95
‘You shall rise up before the grayheaded and honor the aged, and you shall revere your God; I am the Lord.
Illustration: Recent Poll in Ladies Home Journal testing the religious temper in America seemed to prove that American people are obsessed with self-satisfaction instead of the fear of God.
L
1 Timothy 5:1–2 NASB95
Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father, to the younger men as brothers, the older women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters, in all purity.
Mark 9:36–37 HCSB
Then He took a child, had him stand among them, and taking him in His arms, He said to them, “Whoever welcomes one little child such as this in My name welcomes Me. And whoever welcomes Me does not welcome Me, but Him who sent Me.”
Ephesians 5:33 HCSB
To sum up, each one of you is to love his wife as himself, and the wife is to respect her husband.
Ephesians
Illustration: Recent Poll in Ladies Home Journal testing the religious temper in America seemed to prove that American people are obsessed with self-satisfaction instead of the fear of God.
Illustration: Recent Poll in Ladies Home Journal testing the religious temper in America seemed to prove that American people are obsessed with self-satisfaction instead of the fear of God.
It showed that the fear of man and the fear of sacrifice has usurped the place of the fear of God. This has lead even Christians to worship safety and worship comfort.
Matthew 16:18 HCSB
And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the forces of Hades will not overpower it.
Ephesians 5:21 HCSB
submitting to one another in the fear of Christ.
Ecclesiastes 5:1–3 The Message
Watch your step when you enter God’s house. Enter to learn. That’s far better than mindlessly offering a sacrifice, Doing more harm than good. Don’t shoot off your mouth, or speak before you think. Don’t be too quick to tell God what you think he wants to hear. God’s in charge, not you—the less you speak, the better. Overwork makes for restless sleep. Overtalk shows you up as a fool.
Ecclesiastes 5:3 NASB95
For the dream comes through much effort and the voice of a fool through many words.
Ecclesiastes 5:2 The Message
Don’t shoot off your mouth, or speak before you think. Don’t be too quick to tell God what you think he wants to hear. God’s in charge, not you—the less you speak, the better.
Ecclesiastes
1 Peter 2:17 NASB95
Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.
The early church should be the example to all of us. If we want a healthy church again, we need to fear God again. If we want a growing and going church again, we need to fear God again.
1 Peter
Ecclesiastes
The early church should be the example to all of us. If we want a healthy church again, we need to fear God again. If we want a growing and going church again, we need to fear God again.
Acts 9:31 HCSB
So the church throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace, being built up and walking in the fear of the Lord and in the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, and it increased in numbers.
Acts
Ephesians 6:5 The Message
Servants, respectfully obey your earthly masters but always with an eye to obeying the real master, Christ.
Ephesians
Romans 13:1–2 HCSB
Everyone must submit to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist are instituted by God. So then, the one who resists the authority is opposing God’s command, and those who oppose it will bring judgment on themselves.
Hebrews 13:17 HCSB
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account, so that they can do this with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.
Hebrews 13
Psalm 128:1 HCSB
How happy is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways!
So the question has been asked, “What can be said to modern men and women that would put the fear of God to them again?”
Psalm 12
We are riddled, disastrously so to the point of being handicapped by, an easy-going, good natured, well-intentioned Christianity that favors an easy conscience, a don’t step on my toes - stay out of my business and life, Pharisaic complacency like Malachi challenged with God’s Word. But that’s just it. That is the only thing that will cut to the marrow of the bone and reach the depth of the spirit in us, the double edged sword called The Bible, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
It was the revelation of God that gripped Isaiah causing him to fear God. The Bible is the Revelation of God to us. We must read, listen to it read and read it to others. So that:
Philippians 2:12
Philippians 2:12–13 NKJV
Therefore, my beloved, as you 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 who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
Working out our salvation is not seeking to earn it with our good works, but seeking to be a witness about it with our good works. Doing so means we will consistently live in awe of God. WE will live with humility before God and others in submission to God’s will not ours. Why? because we know Christ, who was God did so, and we know we are not better or more deserving of our own way than He is.
Fear of the Lord keeps us from the day of the Lord, Judgement Day. It teaches us to live in light of God’s grace. John Newton writing Amazing Grace - “twas Grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved.” Without this proper fear of God we often forget the radical transformation the gospel is meant to have on us. If we lack fear, says we will be judged with the Refiners fire. We will be judged and may be proven to have never truly surrendered to God in the first place.
I invite you to pray and ask God to help you gauge your fear of Him. Ask yourself how you have demonstrated that fear. Do you want to know if you are a Christian, if you are saved and forgiven? If you care not that you sin, if you continue to seek your way, if you continue to choose how to live your life rather than how God wants, then there is a great chance you are not a Christian/ Christ follower. Without proper fear of God we often forget the radical transformation the gospel is meant to have on us. If we lack fear, says we will be judged with the Refiners fire. We will be judged and may be proven to have never truly surrendered to God in the first place.
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