Verse of the Week: Matthew 10:28 “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.”
Encouraging Thought: II Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” We serve a kind and loving God who wishes that no one should go to hell. However, on Judgment Day, Jesus will say to those who have rejected Him, “…Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:” (Matthew 25:41) Hell was never intended for mankind. God doesn’t want us to go there. That’s why He provided for our salvation. Titus 1:2 says, “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;” And Hebrews 2:3 says, “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;”
Words of Wisdom: I John 4:16 says, “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” If the Bible affirms that God is love, why does Matthew 10:28 tell us to “fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” We know that verse is referring to God.
I John 4:17-18 says, “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” It’s because of God’s love for us that He provided a way of escape from hell, but it’s because of our love for God that we no longer have to fear the White Throne Judgment.
So then, if we are made perfect in love and perfect love casts out fear, what does the Bible mean when it instructs us to fear God? God doesn’t expect us to fear Him like we would a big bully who’s threatened to beat us up. To fear God means to respect Him for Who He is and what He’s capable of doing; to hold Him in reverential awe. Hebrews 12:28 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:”
God is love, but He is also just. And one day everyone will face Him in judgment.