Philippians 2:12-13 (KJV)
12 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.
13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
One of the most painful things is having to deal with believers who have no integrity. Some so-called believers are outright frauds, but they profess the name of Christ and are even decorated members of big church congregations.
Many professing believers now walk unrepentantly in iniquity and claim that they are under grace. What delusion!
Because of this, the name of our Lord is blasphemed among unbelievers (Romans 2:24). And it is becoming harder and harder for certain people [who reason critically] to come to the light of Christ because of the filthy shadow cast by lukewarm believers everywhere.
When I was growing up as a child, I remember that the church in my country was not as wealthy and large as it is today, but it was much more powerful. True conversions to the faith by even those who were the biggest antagonists were commonplace. The name of the Lord was more revered and honored even in the media. No comedians dared mention the name of the Lord or make a caricature of his ministers(something that has become too common today).
But some things changed along the way and everyone now felt comfortable in church with unrepentant hearts. The fear of the Lord was skillfully and gradually removed from the Christian creed. All of a sudden, believers no longer walked in the fear of the Lord.
Foolishness now became celebrated in the organized church because politicians who are known thieves were given titles in the church. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom(Prov 9:10). To fear the Lord less and less is the beginning of foolishness.
Some have argued that believers should not fear the Lord but only have ‘reverential awe’ towards Him because He is our heavenly father. Some have argued that today’s Bible verse was not properly translated, that we are to work out our salvation with ‘reverential awe’ towards God, not with fear. The problem with this view is that reverential awe does not invoke trembling. But the verse clearly says “work out your salvation with fear and trembling”. Believe me, whatever it is that awaits believers who do not obey this command(to work out their salvation) is something that should be terribly feared and dreaded by anyone.
It is time for the fear of God to return to His people everywhere because when God comes to judge the world, it would begin at the household of God (1 Peter 4:17).
May we not be found wanting. May we not be cast away after laboring in God’s house.
Go into today praying with this verse:
1 Corinthians 9:27 (KJV) But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
—Pst. Abraham Damilola Arigi