Pastor Christopher Brock
September 16, 2023
Matthew 10:28, New King James Version
“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
I was at a meeting recently and the person who was leading the discussion asked those in attendance what their greatest fear was. As I listened to the people around me describe their greatest fear, some were funny, and others were pretty serious. Some people said that they were completely afraid of public speaking. Others said that they were afraid of losing their spouse or a child. Others said that they were afraid of coming to the end of their life and realizing that they had not accomplished what they wanted to do. I was very interested in hearing what others had to say that I actually forgot that I would also need to provide my answer. When it came to my turn, without hesitation, I said the thing I fear the most was to stand before Christ one day and hear the words “I never knew you, depart from me”.
I believe that oftentimes we think about fear as in being afraid. We think about a scary story or movie that brings the image of terror. But fear is not only a word that describes those things, but it is also a word that refers to respect. The Bible tells us that we should not fear the things that can bring death to the body, but we should fear the thing that can bring death to both our body and our soul. This is referring to God Himself. God has complete sovereignty over life and also over judgment. He, and He alone can judge each person and His judgment is perfect. He makes no mistakes. Not only is His judgment perfect, but He and He alone also have complete and total authority to carry out the consequence of His judgment as well. This does not mean that He is going to punish those who reject Him, rather, those who have rejected Him will ensure the consequence of their decision. Consider a very simple example to help illustrate this.
Imagine that there was a glass full of water sitting on the edge of a table with a sign beside it that said, “Do not push this glass of water off the edge of the table.” The truth is that we would have full freedom and the ability to either choose to leave it alone or to push it off the edge of the table. I am not forced to do either of these options and there is nothing hindering me from either. If I were to choose to disobey the command and push that glass full of water off of the edge, what would happen? The glass would of course fall to the floor and break and the water would spill out over the floor. The floor would be completely wet and covered with shards of broken glass. That is the consequence of the action that we had taken, and it would have occurred regardless of if there was a command not to do it. Once the action was taken and the consequence of that action realized, we would then be completely bound to the consequence. We could never say, “I do not choose to experience the consequence” because the truth is, we have no freedom to make this choice. If, however, we had used our free will and made a choice to follow the commandment not to push the glass of water off the edge we would have never experienced the consequence of the action and would not be bound by it.
I do not want to experience the consequence that is associated with rejection of Christ as my Savior. I want to be with Him forever because I love Him and I know that He loves me. My question or you today is this: Do you fear this world more than you fear God? Do you desire the approval and acceptance of the world over the love of Jesus? These are very serious and deep questions and I pray that you will search deeply and know where you stand.