------ Forwarded message ------
From: Francis Harper
Francis Harper Message for 6/8/2018
Before we leave the subject of fear, all who believe and who know the Lord, need to be reminded of our obligation to warn the unbelievers, and those who have fallen away, of the impending judgments of God. “For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins. But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries” (Hebrews 10:26-27).
“For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense saith the Lord. And again, the Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:30-31).
The liberal theologians of today tend to soft pedal the judgments of God. They may even say: “Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God, he will justify in committing a little sin,: yea, lie a little, . . . and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God” (2 Nephi 12:10-11). This is not facing the reality of God’s judgment.
John Nesbit, a Scottish Covenanter, wrote, We need not be afraid. I am more afraid to lie than to die. The Scottish Covenanters were severely persecuted in 1685. “The Scottish persecution [by the church] was worse than that of the Roman emperors and popish inquisitors” (Robinson Crusoe, Daniel DeFoe).
Sometimes we misinterpret the words, “God fearing.” We should fear that we might offend God or violate his commandments. We should fear everything that might grieve the Spirit of God.
James Renwick, a Scottish Covenanter, condemned to die in three days, told a friend who kindly asked how he was, said he was doing very well, but he would be doing better in a few days when he would be beyond the reach of temptations. Fearing no evil, within two hours of his death and eternity, he said death is no terror to me . . . rejoice with me, I am going to my Father to experience the joy of what “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for those who love him (1 Corinthians 2:9; Isaiah 64:4-5).
Jesus instructed the twelve; “ . . . fear not them who are able to kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:25 IV; 10:28 KJV).
Seventy Richard Neill was doing some missionary work in an area of the Philippines which had recently experienced some terrorist activities by ISIS. Richard was not intimidated. He made this statement: “I will not live in fear.” David was not afraid of Goliath, the giant of the Philistines (1 Samuel 17). Nor was Abinadi frightened by the wicked king Noah (Nosiah 7:109).
“ . . . the time soon cometh, that the fullness of the wrath of God shall be poured out upon all the children of men . . . he will preserve the righteous by his power . . . the righteous need not fear . . . they shall be saved” (1 Nephi 7:34-38).
My Love to All,
“The Righteous Need Not Fear”
There are two kinds of fear: Godly fear and fear of persons, places, or things. Godly fear is described in Hebrews 12:28; “. . . serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.” I believe reverence is the key word.
The definition of godly fear is clarified by reading 1 Kings 3:28. “And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king [Solomon] had judged; and they feared the king; for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to do judgment.”
The judgment of Solomon, which brought him so much fame and respect, is written in 1 Kings 3:16-28. Two women, living in the same house, were claiming the same baby. Both were mothers of infant sons. While they slept one mother “overlaid” her child causing it to die. The distraught, desperate woman exchanged her dead son for the other woman’s baby while its mother was sleeping! As you would expect, a dispute followed. “Thus they spake before the king.” And the king said, ‘Bring me a sword . . . , Divide the child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other.’ At this point the real mother said, ‘O my lord, give her the living child, and in no wise slay it.’ But the other said, ‘Let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it.’ Then the king answered . . . ‘Give her the living child, and in no wise slay it; she is the mother thereof.”
In this scripture, the people fearing the king meant they had great respect for him; they stood in awe before him. To fear the Lord does not mean we need to be afraid of him. It means we stand in awe of him, having great respect for him and bow in reverence before him. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom . . .” (Proverbs 9:10). Job, who was called the greatest of all the men of the east, was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and aschewed [avoided] evil (Job 1:1). We certainly have sufficient reasons to serve God with reverence and godly fear!
Those who know the Lord will be delivered from the curse of fear. David said, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod [protection] and thy staff [guidance] they comfort me [security]. . . “(Psalms 23:4). The Lord had led, protected and provided for David throughout his life. He knew the Lord and his constant care. He was comforted and secure in this knowledge. Those who have known the Good Shepherd’s care will appreciate and relate to these words of David, who was called by the Lord, “a man after mine own heart . . .” (Acts 13:22).
As we live through these prophesied perilous times of the last days we can expect to encounter some dark valleys and “shadows of death.” Jesus prophesied of “Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth . . .” (Luke 21:26). Are we prepared? “Oh, for a faith that will not shrink . . . that when in danger knows no fear; In darkness feels no doubt . . .” (Hymns of the Restoration #278).
Words of another beautiful hymn come to mind: “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives all fear is gone. Because I know He holds the future, And life is worth the living just because He lives!