A Fearful Introduction
There is a fear that torments a good number of believers, at least in the country of my residence. With more fellowship with brethren from other countries however, it is obvious that the fear has crossed many geographical borders.
This fear seems to thrive because of some particular kinds of teachings these brethren have received and have applied all along. It drives them to practice the reverse of what they claim to believe (in terms of the Person of Jesus).
Why are many believers afraid whenever they hear of the “coming of the Lord”? Why are the saints fearful of the Just Judge Who will reward every man according to his works? Why isn’t the Bride expectant of the Groom anymore? Why does She fear His coming? If the Groom is a terror to His Bride, something is obviously wrong and the earlier it is fished out, the better.
Scripture is full of reasons why people should be filled with terror of the coming of the Lord. It flows from the garden of Eden to the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. The fear of God’s Presence is said to make people wail, knees knock and feet give way. Scriptures portray the Lord as a consuming fire, very fierce and unstoppable when in effect until the purpose of His burning is accomplished.
The question now is “who should have a terrifying fear that drives his sleep away and makes sweat break out in the coldest days? Who should thoroughly seek out a hiding place for fear of meeting the Just Judge?
Hide!…I hear His Footsteps!
For the first time in scripture, we see fear introduced in the garden of Eden. Man scrambled for a secret place to hide from His Creator who loved him beyond all words. It was the Creator who had brought man into existence and given him life. He crafted a special abode for him and gave him companionship. Just in the usual hour when man would have delighted in meeting His Maker for another delightful fellowship, he was lurking in the shadows, for fear of being found.
Man had disobeyed God, putting God on the back bench and giving his loyalty to someone else. Instinctively, the Presence of the Righteous Judge brought fear. Somehow, man knew that he would receive a reward according to his works.
Let The Nations Tremble!
“..Behold, the Lord is arriving with thousands of His saints, to execute judgement against everyone…” Jude 14-15 (CPDV).
That there is impending Judgement for all men is certain. A person standing trial could either be found guilty and sanctioned accordingly or found innocent and acquitted. Therefore, the Scriptures sound strong warnings to all who rebel against God and run according to the course of this world’s system, whose ruler is the the adversary of the saints.
Paul stresses that “…the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness…” Romans 1:18 (KJV).
Furthermore, Ephesians 5:3-6 gives a list of some practices and states that because of such the wrath of God is coming on all who are children of disobedience.
Everyone who forsakes the Lord and shuns His Word should tremble in fear of His coming, because He shows no favours to any man and will unleash His terror on sin and all who delight in it. Therefore, if anyone is named among the saints and continues in the shameful works of darkness, such a person(s) should be full of fear too because the Lord will reveal all the hidden things of darkness and uncover the things not done in the light. Every heart will be exposed. The books will be read.
What About The Bride?
All who reverenced God and walked with Him looked expectantly for the next visitation from God. David’s experience of God’s Presence was that: “…in Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore…” Psalms 16:11 (KJV). This has been the experience of the saints all along. The comfort of His Presence delivers the saints even in the valley of the shadow of death.
God speaks about His Love for His Bride. Before Lord Jesus came to earth, the nation of Israel stood in that very beloved position. She was specially set apart by God and for God. When Lord Jesus came, the privilege of enjoying God’s incomparable Love was extended to all men of whatever tribe, skin colour, language, or nation. It took the death of God’s Only Beloved Son to initiate the relationship.
If you can imagine being in a relationship with Love Himself, that is exactly the relationship between the Church (the Bride) and Lord Jesus (the Groom). God is Love. The Bride of Jesus should be bountifully expectant of Lord Jesus because the world system is a sickening one.
Wickedness is increasing in form and frequency and the saints observe all these things. Their hearts should cry out to God to bring His Kingdom fully to the earth. “…Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name, Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done on earth as it is in heaven…”
Why should the righteous Bride be afraid when her Groom comes to take away everything that has made her despised, scorned and rejected and then establish the Kingdom of Righteousness? Why fear when at His appearing She would be changed from mortal and corruptible to immortal and incorruptible? Why doesn’t She burn with desire for perfect union with Him in His Love, Beauty and Holiness?
If our hearts are not filled with joyful expectation of the King, there is urgent need to examine ourselves, our ways, our beliefs and the Jesus we claim we know.
To be continued.