The devil never gives up easily in his effort to derail saints and to keep those outside Christ from ever getting to receive Him. He will use any means possible. He is desperate if we care to know—that is, if we still believe that there is a Satan at all.
While in the past, he used the usual kind of hypocrites (those who are hard on others but soft on themselves); he has long included a special kind of hypocrites.
These special kinds of hypocrites are increasing by their numbers in this generation like never before. Special kinds of hypocrites! What is that?
Now, we have those who are in Christ (especially preachers) who will not touch or go near sin under any heading— they love Jesus, fear God and rely on the Holy Spirit to live their lives. They don’t kid with praying fervently, don’t just read the bible but study it deeply, pursue love with their hearts because they fear God and understand that everyone without exception will reap what he or she sows Galatians 6:7, Revelation 14:13. So, they are quite aware that God’s justice cannot be bribed by a cover up with “born again” façade Matt 7:21, John 4:34.
But, in spite of all the wonderful virtues they have as listed above, when it comes to their work (serving the church) and reaching the world with their ministry and spiritual gifts, they become smart with God because they want followership. They want to be reckoned with in the religious world. They want to be identified with a prestigious camp (theological niche). Therefore, they teach tactically the devil’s lies about Christ’s doctrines (watered down) in such a way that they themselves don’t secretly believe and live as they prescribe for others to. They live their lives better in accordance to Christ’s true doctrine for His honor and their safety but tell others to believe and live less by the watered down doctrines of devils. No Christian is above being tempted in this matter.
Is, preachers who teach others that they should worship God based on their love for God, faith, His grace etc but cleverly exclude the fear of God in the list Psalm 111:10, Proverbs 16:6. They unlike the usual hypocrites are hard on themselves and soft on others mainly for the sake of followership. Meanwhile, these are preachers who are prepared to lose everything they own including their own lives and (actually have been tested as such), and in those times of their trials and temptation, the very thing that crystallized their love and faith in God and His grace they found is their fear of God’s wrath.
The Fear of God
While faithful and victorious Christians in every generation knew/knows that love for God is a main pillar for persevering by faith and the grace of God, none denies, none should deny the truth that their literal fear of God’s wrath was/is also, a crystallizer during the times of their severe trials and temptations Matthew 10:28.
This matter is not to be overemphasized. We just need to mediate over the subject and let the Holy Spirit converse and teach us what to believe and how to live.
To have faith and love towards God and grace is wonderful but, minus fear of God, we are prone to worship and persevere during our times of trials and temptations in our own ways and not His. This is why many times, we as Christians give blanket testimonies—we can’t state the nitty gritty of how God delivered us from our trials and temptations because we cut corners.
The words of R C Sproul hits the mark in this regards, “God absolutely requires that He be…worshipped in a way that He commands, not according to the way we prefer”.
Cajoling people into our churches with watered down doctrines and slick testimonies have hardly been helpful.
Our command is to tell of the gospel (testify of the person of Christ) to the lost, those enslaved by Satan and their own desires. If they believe as His Father draws them, they will be saved, cleansed, infused with incremental grace, and exposed increasingly to the depth, height, width and length of the visions of Christ as savior, Lord, prince of peace, provider and eternal Father. These activities of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s heart, overshadows his or her soul and bears out of their body the fruit of the Spirit not our own righteousness. This leading of His Spirit in and about the believer and the Church, is our safety against deceiving spirits in these last days as it has been from the start of the church of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.
Let those who have the Treasure in their earthen vessel indeed, look closely to themselves, examining their doctrine and walk carefully with all manners of prayers and in regular fellowship with other believers 2 Corinthians 4:7, 1 Timothy 4:16NLT, Hebrews 10:25, Colossians 3:16.
To fear God without loving, reverencing, praising, giving thanks and proclaiming His Son Jesus Christ unashamedly amounts to nothing 2 Kings 17:33, Exodus 1:17, 21.
As we hold faith towards God, love, reverence, serve and fear Him, May His grace, peace and joy abide with us all!