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How to Fear God and Not Hell

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7 min read

Some people fear hell far more than they fear God. We need to get this “fear” the right way around…!! There’s deep confusion over the character of God. We are taught He is a God of love, but there is such “fear” that He has to punish sin; that can result in us focusing our entire spiritual life on how – not to sin. I can understand that thinking. If sin leads to punishment and hell, the simple solution is don’t sin. Taught in this way, people rightly ask… who is God? Is he love or is he an avenging God? Is he both? So if my life isn’t 100% right, where do I stand? Can I be certain of anything with God? Perhaps I don’t really believe? At times in my own journey and listening to teachings on the topic of Gods character, I have asked these and many more questions. If you have also, be encouraged. 

There is a doctrine of fear which is based on scaring people into the kingdom. This doctrine focuses on the judgement that is to come and graphically depicts the judgement as a fearsome day. Which it is. And you will do well to escape it. However, this “fear” while invoked, talking about things related to God, is not of God, because it’s not the fear of God, it’s the fear of hell. There’s a big difference. Because I may be afraid to my bones of going to hell, in no way means I automatically fear God and love His son Jesus the Christ. We need to seriously deal with this misconception, fear of hell is a deception from the devil, because the Word tells us – the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10). There is no wisdom in the fear of hell. The fear of the Lord is NOT the fear of going to hell.
The Word tells us there is nothing in heaven or on earth or in the earth below that can keep us from his Love (Romans 8:38-39). Oh I can hear the “buts” interjecting… Ok. Let’s take what God is saying literally. It means there is nothing, no obstacle, no man, no woman, no evil spirit, not anything, that can prevent us from experiencing and enjoying the love of God. That means Gods love for us is total, it’s absolute, there is no question of that. If that’s true…well it has to be; where exactly does this “fear” of going to hell come from?
The fear of going to hell exists, because the enemy has been up to his old tricks again. The Word tells us in Romans 8:1, there is now no condemnation for those that are in Jesus. Then the enemy plants a “but” in our minds. “Yes BUT you can’t sin intentionally; BUT you can’t do as you please; BUT you must have standards; but but but. Resist those ‘buts’ for the moment. Let’s stand on this truth – there is now no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus. How is that? This statement is absolutely not a license to do what you please, it’s an “enabler” to enjoy the love of Jesus.
Leaving the enemy’s snare behind, let’s focus on what we CAN do in Christ rather than what we we can’t do. Let’s focus on the FACT that we can call on Him to deliver, to strengthen, to heal, to provide, to encourage, to forgive, to love, to provide revelation, to be faithful to His promises. Our salvation is in Jesus, so focus 100% on Jesus and life; and stop fearing hell and death.
The law is quite specific on the wages of sin; its death. The lady caught in adultery was supposed to die…the stones were even ready. Fact. But Jesus demonstrated His power over sin and death, and SAVED that lady’s life. I’m looking at the example Jesus left us, that a life saved is greater than death under the law!!! Are we prepared to be Life Savers as Jesus?
A friend in another church was stressed over the fear of being excommunicated over an issue, and his situation broke my heart. Because the very people my friend NEEDED to help restore his faith with love, had gathered in condemnation about the sin he committed. He wasn’t excommunicated, but was really bruised by the experience of being condemned by brothers and sisters.
Let’s open our eyes to the side the enemy doesn’t want us to see. 
As humans, when we make a mistake our instinct is to hide – aka Adam after he ate the fruit. God is saying, the answer to Adam and to us today, after you have failed or even fallen…is still…MY LOVE FOR YOU. Yes. Gods love is the answer to everything. Look at Gods love in action. Adam makes a blunder that changes the course of human history, then hides when he realises he is naked; who makes Adams first set of clothes? God did (Genesis 3:21). Who blesses Adam and Eve with children? God does (Genesis 4:1). His Word has been true from day one and will for evermore. There is NOTHING that can keep us away from his love. Our faults are nothing compared to His love. That is why the enemy needs our eyes to remain blind to this truth.
By using His love to enable us, we are now free from guilt – which is the exact opposite of what the enemy wants – he wants us to live with guilt. When we live with guilt we are trapped, unable to enjoy Gods love, unable to live in forgiveness, and importantly…unable to free our brothers and sisters with forgiveness.
Again. The enemy sows thoughts like…”but that means people can do as they please”. Remember this is a total distraction. How do I know this? The enemy does not want us to link three fundamental things:
  • Matthew 11:28 -Jesus said to come as you are “now” – there is no requirement to get right first;
  • Romans 8:38-39 – nothing can separate us from His love; and
  • our response to God when we comprehend His love for us is to love Him in return.
When you respond to love with love, there is no room for doing as we please because…doing as you please…is not love!!
Think about it. There’s nothing that can separate us from God’s love…NOTHING! Not our faults nor our failures, the challenge is – what will your response be to His love?
Now the fact is many people struggle. But does that mean they are going to hell because their life is not right…yet? God forbid. The criteria is not whether we are right (because no one is right). It’s whether we believe in and LOVE Jesus!!
Fall in love with Jesus!!! 
Be encouraged

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