Let us talk about fear.
A fear recorded in Acts 9:31 that everyday the first Christian church lived in the fear of the Lord.
Stop, wait, hold it a second.
Pay attention to this word of caution.
Caution, do not attempt to create this fear.
Caution, do not attempt to place this fear upon any person, child or church.
Caution, this is not man’s fear, not religious fear but a special holy fear that only God works in those who love Him.
This is not legalistic self-righteous letter of the Bible fear, but a holy fear.
This is not a fear where church members are afraid they will not be liberal enough.
This is a purifying fear from the Holy Spirit that must be taught and made alive only as the Holy Spirit empowers it.
When the church was young and pure outsiders were afraid to become members.
There was no marketing to win souls for Christ only God working a strength of will to join the church inspite of this holy fear.
It is said in Acts 5:12 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people.
God had so manifested His holiness in the church that even with miracles individuals were afraid to join.
Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events. The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. Acts 5:11-14
You might be asking what was the event that so terrified the people?
The event was this: God struck dead two individuals who lied about giving all to Jesus.
It would be as if God moved through your church and killed everyone who was lying about making Jesus Christ Lord and Savior.
About living a lie concerning surrendering all to Jesus.
Now do not expect God to perform this act of holiness in your church today.
God did it once and had it written down that we all might search our hearts and motives until Jesus returns.
God expects us to obey the Scriptures that demand the church be kept clean of hypocrites.
Remember these events and note that the issue was not the giving of money but the lying about their measure of surrender to Jesus.
Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet. Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God.” When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. (Acts 5:1-5)
Great fear seized all who heard about God manifesting His holiness in the New Testament Church.
Why is it no one is afraid to join your church?
Why is no one afraid to join the church because God is moving a Holy Spirit throughout the congregation each worship service and powerfully dealing with hidden sins?
Today, the Christian Church is mocked for the hypocrisy and pleasure seeking self-asserted excuses concerning sin rather than respected for the holy life of its members.
The answer lies in the fact that the church has so polluted the gospel call there is very little pure cleansing Living Waters flowing in congregations.
Let us see how Paul calls everyone to accept and live out their salvation in a congregation.
Ask yourself, is this fear what people see in your church?
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. Philippians 2:12
There is no laid back relaxation when it comes to accepting Jesus as personal Lord and Savior.
Instead there is a working out one’s salvation with fear and trembling or there is no salvation from sin and hell.
There is no true joy and peace from the Holy Spirit unless at the same time there is fear and trembling.
The fear of God has been so shoved out of the pulpit that no one is cut to the heart, but all are made comfortable so they will join the church.
When you visit a church and witness the singing, the entertaining worship or the traditional hymn songs ask yourself where is the trembling?
Look for the trembling as they worship.
See if they serve the Lord with joy and fear.
Look at the guitar player, worship leader or piano player and see if there is a holy tremble in their worship and walk.
When it comes to the sermon, listen for the fear and rejoicing in the offensive message of the cross.
As you visit the church members in their homes if you have to ask “Where is the fear and trembling?” inspired by the Holy Spirit you may not be visiting real Christians.
As Psalm 2:11 declares: Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling.
Now it is all pot luck, come have a blessed fun time while you idolize the family, conservative values, material things and religious opinion.
Long gone is the fear of God manifesting a call for all men and women to repent and live separated alien lives in this world right now.
It could not be otherwise as the church and its members cannot preach what they are stiff-necked towards.
God cannot, will not give lukewarm churches His holy fear because they refuse to love all the Truth that is in His Son Jesus Christ.
Paul writes that his preaching was a result of this holy fear, not a desire to win members to a church.
Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. (2 Corinthians 5:11)
As you run to Jesus to be saved, you had best gain a holy fear that knows, understands, and obeys the call to Kiss the Son, lest He be angry.
If you are going to take refuge in Jesus, then prepare yourself to work out your salvation with fear and trembling – to kiss the Son from time to time as you walk on the narrow road.
Obey the Psalms.
Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him. Psalm 2:12
Individuals in the New Testament times respected the church but were afraid to join.
Today, we market the church and the world looks on with contempt.
It is written in the New Testament that non-believers were afraid to join the church because everyone lived such holy lives.
It is written in the New Testament that disciples of Jesus of that time worked out their salvation with fear and trembling.
It is written in a letter by the Apostle Paul that his motivation for preaching came from a fear of God.
So where is the fear in the church today?
Where is the fear in the lives of believers today when it comes to the matter of their salvation?
Why has marketing members for Christ replaced the offense of the cross that requires the Holy Spirit to motivate individuals to join a church?
Where is the holy fear of respect for a holy Living God in the church today?
Where is the righteous fear so that everyone desires to dress up for church?
Where is the fear and trembling concerning our salvation?
Individuals were afraid to join the Christian Church in the days of the New Testament, so why is it that people come and go from the church as they please today?
After all the First Church, the young church, the New Testament Church while rejoicing in the full message of the cross, were living in the fear of the Lord.
This holy fear was seen and recognized by all, even in a time of peace for the church.
A fear ever-present even when the congregation was encouraged by the Holy Spirit.
Is that what individuals see in your Christian walk and church when they visit with you?
As a church might grow in numbers, do they see a godly fear that produces holiness?
If your church is enjoying a time of peace in the Lord it should at the same time be living in the fear of God.
Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit; it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord. Acts 9:31
Now is the time to make peace with God and kiss His Son from time to time lest His angry flair up at a moments notice.
This short message is brought to you by www.luke1425.org because Jesus commanded all who would come after Him to sit down and first think about kissing the Son of God lest He become angry.