|Volume 19 Number 1 January 2017||
Why We Should Fear God
Mark N. Posey
Ecclesiastes is a book about outlook. The plot of “the Preacher” reveals the depression that inevitably results from seeking happiness in worldly possessions. This book gives Christians a chance to see the world through the eyes of a person who, though very wise, was trying to find meaning in impermanent, human things. Most every form of worldly desire is explored by the Preacher and none of it gave him a sense of meaning. In 3:14, the Preacher focuses on God and the reason man should revere [“fear”] Him. Fearing God “under the sun” includes the following.
God’s Actions Are Permanent (“it shall be forever”).
Things that are done by God are final. The granite peak that is being carved into a monument to Crazy Horse, the famous Sioux Indian chief, can never be undone. The dynamite blasts that carve away rock can never be replaced. It is final; it is forever. God, according to Malachi 3:6, is permanent: “For I am the Lord, I do not change.” James identifies the consistency and stability of God in 1:17; His giving of good and perfect gifts will never vary or change.
God’s Actions Are Effective and
Complete (“nothing can be added to it”).
God’s Word penetrates the heart and molds the soul. He chose us before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before Him (Ephesians 1:4). His Holy character provides the prime example for transformation and change. Those in fellowship with the Father are blessed with His illuminating light and Jesus’ cleansing blood. Neither will ascend in greatness because both embody perfection.
God’s Actions Are Totally
Secure (“nothing taken from it”).
God possesses all good qualities and does not lack any, nor does He have any qualities that are not good (Psalm 18:30; Matthew 5:48). He is independent, unchangeable, eternal and omnipresent. He exists as a Spiritual Being, having no form or dimensions and is omniscient, wise, truthful, faithful, good, loving, merciful, graceful, patient, holy, at peace, righteous and just, jealous for His own honor, wrathful towards sin, perfect in every way, beautiful beyond comprehension, and is glorified through the revelation of Himself. He lacks nothing and from Him nothing can or will be subtracted.
In conclusion, true wisdom comes only from understanding who God is and that He is holy, just and righteous. Solomon said, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge”(Proverbs 1:7).
One of my favorite television programs to watch is called Wild West Tech. It chronicles the technological advancements that helped shaped the old west. It can be anything from a safer train to better ways of execution. What fascinates me about this program is the willingness of the people in the 1800’s to accept these advancements to help improve their everyday lives. After all, who doesn’t want to be hung from the gallows in the most efficient way?
Technology interests me, especially in preaching the Gospel. We have been given the task to take the Gospel into all the world (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16) whether in the local pulpit or across the ocean, and the advancements in technology help us do that. I’ve used just about all of them. I’ve written sermons using pencil, pen, typewriter, computer and most recently with the iPad. I’ve used bed sheets, chalk boards, white boards, overhead projectors and PowerPoint to give the lessons a visual effect. I’ve recorded sermons on tape, CD and the Internet. I have and will probably continue to seek out and use the latest technology in my work as a minister.
However, there is something that will never change—the pure, unadulterated Gospel of Jesus Christ. The reason being is because Jesus and His Word never change. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away” (Matthew 24:35).
Yes, the methods by which the Gospel is transmitted may change, but the Word of God will not change. Take note of what Jeremiah wrote. “Thus says the LORD: ‘Stand in the ways and see, And ask for the old paths, where the good way is, And walk in it; Then you will find rest for your souls.’ But they said, ‘We will not walk in it’” (Jeremiah 6:16).
Some will even go so far as to minimize the Gospel as the power of salvation in favor of the technology, claiming that it is the draw to Christ. However, this is not what Paul wrote in Romans 1:16. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.”
The message of Jesus Christ must always be our focus. Technology can help us deliver the soul-saving message of God, but when it supersedes the Great Commission, it must be left behind. The Gospel of Christ takes a backseat to no visual display!