For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences. (2 Corinthians 5:10-11)
Knowing The Terror Of God
There is such a thing as the terror of the Lord. It is denied by men because the view of God is only as a loving, compassionate, and forgiving God. These attributes are clearly taught in scripture but the wisdom of the carnal mind changes the God of scripture to a god that looks more like the totem of men which brings the Lord God to their level. In other words, a man will accept God as long as the Lord maintains commonality with the needs of man. Humanity doesn’t need to respect God as a higher being since God and man are equal. Nothing is further from the truth. There is so much about God that is defined by love and goodness. What man denies is the true nature of the Creator of the world who has determined the habitation of all men under the requirements of His law and His law alone. Disobedience or rejection of the commandments of God will bring about His wrath.
The terror of God is exactly what the word implies. Paul used the Greek ‘phobos’ from which the word “phobia” comes. The personification of fear is illustrated by the apostle to describe a side of God that must be respected. To disobey the will of God will bring a harsh judgment and terror. Denying this side of the Lord is an excuse men use to pretend they love God and yet continue to live according to their desires. It is remarkable how many so-called ‘religious’ people espouse a belief in God but live following the world. A person can drink, swear, sleep around, and even wear religious jewelry and with the same mouth praise Jesus and thank God. When the heart believes and accepts the terror of the Lord, they will be persuaded to change their lives.
Knowing the full nature of the Lord will demand respect for His word. The Bible is not written to comfort the deceived to believe they are okay but to instill in the fear of the Lord into hearts that do not live by the will of God. When a person disobeys the will of the Lord and they refuse to repent, the terror of the Lord will be what they face. A society without a law is a lawless society. If the lawbreakers are not punished, society becomes a reckless and lawless rabble of self-serving people seeking their demands and living the way they choose. Without consequence, there is no law. That is not the case with God. No man can change the will of the Lord and when the law establishes a certain thing as sinful and adjudicates a punishment to that sin, God’s law will not change. Sadly, most people will face the terror of the Lord because they have never obeyed His will.
Jesus taught the terror of the Lord. In the mountain sermon the Son of God said that most people will follow the broad way to destruction. The terror of the Lord is what destruction means. If God did not punish those who did not follow His will, why would Jesus suggest such a thing as destruction? From what? Jesus taught there was a place called eternal fire, hell, damnation, and perdition. If there is no such thing as the terror of God then Jesus would have to be labeled a liar. This is not a wise road to travel because the end of the road will be destruction.
The terror of God is exactly what it means: terror. This kind of fear is something no man has ever experienced. Many things are done to men that are horrific, unbelievably cruel, and bring about great fear. This is nothing compared to the terror of God that is real, large, and eternal. The best man can do is to torture another for a time and then death releases the pain. When the terror of God grips the heart of man, there is no end – literally. Whether the mind can grasp the meaning of eternity, the weeping and gnashing of teeth are symbolic of the terror of the Lord and it will never, never, never, never end. Ever. No end in sight. Unending. It would be one thing to endure perdition for a century and then be over. This is not the case of the terror of God. When a man touches the hem of the garment of God’s terror, he will cloak himself in every part of the wrath of God. Sin is lawlessness and lawlessness is disobeying the will of God. By the grace of God, a man can be saved from the wrath of God but it demands obedience. No obedience no peace. Know obedience know peace. Are you persuaded?