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Joined: 2007/4/3
Posts: 293

 Want Revival? Fear God.

This is an excerpt from the work "Great Gain is Godliness" by Thomas Watson. Want revival? Fear God.

"Use 2. Instruction. It is a Christian duty to fear God.

What strangers, then, are they to true religion—who are void of this holy fear! The godly fear—and sin not. The wicked sin—and fear not. They are like the Leviathan, who is "made without fear" (Job 41:33). Lack of the fear of God is the innate cause of all wickedness: "Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness, their feet are swift to shed blood" (Romans 3:14-15). Why was this? "There is no fear of God before their eyes!" (verse 18).

Abraham surmised that the men of Gerar would stick at no sin. Why so? "I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place" (Gen. 20:11). The judge in the Gospel is called an unjust judge (Luke 18:6); and no wonder, for he "had no fear of God" (verse 2). There must be an excess of sin, where there the fear of God is lacking to restrain it. The water must overflow, where there are no banks to keep it out. We live in a godless age; would men dare to sin at the rate they do—if the fear of God were ruling in their hearts? Would they dare to swear, be immoral, use false weights, bear false witness, hate purity, deride God, forge plots, persecute Christ's body—if they had the fear of God before their eyes? These men proclaim to the world that they are atheists; they do not believe in the immortality of the soul. They are worse than brutish—a beast fears the fire—but these fear not hell-fire! They are worse than devils, for the devils "believe and tremble" (James 2:19).

Use 3. Lamentation. Let us bewail the lack of the fear of God in our world. Why is it that so few fear God?

1. Men do not fear God—because they have not the knowledge of God. "They hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord" (Proverbs 1:29). Every sin is founded in ignorance of God. If only men knew God in his immense glory, they would be swallowed up with divine amazement. When the prophet Isaiah had a glimpse of God's glory, he was struck with holy consternation: "Woe to me! I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty!" (Isaiah 6:6). Ignorance of God, banishes the fear of God.

2. Men do not fear God—because they presume on his mercy. God is merciful, and they do not doubt of the virtue of this sovereign balm. But who is God's mercy for? "His mercy extends to those who fear him" (Luke 1:50). Such as do not fear God's justice—shall not taste his mercy.

Let this be "for a lamentation", that the fear of God is so vanished from our world. Why is it almost nowhere to be found? Some fear shame, others fear danger—but where is he who fears God?

And not only among the generality of people—but even among professing Christians, how few fear God in truth! Profession is often made a cloak to cover sin. Absalom palliated his treason with a religious vow (2 Samuel 15:7). The Pharisees made long prayer a cloak for oppression (Matt. 23:14). This is sordid—to carry on wicked designs—under a mask of piety. The snow covers many a dunghill. A snowy white profession covers many a foul heart! The sins of professors are more odious. Thistles are bad in a field—but worse in a garden. The sins of the wicked anger God—but the sins of professing Christians grieve him.

 2009/10/20 9:58Profile

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