There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18)
If we really examine our hearts most Christians accepted God through fear of hell instead of faith in Him. We were convinced by well-meaning church leaders that going to heaven after we
die would be better than burning in hell. Of course most of us weren’t too concerned yet because death seemed far in the future. For most of us salvation was an insurance policy which guaranteed we would not burn for eternity after we die.
At the time I believed if I could remain “good” enough until I die, God would welcome me. Unfortunately I could not remain good for the rest of the day much less until I died.
It is sad but we are born into this system which tells us that God is meaningless until after we are dead. We live our whole lives trying to avoid death all the while
believing that this is God’s only reward for us. Jesus came to bring us life and to save us from death. The bible tells us this over and over. God tells us we are to have abundant life, not abundance after we die. Many of us will
read this and think “That only makes sense.” But ultimately believe that “good old Uncle Harry” who died must be dancing on streets of gold because he seemed to be good.
Jesus said, “Why do you call me good?” “No one is good—except God alone. There is none good but my Father.” No one can be good enough so our efforts to be good turn into efforts to look good.
Religion is based on fear. The age we are living in keeps
us in fear that we will never measure up, so we keep putting God off into our future. God’s system is built on grace. He has promised us that He is always with us, and that He alone can bring us the life we must have to dwell without fear.
In other words it is our love for God that keeps us alive and free.
Until we are willing to let
go of our old selfish fear and become dead to that old nature, we will continue to live a hell on earth which is fear.
God help us to change the way we have always thought based on fear, and give us grace (divine empowerment) to walk in love! Amen.