The Expository Files.

 No Fear!

Mantras of the 90's -- #10
Special Series  

There is a popular slogan currently in use by our young people today and I did a little research; I found out, this motto or slogan originated in the culture of southern California, among those involved in skate boarding and roller blading.

You see this slogan on clothing; hats; on the back of pick-up trucks:  

No Fear! 

I am disturbed by the implication of these words. There seems to be an attitude that encourages a dangerous life, with all the alleged adventure of risk-taking and walking just on the edge near danger. And indeed, there are some young people who seem to have No Fear! No fear of their parents, or other authorities .... no fear when it comes to the use of drugs and alcohol and tobacco .... no fear regarding the dangers of sexual promiscuity.

And, no fear of the consequences of wrong behavior. No Fear! Now I will say: this is a Biblical expression; the popular slogan, "no fear" is in the Bible.

In Psalms 36:1 - David had an " within [his] heart concerning the transgression of the wicked: There is no fear of God before [their] eyes." Paul quoted this in Romans 3:18, and you know what Paul is doing in Romans three? The third chapter of Romans is part of Paul's argument that all men need the gospel!

Paul describes the behaviors, the attitudes and the life style which argues that men need the gospel. Paul is saying, "Sin is man's problem," and it is in that context that he cites David's statement: "there is no fear of God before their eyes." So - - in the modern culture of youth, "no fear" may be cool - - but in the Word of God, having no fear isn't cool!

Regardless of your age, your culture or what's cool, there are some things that are dangerous, and there are some things we need to be serious about. One thing we all need to be serious about is the wrath of God! When God says, "If you sin, and refuse to repent, I will deal with you," that's a fearful thing indeed! (Heb. 10:31)

The Greek word, converted into English, is PHOBEROS -- and it has to do with the terror of anticipated punishment!

My father believed in what is now called "corporal punishment." He was not abusive; he used it on appropriate occasions; and he always accompanied the punishment with lenghtly explanations and expectations. But he believed in "corporal punishment." Do you know what the worst part of it was? The anticipation; waiting for it. Five minutes seemed like five hours, when you were headed for the "lick log." And that's the idea in this word "fearful" as used in this context of Hebrews 10 - the terror of anticipated punishment!

Look here, in Heb. 10:26,27 and you'll see it: "For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries." No Fear?

When I think about not doing what God commands, or, doing what God has forbidden and not repenting; then facing him in judgment someday, unprepared... .

That's a fearful thing. When I stop and consider my responsibility as a gospel preacher; a father ... a husband ... a member of this local church .. When I think about the opportunities I ought to respond to ... the people I can help ... the attitudes I ought to have ... and all of the other involvements of discipleship ...

And then picture the judgment scene -- unprepared... standing before God... .

That's a fearful thing - - and that expectation and those thoughts should cause me to be ever careful about everything God has said - about how I should live. This is a fearful thing - contemplating the eventual consequences of willful sin.

By Warren E. Berkley  
From Expository Files 4.10; October 1997