The Fear Factor

Thursday, Dec. 17                                                      

“God’s love, kindness, forgiveness is what leads us to repentance, not judgment.”  I don’t fully agree with this.  For me, it was the fear of judgment that got to my heart.  But no doubt God’s love, kindness and forgiveness was involved, too.  Along with the reality of a future judgment is God’s offer of redemption.  That is clearly grace, and involves His love, kindness, and forgiveness.  So maybe I’m being picky here.  Not only are all these divine traits involved, but God is the author of repentance.  Election cannot be dismissed by the concept of foreknowledge.  God chose me before the foundation of the world, long before I was conceived.  A full understanding of election is beyond me, but the Bible teaches it and I accept it.  The awesome part of it is that He chose ME.  There was no apparent reason for that, just that God is free to do whatever He pleases.  My salvation certainly is not because of any merit on my part.  All I can do is praise and exalt Him for it.  Besides all this, the Bible is loaded with pronouncements of judgment.  There is no way one can doubt that the intent was to motivate people to avoid judgment by yielding to God.  God can and does woo us to Himself by our knowledge of grace, love, and mercy.  He paid the price.  It’s a gift, but we have to accept it before it’s a “done deal.”  And the fear of judgment is at least one way of motivating us to receive it.  It worked for me.

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