Secondly, there is the fear of the Lord, which is a good fear. It is what I would refer to as a holy reverence. It is referred to over and over in the Bible. Some examples are Proverbs 16:6 which says, “by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.” Psalm 112:1 shows us it is a good fear to have, “Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in His commandments.”
In Philippians 2:12, it tells us to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” This again is good fear, taking your eternal destiny very seriously, fearing what will happen if you don’t have salvation. Many people come to know Christ because of this kind of fear. If you notice people who don’t think about what happens after death, they have no fear of where they will spend eternity. You may have heard people laugh and talk about having a beer with their friends in hell. They appear to have no fear of hell. This lack of fear is harmful. If people are not afraid of what will happen to their souls for eternity, they obviously do not feel the need for a Saviour.
The only times God tells people to actually be afraid is when their souls are in danger (Matthew 10:28b, “But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”) (Luke 12:5, “But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him!”).
I want to emphasize that it is not enough to just believe that Jesus is God. Have you ever thought about the fact that Satan believes there is a God, and that Satan believes Jesus is the Son of God? James 2:19 says, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”
If this perplexes you, just think of what the difference is between a true Christian and the demons that believe. Okay, the first step is believing. But to become a true Christian, you have to admit you have sinned, done things that were against God. The Bible clearly states that every one of us is a sinner. (Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”; Romans 3:10, “As it is written, there is none righteous, no not one.”) Heaven is perfect, and everything in it is perfect. God cannot accept anything into Heaven that is not perfect. So that pretty much leaves the demons as well as sinners out. But even though they believe Jesus is God, the one thing Satan and his demons will never do is totally submit themselves to God through Jesus Christ. You see, His blood from dying on the cross has paid the price for all of our sins and makes us pure and acceptable before God to be with Him in Heaven for eternity if we submit to Him. Romans chapter 5 explains it quite well, especially verses 8 through 10: “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”
Romans 10:9 and 10 sums up what is needed to become a Christian: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
So you can see what the difference is between just believing and becoming a Christian. A lot of people believe, but until they cry out and confess to God that they are sinners and are truly sorry for their sins, asking His forgiveness through Jesus’ death on the cross, they will not be permitted to enter Heaven. Many people are being fooled by thinking that they are good enough for Heaven, that their good outweighs the bad, or that because they go to church or teach Sunday school that God will accept them into Heaven. You could be a pastor or give your whole life to help the poor and starving and still not get there! It has to be a true change of heart and a total submission to Christ, relying on Him to bridge the gap between you and the Father. If you think you have misery on this earth because of your chronic illness or pain, it does not even compare to what eternity in hell would be like. So if you have never truly repented to God and asked Jesus to be your Lord and Saviour, I urge you to do so before it is too late.