Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

What if?


Romans 3:18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”



I am meditating on a very solemn subject this week.  That subject has to do with the consequences of offending God.  Our society today is much like the Roman society that Paul was describing in this epistle.  Paul uses Old Testament references to describe the wickedness of his day.  He concludes that description with what seems to be the reason for all of this wickedness.  That reason is that there is no fear of God before their eyes.


What is the Fear of God?

Some say that the fear of God is just reverential trust and respect.  For those obedient to God that may be true; but for the disobedient, fear involves trembling and even terror.  Fear in the Bible and even in this chapter involves God’s righteous judgment.  Paul says in verses 5 and 6, “But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unjust who inflicts wrath? (I speak as a man.)  Certainly not! For then how will God judge the world?”  God’s judgment always concerned me and it should concern every one of us.  I am saved today from “the wrath to come (1 Thessalonians 1:10)” because I feared God.


I was raised with a healthy respect for authority.  As a result when God talked about His wrath, I assumed He meant wrath.  When he talked about a rich man lifting up his eyes in hell, being in torment, I believed that is exactly what happened to the rich man in Luke 16.  When he talked about a place where the worm dies not and the fire is not quenched, I assumed that there was a place like that for unbelievers in eternity.  When Revelation 20 refers to a Lake of Fire as the final destination of the person who wants to be judged by their works and who finds out their good works didn’t offset their bad ones, I believed that was a real place.   I certainly did not want to go there.


I still believe that one aspect of the fear of God is a healthy respect for His anger against those who reject Him and who worship other gods.  Many people criticize the preaching about God’s wrath.  They believe that we should only preach about the love of God.  However, I would not be preaching today if I didn’t believe in God’s wrath.  And because I believed in God’s wrath, I didn’t want to get on His bad side.  And I don’t want my friends and loved ones to get on His bad side either.


Warning is Demonstrating Love!

We don’t have a problem telling people that there are consequences for drinking and driving.  One of the consequences may be death and another may be bankruptcy if a policeman stops a person who is drunk.  The fines, penalties and insurance costs are enormous.  We don’t have a problem “scaring people” with the signs of cancer or diabetes or stroke because we believe that those warnings will ultimately save lives.  We actually believe we are showing love to those we are warning about those things.  I believe that we should view the warnings about the wrath of God in the same way.  We who preach the Gospel would be unloving if we didn’t warn our audiences that God is going to hold them accountable.   Sin is real, we cannot deny that.  We might call it by different names and we might try to justify it, but sin is sin.  Sin offends God.  Either we have our sin forgiven through faith in the death of Christ or there will be eternal wrath on those who reject God’s solution and God’s Son.  If I didn’t believe that, I wouldn’t be saved today.  If I didn’t believe that,  I wouldn’t be preaching today since if God does not hold us accountable, we don’t need to worry about life after death.  If I didn’t believe that. I wouldn’t be concerned about making sure that my preaching and worship of God is Scriptural.  We should be concerned about the consequences of our decisions, particularly when those consequences will affect us for eternity. 


The Questions that have to be Asked

I know many people will read this and say that God is not like this. And of course what they are really saying is that the Bible may contain truth but it isn’t always true.   If you should be one of those who say this, I have to ask you, “How do you know that you are right?”  If the Bible cannot be depended on, what can we depend on to know how God thinks? 


People, who say that they believe in the Living God of heaven today, have by and large rejected the full description of God as given in the Bible.  Many want to believe in the God of love Who gave His Son to save sinners, but they don’t want to think about His wrath and anger on those who reject Christ.  So again I ask, “If you have rejected the God who gets angry, what if your concept of God is wrong?”


Bruce Collins


Meditation for the week of June 14, 2015

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