It is natural for men to fear God and stand in awe of him. When Nineveh was confronted with their sin by Jonah, repentance swept through the great city. The vast power and splendor of God is declared daily by the wonder of creation. The psalmist speaks of how the power and wrath of God should naturally be feared by all of nations of earth:
Surely your wrath against men brings you praise,
and the survivors of your wrath are restrained.
Make vows to the Lord your God and fulfill them;
let all the neighboring lands bring gifts to the One to be feared.
He breaks the spirit of rulers;
he is feared by the kings of the earth.
Then there are times when men actively push back their fear of God’s power and wrath. Gratitude to God fades into unnatural rebellion and craving for pleasure. Romans teaches us that men will choose to live as if there is no God and worship the things God created while hating him for being the creator of life.
God’s response to this foolish thinking: to give people over to their pleasure cravings and lusts for power. When the fear of God departs man lives as if he is accountable only to himself.
This is the point where we have arrived at in western culture, and particularly America. The fear of God has departed from the pages of daily life. Churches fear for their survival and not the awesome character of God and his wrath that is sure to come.
Thus we live in a season of self-importance, self-reliance, and self-pleasure. God is mocked by laws, lifestyles, and personal liberties. His word is openly despised. At some point God will respond. We, as his church, have a choice to make. We can wait to see when God will choose to strike down the arrogance of culture as he did at Babel and Sodom. Or we can plead with God to make us salt and light in our culture. Mark Futato challenges us, “with the foresight of faith, we live out the present and fearlessly face the future.”
I fear that we have become a nation of Lots where we enjoy the benefits, the technologies, the momentary safety and pleasures of a bisexual culture that flaunts God’s commands and honors a moment of silence instead of bowing to the living God. The God who holds heaven and earth in his hands is viewed with hatred and contempt. Lot tasted and desired the benefits of Sodom year after year and ignored the ugliness of the sin that consumed his city. And then God swept the rebellion away and righteous Lot was left destitute, both of soul and of life.
The fear of God has departed the land where you live. What will you do?