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October - December 2011 Fall Series At Jackson Drive.
"MIRACLES OF JESUS"
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September 11, 2011
The emotion of terroris nothing new to most people. Terror is from a Latin word that means “frighten.” In current usage, the meaning is generally thought of as fear and trembling to the extreme. There are many things which generate terror.
Terror can be man-made. It is an inescapable truth that terror is used by man in an attempt to bend others to his political or social will. Also inescapable is the fact that Sunday, September 11, 2011 is the tenth anniversary of an act of terror perpetrated by those who wished to intimidate countries of the world, especially the United States. Many lives were taken—from the lives of the elderly to the young, even infants. That is one of the most potent aspects of terror—it knows no respect of persons. This type of terror also takes place on a smaller scale everyday through gangs, other criminal enterprises, and by individual actions.
All terror is not man-made. For instance, most people in this geographic area are fearful of extreme weather. A few months ago this state experienced and almost unprecedented wave of intensely destructive tornadoes that have given rise to an even greater fear of extreme weather. There are also fears of volcanoes, earthquakes, and many other forces in nature. Where did nature come from? God. “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands” (Psalm 19:1). God is revealed in nature. As you find God in the realm of nature, you will find goodness and kindness in many things such as the flowers, the rain, the sunshine, the seedtime, and the harvest: “… He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:45). Given that terror is also seen in nature, it is well to remember that in nature God is no respecter of persons. Let a hardened criminal or an innocent child violate a law of nature, and see the same results with both.
Some prefer not to think of God in relation to nature, or even to think of God at all, but He has not just revealed Himself in nature—God is also revealed in His word. The Bible begins with Him, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1) and it ends with him, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.” (Revelation 22:20-21). His goodness and mercy is seen everywhere in the Bible. Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, and a host of others illustrate this. The climax of his goodness is seen in Christ the Savior of the world. The terror of the Lord is also seen in the Bible. Remember what happened with Adam and Eve? They experienced the fear of God caused by sin—they even tried to hide from Him. Think about the terror that must have filled Noah’s neighbors as they experienced the drowning judgment of God because of their sin. All should remember Pharaoh and the Egyptians fear as they suffered through the plagues brought about by their opposition to God. The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah experienced terror, as did individuals like Achan (Joshua 7:20‑26). Page after page in Scripture shows this.
God still is to be feared and we should take heed. Remember, “‘VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,’ says the Lord” (Romans 12:19). God reminds all of this in a most terrifying way: “… the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power” (2Thessalonians 1:7-9). Please note that, as in nature, so it is in the Bible. God is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). He will accept all who come to him on his terms. He will reject any who will not.
The terror of the Lord is real. Often men fail to recognize this. It is possible to take too much for granted and overestimate the goodness of God. God hates a number of things. “There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers.” (Proverbs 6:16-19). Simply put, God hates sin and will have no part of it. While one relies upon the goodness of God, let him remember that God’s wrath and vengeance has been poured out many times and will be poured out once more. “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10:31).
People of God understand that God is just. This means that God keeps His promises, even those that involve condemnation in view of the judgment: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” (2Corinthians 5:10). We know the terror of the Lord and so persuade men. “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men …” (2Corinthians 5:11, KJV). This was the apostle’s intent, and should be the intent of every Christian.
We remain faithful in our deeds and we persuade men that we may be accepted of him, “Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.” (2Corinthians 5:9). Remember on that day that judgement is pronounced, there will be two groups (Matthew 25:31-46), one of which will experience ultimate and eternal terror. “These will go away into eternal punishment.” What do you think of the terror of the Lord?
—S. Scott Richardson Sr.