Men don’t like this God, men don’t like this Word. Because it scares them, and it ought to. Don’t you want to be able to wake up in a morning and face life with a sense of the love of Christ, that is so overwhelming, and so compelling and so moving in you, and fills you with such excitement and faith and trust and joy and fear and sometimes dread of even defiling that relationship. But you feel a compulsion to do right and to be right and to be holy, and to be blameless in your family in your work, in your church, in your life, brethren don’t you want that?
Don’t you want to feel the power of the cross, the power of resurrection, surging inside of you in a way that is real, it is tangible, it is experiential, you know it! It’s not a mystery! It’s not something that you try to force yourself to feel. You see it in other people, or you hear it in the Word, so you try to convince yourself that it is true, when all the time you know it’s not. All the time you know what’s really driving you is passions for this world, passions for these things. Don’t you really want to know that, don’t you want to know those movings, those sensations of love, that grip you, and grasp you, hold you, and compel you, and move you? Don’t you want that? Does anyone here just want a lifeless, dead, useless religion? God forbid brethren, be done with that.
Brethren I am afraid, I am afraid that our lives, among some, they tend to be sloppy, because we don’t have this. We are casual with the Word of God. We’ve got so many bibles in this country. Most of us have multiple versions, got it on our computers got it on our bookshelves, got it on our coffee tables. Have we forgotten what we hold in our hands. Maybe we would be better off in a day when there was only one bible in a church. It might give us a sense that when that book was opened it was special.
There have been days, my brothers and sisters, when men and women have shook before this book. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord we persuade men! To some of your minds you think, Yes, we persuade lost men. That’s not where Paul is going here, Paul is not saying Oh ya the case of lost men is so fearful, that we need to persuade them to come to Christ. We should do that. That is not what he is saying there. He is talking to Christians, and do you know what he says to them? He says, Dear Christian brothers and sisters, make it your aim to please the Lord! Why? Because we are all going to have to stand before the judgment seat of Christ and give an account! And you will be judged by that Word. You just going to flippantly throw it over there? When Paul says Look, look, it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God if you’re lost outside here. But he is coming to the Christians and saying look, make it the aim of your life to please the Lord because you will stand before the judgment seat of Christ! “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord.” He is not talking about the terror of the Lord that will be experienced by the lost.
He is saying Man, woman. You that profess to be children of God, do you not know that no matter if your sins be forgiven or not, that to go before Christ on that day is an awful thing!? Everyone of your works will be examined! You will come before those eyes, and before the God who gave you a standard to live by! And you will be judged. Yes brethren there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ. But Paul does not back off because he says that to the Romans, back off from telling the Corinthians that there is terror, that there is fear. Brethren, work out your salvation with fear and trembling. Why!? Brethren, you should fear! You should tremble lest you walk away from God! Lest you walk away from His Word!
Where they realize what God wants them to do and they just kinda flippantly say, well, I know but, He’ll understand, He’s forgiving. We should tremble lest we walk away from God. You should tremble if you feel any inclination to leave this God, leave His Word, walk away from His truth, because if you walk away there is a certainty of destruction, there is certainty! It is a fearful thing.