The Clean Fear
概要: A long discussion of God's standards, temptation and the difference between the fears that Satan and sin bring and the proper fear to displease God, which is compared to the difference between death and life. Written for Africa. Would need to be changed for other areas.
|主题:||Evil Spirits, demons; Witchcraft, paganism; Fear; Church, Christianity; Obedience; Deliverance; Word of God (the Bible); Salvation; Faith, trust, believe in Jesus; Light/Darkness; Sin, disobedience; Heart, soul of man; Taboos, forbidden activities; Family, relationships; Christian values|
|类型/流派:||Messages and Fiction|
1. Good morning. (Morning greetings between an old man and a youth). What lies on your chest today, son?
2. Oh, nothing, grandfather.
1. But do you have no work? Are you idle?
2. Yes, today I will just do as I please. I am happy to sit here and talk.
1. Well, sit down, son, and we shall talk. I have no knees for work, because I am old. But I would warn you against laziness and idleness. They are words that lead into places of revelling, drinking, and all kinds of wickedness. Some of it is old sin, some of it is new - but it all reaps a harvest for death and hell. Be careful, son.
2. You have words for me, grandfather? My heart hungers to eat them.
1. That is good. Age has much wisdom to give to youths and youth has much strength to give to age. But both age and youth would sit in darkness except for this book, my son.
2. Oh, your Bible, grandfather. I also have a Bible, and have learned many verses in it. Next Sunday is to be the day of my baptism, you know.
1. That is good, but only the _beginning_, son, for the road you take, if it leads to heaven, is not an easy path. You will meet many attractive bypaths set for you with new signs; and the words on them, by contrast, will make the heaven-road seem bitter and hard. You will _never_ choose the right way unless-
2. Unless what, grandfather?
1. Unless you are _truly_ His. If you know Jesus only in your head, and not in your soul, you are not His. He is not deceived - not a little bit. He knows those that are His.
2. But, grandfather, I have passed all the .....
1. No matter, son. He doesn't judge from empty, outside things. He _knows_. He _knows_ your heart and soul. And you will not continue on the true Heaven-road unless . . .
2. Unless what, grandfather?
1. Unless the great, clean, everlasting Fear holds you.
2. Fear? Fear is bad bitterness, isn't it? Fear of Satan, fear of the dead, fear of evil spirits, fear of sorcery, fear of the evil eye-these are things of Satan. The Lord Jesus, our Saviour, has banished all these chains of darkness.
1. True, son. And I well remember those black days when I was a little boy, and our village wailed for many days at the time of my father's death. It was dreadful, that wailing. (Pause for wailing, 3 sec.) And I learned then some of the Satan-wisdom that made the fear of death grow in my heart. It was a bitterness to eat. The bitterness surpassing all. It was the fear that forced us to--(List tribal taboos appropriate here).
2. I have all my teeth, grandfather. And no harm has come. I have no fear of this old wisdom. But what is that clean fear you speak of?
1. I will tell you, in continuing my story. One day, about a month after my father's burial, we heard the sound of a new drumbeat. (Pause 5 sec. for church drums). What is it? What is it? Many were asking. (Use several voices for this question). I followed the drumming and found in a certain village my first teacher of the Gospel.
2. Was it this teacher, grandfather, who taught you to read?
1. Yes, that is right. And after a while the book of God was given to us in our own language. The words of this book brought light, even to my people sitting in the shadow of death.
2. What about the bitterness of fear, grandfather? Did it vanish?
1. With the receiving of the teaching of God's book, I also renounced all the affairs of witchcraft. Placing myself in the hands of Jesus Christ, I refused to worship Satan any more. My fear of death, and the Satan-words about it, was swallowed up in a far greater Fear . . . a clean Fear. . . A Fear leading into light, and away from darkness.
2. You make me hungry to know it, grandfather. Do I know it?
1. My son, if you are really the Lord's, you must know it. It is the great word that first took you to the only door into salvation.
2. I am listening eagerly, grandfather.
1. When I first heard the message of the true God, my son, I learned a word of great terror. It was not a Satan-word about death, or of the anger of spirits; but it was that true word about hell, the place of punishment for sin. Sin, I found, was not displeasing the spirits, but it was the breaking of God's good law, disobeying His Word; sitting down in the pleasures of our own hearts and following our own thoughts. When I learned the terror of God's holiness, and the wickedness of sin, and the certainty of eternal punishment, a great fear grew in my heart, a fear surpassing all others, and consuming all others. But it was a clean Fear that brought me to see why God sent His Son to die on the cross, and rise again. In this way only could our sins be cleansed and our souls delivered from the evil one whom our fathers feared,.
2. Grandfather, is this new Fear a bitterness that eats your heart?
1. Oh, no, son. It is not a bitterness. It is a hunger that makes God's Word sweet to obey. It is not a thing of death, but of life. It is not to cowardliness but to courage. It is a strength to hate evil and love good; to refuse temptation, to flee from sin. It is a power within me to scorn the dark wisdom of Satan, and love increasingly every word of light that comes from God. The Bible says, "The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever." "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil."
2. I begin to understand, grandfather. I fear now to deceive myself, because I can see that I cannot deceive Him. He knows me altogether. I am not worthy to be baptized next Sunday. I am just a weak person. But I want to put my life into the hands of Jesus Christ. Will He receive such as I?
1. Son, I give you this word from God's book. Hear it carefully. "But to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit and trembleth at my Word."
References: Psa. 19:9; Prov. 8:13; Isa. 66:2