Fear of God. A Key to Growth?

judgmentDr. Dale Meyer, President of Concordia Seminary (St. Louis) observes that he doesn’t hear “the fear of God talked about much in the church.”  He then states, “I suspect that’s why mainline American denominations are not growing.”

Dr. Meyer writes,

There are many temptations the devil uses to make Americans indifferent to the fear and love of God. Let me identify three that ‘the old evil foe’ uses to our harm.  The first is what I’ve already been talking about, indifference to the coming judgment, and therefore, no fear and love of our God and Savior. When we are indifferent or only give lip service to judgment, the result is that Jesus and the gospel are confined to the past.  … Now to be sure, what Jesus did during his visible ministry is the source and essence of our salvation, but if we only talk about it as a first-century event, we end up being curators of a museum instead of proclaimers of something awesome now and for eternity. Do you think it’s possible that people may not becoming to our churches because they don’t like going to museums? I do know people who like to go to museums but most of them don’t go every week.  The devil doesn’t mind us saying that Jesus died for our sins so long as we leave it in the past, in the museum, and are indifferent to his return in judgment.  That’s  the devil’s first way of weakening the church.

Source: Concordia Journal, Fall 2015, page 287.

Next Monday: We will highlight the other two temptations the devil uses to make Americans indifferent to the fear and love of God.

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