“There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (ESV)
Should we be terrified of God? There are many who think that God is only a God of love and not to be feared at all. Is God a God of judgment? The Apostle Paul is going to bring us some perspective on how how we should approach God. This verse is a quote from the Old Testament and is a statement on the overall condition of humankind in every generation.
First of all, we are going to need to define the word "fear." This idea of fear is not necessarily terror, but rather it is a healthy sense of awe of God's greatness. It is astounding how man can look at God, and see all that he has made, and not be overwhelmed by a sense of awe at his greatness. I think of how man has come up with a theory of evolution primarily to excuse their ignoring of God.
As a result of ignoring God's greatness and refusing to give him the glory that he deserves there is another aspect of fear that man should have. Man should indeed be terrified! God will bring swift, fierce, and eternal judgment to every man who has rejected his offer of salvation in the gift of Jesus Christ, his Son.
We now see that there are two understandings of this phrase "fear of God." There is a healthy sense of awe and respect for God. There is the terror of God. For those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ and had their sins forgiven we have a healthy sense of awe and respect. For those who have rejected the Savior there will be a coming terror that God will bring eternal judgment to them.
God is a great God. He is to be feared. He is deserving of awe and respect. Man must be encouraged to place his faith in Jesus Christ in order to avoid the terror of God.