Originally published on BibleJournal.net
Today’s reading: Genesis 50; Luke 3; Job 16–17; 1 Corinthians 4
One of my fundamental understandings of God comes from Hebrews 12:29
For our God is a consuming fire. -Hebrews 12:29
From today’s reading we get another glimpse of this truth from John the Baptist
John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable. – Luke 3:16-17
From this we start to understand a sense of finality in two states by way of one process. Just a few verses earlier:
And all flesh shall see the salvation of God – Luke 3:6
From God’s Word it is my understanding that God will baptize. We choose; by Holy Ghost or by fire. Frightening, is it not? Do you believe?
My hope and joy is to be in God’s presence with Jesus. My fear and trembling is to be in God’s presence without Jesus. I choose the Holy Ghost. Praise God that He is a giver of good gifts to the undeserving!
I have meet people who have ‘grown up in the church’ and proclaim now to be atheists. On one occasion during discussion with such a fellow, I thought to myself “He does not know God. The things he says of God are not true. Let me proclaim His name.” Seems like an obvious realization; atheist doesn’t know God, right, let me explain. It became clear to me that although he had, as he put it, “grown up in the church”, (perhaps meaning their family attended church) he had a view of God something of the sort of Santa Claus. A great being with all the stuff. When I told him of my joy and trembling of meeting God one day, he did not understand. When I told him who God was, a consuming fire with no tolerance for sin; and of our need for Jesus, he said “That’s in the bible? I’ve never heard that.”
Among many other things in Proverbs, we learn that the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom and that wisdom will save us from all sorts of trouble, even from death. It is a great tragedy that some are deceived into thinking they know God but do not receive the fear of the LORD. May we all get to know our God and be saved.
In the classic Christian tale, Pilgrim’s Progress, Hope and Christian, two of the main characters, are talking of the Fear of the LORD on their pilgrimage to the Celestial City:
Hope: How will you describe right fear?
Christian: True, or right fear, is discovered by three things:
- By its rise. It is caused by saving convictions for sin.
- It drives the soul to lay fast hold of Christ for salvation.
- It begets and continues in the soul a great reverence of God, His Word, and ways; keeping it tender, and making it afraid to turn from them, to the right hand or to the left; to anything that may dishonour God, break its peace, grieve the Spirit, or cause the enemy to speak reproachfully.