In my last post, I talked about God's love. Someone questioned how such a Loving God could create Hell. It does seem like a place of torture would be contrary to love, however, it proves God's love.
God did not create Hell for people--it was created for Satan and his angels. It was to be a holding place for all evil--because evil hurts and breaks. Sin brings death. If God let sin remain unpunished, there would be no hope for wholeness and healing. God created man perfect--but gave him free will. Using this power of choice, man chose sin. Sin created a separation between a Holy God and a fallen man. This is where love enters. Even though man chose to turn away from God, God still chose to reach out to man. Jesus Christ gave his life for ours--taking the entire punishment for sin upon himself by going to the cross. If anyone goes to Hell, it will be a personal choice. God is not willing that any should perish--but He does not force us to accept His plan of escape.
Romans 5:8 "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
The title, "No Fear", may have been a misnomer. A better title would have been "Freed from Frantic Fear".
Proverbs 1:7 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction."
The fear mentioned in this verse speaks of a reverence for God. This is a good and necessary fear. The fear I mentioned from I John 4:18 is defined as terror or a phobia and most of us have been there.
Fear is a self preservation emotion. It allows us to realize that something is terribly wrong and needs to be fixed. The fear of the Lord is when we realize His holiness and our sinfulness. Our sin problem needs to be fixed. God is the judge--this means He has the power to sentence or pardon. When our fear causes us to call on Him and ask for His pardon, He gives it--freely. Once fear is replaced by faith in the Cross of Christ, we can go forward to grow in love. What once was broken is now whole. His Perfect love brings acceptance and forgiveness. The terror of eternal punishment is gone--"Fear not!"
For some this is more difficult than others--situations in life have given them legitimate reasons to fear and releasing it through faith seems too dangerous and impossible. These thoughts are not meant to trivialize this pain in any way. God loves you and He specializes in the impossible. He has infinite understanding of each person's situation. Every baby step of faith on our part is met by a giant leap of love on His.
I hope this explanation is helpful--I am still learning! There is much about God and how He works that I do not understand. I just accept it by faith. This blog is not intended to be a forum for debate or even a soapbox--it is more like my spiritual diary into which others can take a peek.