It is written in the gospel of Luke 23: 39-41: “And one of the hanged criminals blasphemed him saying If you are the Christ, save yourself and us. But answering, the other rebuked him saying Do you not fear God? For we are under the same sentence and justly so, for we are receiving what is due for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.” The account of the two criminals crucified with Yeshua is familiar to us because of the result..the criminal who rebuked the other confesses his sins, accepts Christ as the son of God and is assured of salvation by Jesus himself. This article intends to focus on the question: Do you not fear God?
Over the past few months we have seen in this area two seemingly senseless killings, involving an older man out to buy some late night groceries and a younger business owner shot during a botched robbery. One thing is glaringly apparent...neither of these suspects had any fear of God. Since 1973 when liberal supreme court justices saw something in the constitution that is not there, thousands of women have had no fear of God, even equating themselves with him in determining when to end life. The physicians who took an oath to first, do no harm and who receive their skill from Almighty God, willingly sell that talent because they fear a loss of lifestyle, prestige and business, but they don't fear God. Children are easily influenced by the putrid slime pouring out of the so called entertainment industry and imitate the misbehavior they see. They disrespect each other, openly defy their parents, bus drivers, monitors, teachers, and the law because there is no fear of God, the ultimate authority.
Deuteronomy 6:2 states: “That you may fear Jehovah your God to keep all his statutes and commandments.” Solomon ends Ecclesiastes with these words: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter, fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” Paul writes in Romans 1:21-22 “Because knowing God they did not glorify him as God, neither were thankful, but they became vain in their imaginations and their foolish hearts were darkened. And professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” This is what awaits those who do not fear God, not because of his awesome power, not because of his wrath at our misdeeds, but because of his righteousness. Like a loving parent or grandparent, fear of the Lord leads to respect for the Lord and respect for the Lord leads to love of the Lord.
Perhaps we should reflect upon the wise words of a long ago criminal who when facing certain, deserved capital punishment, was hung from a cross next to the only begotten son of God who took on human form to bear our sins to the grave. “Do you not fear God?” “For we are under the same sentence and rightfully so, for we are receiving what is due for our deeds.” Let us in love fear God and ask for his forgiveness and mercy. Then one day we will hear him say: “Today, you will be with me in paradise.”