It may surprise you to know …

Supposing I were to ask you to list the types of people who will end up in Hell, I am quite sure that amongst the first ones mentioned would be liars, thieves, murderers, idolaters, adulterers, or some very similar terminology in some fairly similar order. (Btw, how often do you stop to consider Hell anyway?) Actually, there is a list in Revelation 21:8 of the various epithets of the people who will be cast into the lake of fire, and topping this list are “the fearful, and unbelieving … ”

Supposing I were to ask you “What has Jesus done to save you?” many of you would probably say “He died to save me” or “He paid the penalty for my sins” or words to that effect. In a sense, that is true, but the Bible actually says that Jesus’ death “reconciled us to God” and “much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” (Romans 5:10) His death made it possible for any of us to be saved, but the ‘much more’ of our salvation is His life – living in us!

Supposing I were to ask you “What is the reason for the hope you have?” (1 Peter 3:15) Are you ready, as the scripture says, to give me an answer, and to do so with meekness and fear, or gentleness and reverence as some versions have it? (Note the distinction between the holy reverential fear mentioned here, and the cowardly, scared ‘fearful’ in the passage from Revelation quoted in the first paragraph.) Well are you ready? Really ready? It is not always as easy as it sounds, to give the reason for the hope you have, and to do it with gentleness too!

This is my concern with the list in the first paragraph above. I may no longer be a liar, a thief, or by the grace of God any of the other things on that list, but there are times when I may be somewhat fearful, and it is all too easy at times to ‘unbelieve’. Exactly who these people in that list are, and exactly what they are fearful of and unbelieving about is not made clear, but I don’t want to take any chances. With Jesus living in me, and my life hid with Him, I have no need to fear anything. And as regards belief and unbelieving, then I’m going to believe. What am I going to believe? God’s Word. Nothing less will do, and anything contrary or opposed to that Word has to be false, a lie or deception. I am convinced that only when I truly and fully believe, only then will I be ready, really ready, to give an account, a reason for the hope I have, and be able to do it with meekness and fear.

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32