by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

Text: Lamentations 3:39-66

 

I.         It started out as an observation in Bible class: “Temptation comes because fear is removed.”

            A.        How true that is!

            B.        God had warned that death would come if the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was eaten - Genesis 2:16-17

                        1.         But Satan argued that it wouldn’t happen - Genesis 3:4

                        2.         And then the temptations hit

            C.        When did David get into problems?

                        1.         It was when he was king, sheltered in Jerusalem.

                        2.         Kings can do as they please and not fear the consequences.

            D.        Jesus was tempted in a wilderness – a lonely place where no one would see you

II.        Fear is a restraint

            A.        Why have breaks on cars?

                        1.         They just slow you down!

                        2.         You can save gas with the less weight!

                        3.         The maintenance costs would go down!

                        4.         Sounds good until you need to stop and you can’t

            B.        The Greek society lost its fear of the true God

                        1.         People ought to be scared of who God is - Romans 1:18

                        2.         But the Greeks discarded their knowledge of God - Romans 1:21-23

                        3.         The result was sexual sins - Romans 1:24-25

                        4.         Homosexuality - Romans 1:26-27

                        5.         Moral chaos - Romans 1:28-32

            C.        Sexual sins used to be restrained by a fear of pregnancy or disease

                        1.         Condoms and birth control pills took away those fears

                        2.         There was a fear of abortions because people died, but now they are common place and easy to get

                        3.         Fornication is rampant

            D.        When HIV broke out, it was quick to report that it wasn’t just a homosexual disease, though it was far higher in the homosexual adherents.

            E.        There was a huge societal stigma against those divorced

                        1.         No fault divorces removed the need to prove the other person sinned

                        2.         The reasons for your problems are no longer on record for the public to see

                        3.         Now you can get a divorce for any reason and it seems many people you know are divorced.

                        4.         Fewer people work out marital problems. Instead, the end their marriages

            F.        When attacks have been made on this country, and it is noted that far more are believers in Islam than you would expect, it is quieted down.

            G.        Marijuana was classified as a dangerous drug back into the 1800s because it was known that users developed schizophrenia at greater rates than other people.

                        1.         People instead are told how it is not that bad of a drug

III.       The conclusion of the matter is that we must fear God - Ecclesiastes 12:13

            A.        We need to fear God who can destroy us in Hell - Matthew 10:28

                        1.         By the way, ever wonder why people wish to argue that there is no Hell?

                        2.         We should fear not making it to heaven - Hebrews 4:1

            B.        We should fear leaving the truth - Hebrews 10:27-31

                        1.         It has even been legalized in states and while problems rise, people deny that there are any problems.

            C.        What motivated Noah to build the ark?

                        1.         It was his faith, but it was also his fear (some versions say “reverence”) - Hebrews 11:7

            D.        We perfect holiness in the fear of God - II Corinthians 7:1

                        1.         Work out your salvation in fear and trembling - Philippians 2:12

                        2.         The fear of God is to hate evil - Proverbs 8:13

                        3.         And we are back to why Satan wishes to remove our fear of sinning.

IV.      Misplaced fear can stop us from doing what is right

            A.        Fear of people - Matthew 10:28-33

            B.        Fear of surprises - Proverbs 3:25-26

            C.        Fear of suffering - Revelation 2:10

V.        There is no need to fear the future with God at your side - Lamentations 3:55-58

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