Fear can be a good thing or it can be a bad state of affairs. Fear can keep us from making a foolish decision, but it can also prevent us from many blessings and joys in our lives. I was reminded of this when a friend was talking about her time working with children in Sunday school. The subject was Noah’s ark. She was teaching and after the lesson a young lady (about the time) asked her a question:
How come God didn’t open the ark when the other people where banging on the door?
My friend knew she could give this young precocious child a soft ball answer, so she told her the truth. If you know anything about the account, God was going to wipe out the entire creation because of the evil that was spreading. Noah, however, found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Then there came the prophecy of rain, the boat was made, and the whole world was flooded.
The answer given to the young lady was simple: “The people banging on the sealed door of the ark,” began my friend, “were not repentant, they were afraid.”
To which the child replied,
“Oh, so they were not sorry. They would have been bad anyway.”
This was a simple and true statement.
I’m not a judge of people motives. I am sinner saved by the grace of God, however, I have enough experience to know that some people, when circumstances are rough, run to God when before He was no more relevant to them than the dust in the air. They attend service regularly, learn the Christian lingo, and even become involved. The trouble begins to vanish and disappears over the horizon, and the apparent repentance turns out to be a farce. Just like the people knocking on the ark door, when trouble is near God is wanted; and when sunny days are here again….Who is God?
Fearful repentance has little to do with see one’s own wickedness before the Lord. It focuses on an emotion tie in one mind over a bump in the road until life smoothes out again.
True repentance must be a work of God. We cannot come to God on the terms of: “If you keep me of this or if you change this, I’ll serve You or I’ll come to church more.” These are fallacies which will only reap empty rewards. One must see their need for Jesus Christ, who is the only Savior of mankind.
Fear doesn’t bring us to Jesus. It may bring us to the bargaining table, but not to the Master’s Table. It is only when a human being by the revelation of the Holy Spirit, understands that they can do nothing to earn God favor; this is true repentance.