Are You Afraid Of God’s Word?
There are many reasons why people will not study God’s word today. Some are just too focused on the pursuit of physical things. Some are not interested in what it teaches. Some do not believe they can understand what it says. But, sometimes people just do not study God’s word because they are actually afraid of what it says. Yet, if this is the case for you, you must take notice of the fact that the “cowardly” are among those who will have “their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8). Now, consider whether you are afraid of God’s word.
1) Afraid of challenging your beliefs? You have operated your entire life considering certain things to be true. Perhaps you learned these things from your parents. Perhaps you learned them during your secular education. Regardless, you have based the decisions you have made on these things that you believe are true. And, perhaps you are afraid that studying the Bible will actually tell you that you have been wrong. For, all the Scriptures are inspired of God and “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). Sometimes people choose to remain ignorant of the truth because they are afraid it will challenge what they already believe.
2) Afraid of making changes? No matter who you are and how you have lived, the Bible requires you to make changes – since we have all sinned (Romans 3:23). Perhaps you know that God’s word teaches that you will be told to change some things about your life if you read God’s word. Yet, perhaps you do not desire to change or you are afraid of what God’s word will tell you to change. For, God’s word says that we must all repent and “be converted” for our sins to be “blotted out” (Acts 3:19). Sometimes people choose to remain ignorant of the truth because they are afraid it will challenge them to make changes that they do not want to make.
3) Afraid of the consequences? God’s word is a powerful book. Romans 1:16 says that it is the “power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.” Hebrews 4:12 says that “the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” So, while God’s word will require changes in some areas that you may be unwilling to make in your life, there also may be some completely life-changing consequences of listening to God’s word. Sometimes people are required to get out of their living conditions. Sometimes people are required to change the church they attend. All people in sin must reprioritize their lives. So, sometimes people choose to remain ignorant of the truth because they are afraid of the consequences of following Christ.
4) Afraid of committing to Christ? The purpose of studying God’s word is to develop the kind of faith in Christ that will cause you to commit your life to Him. But, some people are afraid of committing to Christ. Sometimes this is because of the changes that they must make. Then, there are others who are afraid of committing to Christ because they know that there will be some persecution and ridicule they will have to endure. For, 2 Timothy 3:12 says, “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” Sometimes people are ashamed of the gospel of Christ and having any association with it because they do not want to lose their friends or family members. So, sometimes people choose to remain ignorant of the truth because they are afraid of what other people will think of and do to them if they read the Bible and commit to following Jesus.
Are you afraid of God’s word? There are many reasons people may be afraid of God’s word. But, you must recognize that none of these fears should be greater than your fear of disobeying God and spending eternity in Hell! Jesus said, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).