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But Doesn't God Scare Us into Obeying Him?


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Fear is a powerful motivator of good behavior—that’s what makes threats so attractive: they work! But it never produces godliness. At best, fear restrains evil but it is powerless to generate heartfelt, loving obedience. In this audio talk, Bill Smith examines why the Bible seems to suggest that sometimes God tries to scare people into obeying him. Smith begins by discussing the apparent contradiction between “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” and the later reminder that “perfect love casts out fear.” He addresses two common mistakes in interpreting passages dealing with fear. Smith covers other biblical passages often misunderstood, and concludes with the features of godly fear.