Should Christians Fear God? A Bible Study

by Derek Hill · Print Print · Email Email

Fear is a word that most people associate with terror and anxiety. Does God want us to fear Him? Does He want us to fear Him like a tyrant? Or, does He want a healthy fear of Him, as you would have in a serious situation? My friends, your standing with Jesus Christ is the most serious situation you will ever come across! Let’s look at how we can have a healthy fear of God from His Holy Word! Unless stated, all scripture is from the ESV.

The Benefits of Fearing God

There are many benefits to fearing God. Here are some verses from the Bible to explain these benefits.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” (Proverbs 1:7a) True knowledge is revealed when you have a healthy fear of God. Worldly knowledge is useless in terms of eternity, for all worldly things will pass away. Real knowledge is found in God and His precepts.

“Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of Him may be before you, that you may not sin.” (Exodus 20:20) When you understand how serious sin is to God and how He finds it wretched, filthy, abominable, self-serving, and evil, then you naturally gravitate to fearing Him because sinning is the last thing you should want to do. When you understand that God could think you out of existence, this healthy fear will motivate you to not sin and pursue righteousness instead.

“Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you.” (Psalm 31:19a) God wants to bless you and give you good things. This verse promises His blessings when you fear Him, and indeed you will be! This is not to say that you won’t experience trials and tribulations anymore. You will, but God will still show you His blessings.

“As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear Him.” (Psalm 103:13) The Lord’s compassion for us is a gift and we cannot earn it. He chooses to be compassionate to those who fear Him. This compassion of course goes hand in hand with forgiveness. God is moved to forgive those who fear Him.

The Consequences of Not Fearing God

There are also many consequences to not fearing our Creator. Here are some verses to explain this.

Christians can have a healthy fear of God.

Christians can have a healthy fear of God.

“But I warn you whom to fear: fear Him who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell! Yes, I tell you, fear Him!” (Luke 12:5) If you mock God and have no fear for Him, the outcome is not good. God has authority over your eternity! Hell exists for those who make a mockery of God’s Holy Name and who also refuse Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

“We know that God does not listen to sinners.” (John 9:31a) God knows your heart. When trials come and pleas of desperation are cried, God does not hear those who love sin. This makes perfect sense as to why it is so easy to fear God. If you want God to hear your prayers and petitions, you must hate sin!

“Ought you not to walk in the fear of our God to prevent the taunts of the nations of our enemies?” (Nehemiah 5:9b) This verse needs to be a reality check for America! Our nation was once God fearing when we revolted against England and became free — now we are a nation that is up to its ears in sin:

  • Our nation supports the killing of infants in the womb!
  • Our nation finds no fault in pornography!
  • Our nation says to have sex with whomever you want, same-sex or opposite!
  • Our nation supports homosexual marriages!
  • Our people turn on themselves to climb the corporate ladder!
  • Our nation considers God a fictional character!

Is it no wonder that we have experienced extreme tragedies and are now faced with a nuclear dilemma from North Korea? God protected the Jewish people of the Old Testament when they turned to Him and He also allowed them to suffer greatly when they didn’t look to Him. If we continue this path of sin, it is clear that God will allow us to suffer! Men and women of God, my brothers and sisters, now is the time for prayer for our nation. We need to unite and pray daily for our leaders, that they will make good, godly decisions. We need to pray for the unsaved that they may seek God. We need to pray for revival! God will move if we would only ask Him!

Fear of the Lord is Commanded

“Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.” (1 Peter 2:17)

“Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13b)

“My son, fear the Lord.” (Proverbs 24:21a)

“For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; He is to be feared above all gods.” (1 Chronicles 16:25 NIV)

“You shall fear your God, for I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 25:17)

Fear Leads to Salvation

As I said in the introduction, My friends, your standing with Jesus Christ is the most serious situation you will ever come across! Unless you have a healthy fear of God, you will never come to understand the power of the precious blood of Jesus. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) A healthy fear of God says, “Yes Jesus! Be my savior! Forgive me of my sins, that I may be justified in the eyes of God! I choose You, Jesus!”


A healthy fear of God will ultimately lead you to the best reward possible, a life in heaven with Jesus and your fellow brothers and sisters! My friends, if you reject the gospel, there are no 2nd chances when you die. Please choose Jesus now before it is too late! For those that have put their trust in Jesus, God bless you as you live a life worthy of the calling!

Read more about fear in the Bible here:

10 Answers to Fear Given in the Bible

Resources –  The Holy Bible, English Standard Version “Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.” YouTube video “Whom Shall I Fear” by Chris Tomlin

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous July 3, 2013 at 6:43 am

The word “fear” in context means “reverence for” God. It is translated from the Hebrew word “yirah” and has a range of meanings; it can be the emotion we feel in anticipation of danger or pain, but can also mean “awe” or “reverence”. It can include the idea of wonder, amazement, mystery, astonishment, gratitude, adminration, and even worship (the feeling you get when gazing from the edge of the Grand Canyon.)


Derek Hill July 3, 2013 at 4:59 pm

I agree 100% Anonymous! Indeed, this article was written with the “reverent” fear of God in mind. I thank you for your knowledge on this and for allowing us all to see the different sides of fear. God bless you!


Jack Wellman July 3, 2013 at 10:36 am

Derek, what troubles me is that where a nation or people have no fear of God, there is no concern over His holiness or over our sin. Your conclusion is spot on. Fear of God means eternal life & joy in the fellowship of His saints…and that would include you brother. Can’t wait to meet you in person.


Derek Hill July 3, 2013 at 5:02 pm

That’s right Jack! When the fear of God is gone, so is the concern for His holiness. That is why we all need to pray for our country. I am frightful for the future of this once great nation. We are headed for a major train-wreck, unless people repent of sin and turn to God. I also am excited to meet you brother! If not here, definitely in Heaven! God bless you brother!


Patricia Schneider July 3, 2013 at 12:42 pm

Wonderful article, Derek!
As Anonymous said above, it took me years to comprehend that “fear of God” meant “awe or reverence.” I had always associated “fear of God” with “terror or anxiety.” Your article, Derek, reaffirmed my present belief. Thank you!
As for our nation, yes, Americans needs to wake up and turn back to God!!! Sooo disappointed in President Obama, and many of his cabinet and Congress, too. (Many Christians believe Obama is the anti-Christ. By his actions, one would think so. Not knowing enough, I leave the President in God’s Hands. And I do pray every day for our Church & government leaders.)
God’s bountiful blessings upon you, Derek, and your children!
Always, your sister in Christ, Jesus….Patty


Derek Hill July 3, 2013 at 5:14 pm

Thank you for your encouragement as always 🙂 I don’t think that Obama is the anti-Christ because God will only allow the anti-Christ to reign for 42 months. Obama has been in office much longer and he doesn’t claim to be God, or utter blasphemous words every where he goes. Either way, I think the main point is where you, I and the rest of humanity are finding their identity. Either your identity is in Christ or yourself. I can say for certain that yours is in Christ! I also will keep our nation and it’s leaders in prayer. Blessings on you and Gary!


Andrea July 3, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Hello Derek, You can see that the powerful hand of God moved within you while writing this article! I’m in corporate prayer with my brothers and sisters; for our nation to get on board with God’s will for our country, all who are unsaved to come to Jesus, and Spiritual reawakening! The wages of sin is death…Oh glory to God, yes I choose You, Jesus!!! May God continue to abide in you and all His children as we live lives worry of His calling. In Jesus’ name amen.


Derek Hill July 3, 2013 at 5:17 pm

Hello Andrea! Thank you for your comment. Your passion for Jesus is so clear and it encouraged me greatly! I am filled with joy right now anticipating eternity with our Savior! God bless you and thank you for praying for our nation and the unsaved!


Seth July 3, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Be blessed Derek, today i was just preparing some articles about the word of God, so that I can go and preach them to my church wonderful enough what i prepared is exactly about the ‘ Fear of God ‘ to those who believes in him..


Derek Hill July 3, 2013 at 5:58 pm

That’s awesome Seth! God and His timing is perfect! Be blessed as you preach to your congregation!


Messenger July 5, 2013 at 11:15 am

I think God is touring in China now… hee..~~~~! ><


Derek Hill July 5, 2013 at 2:14 pm

I’m not sure why this is funny. God loves us all. It doesn’t matter if you’re American, Chinese or German. We all deserve hell and by His grace and mercy through the death of His Son we have everlasting life. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)


Messenger July 5, 2013 at 2:20 pm

Take it easy, Pal, I just said he’s touring, and I never said for how long he’d stay there. 🙂

I think you probably have sinned too much that you fear God. That’s good. You should fear. Because one day you might fall and never come back from HELL.

So better pray now to God and to Lord Jesus Christ. If one day you see some lightning and hear loud thundering, that might be God talking to you. So sin no more and be a good man. Amen.



Derek Hill July 5, 2013 at 2:32 pm

He is also touring the rest of the world, including your heart, mind and soul as well as my own. We all have sinned too much, sir. And if you are a believer in Christ you should not be speaking like you are about falling and never coming back from HELL. We all deserve hell, end of story. God is omnipresent and will always be. Please, if you are going to comment further, refrain from sarcasm and negativity. Both are not fruitful for anyone.


Messenger July 5, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Oh dear brother, where did the sarcasm come about 🙂

I was trying to help you. I think you’re the one full of negativity. You deserve HELL doesn’t mean that others do too. God might be touring nowhere, including your heart. If you heart is not EMPTY, you shouldn’t be talking about hell so much. God is omnipotent, including being withdrawn from your mind and soul, which I think, is the case.

So gear up and write something positive to other people so that you may get the same in return. Amen.

Derek Hill July 5, 2013 at 2:47 pm

Good day sir. This conversation is getting us nowhere. You clearly have your mind set about who I am already. And you are way off base. Take some time and read the other comments above. Blessings.

Jack Wellman July 6, 2013 at 12:01 am

Messenger. THis is too much. I know Derek so well and I’d say you need to apologize and all your comments are very rude and show me that you yourself may not be saved. You are going to be blocked. Sorry Derek I didn’t stop this judgmentalism before it was too late. Goodbye Messenger. Good luck at another site. Derek is here to stay. You, not so much.


Jack Wellman July 6, 2013 at 9:21 am

Derek, take heart my friend. Messenger is blocked. He is not acting like Christ at all…and in fact, quite the opposite. I am sorry it took so long to block him or her. God bless you brother and sorry for this person’s behavior.


Derek Hill July 6, 2013 at 9:45 am

No worries Jack. I am okay! Messenger didn’t do anything to me. Jesus is our strength through any trial that we face, even the sarcastic conversations with people. I appreciate you blocking him/her though. They were not saying anything edifying for this website or more importantly for the kingdom of God. Thank you for your friendship brother! God bless you!


Messenger July 5, 2013 at 2:51 pm

I’m glad those things got off my chest and thanks for the great post and comments. I’m looking forward to more articles from you if you’re still around.


Derek Hill July 5, 2013 at 3:15 pm

God willing, I will be around for a long time. I hope the same for you, sir. Blessings on you and may you continue to grow stronger with the Lord each day.


Messenger July 5, 2013 at 3:39 pm

Bless you, Lord is my life.


Patricia Schneider July 5, 2013 at 3:20 pm

This is for “Messenger,” Derek. OK?

Hello, Messenger. You are really off-base in your comments to Derek. Any “negativity” is coming from you, Brother!!!
As Christians, we need to be reminded: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) And Jesus Himself said, “I am The Way, The Truth and The Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6)
As Anonymous commented above (July 3, 2013) fear of God is “reverence” or “awe.” God is our Father, Messenger, who LOVES all His Children. He wants us all to come to Him willingly and lovingly. And because God sent His only beloved Son, Jesus, our sins were atoned by Jesus’ ministry, suffering and death on the Cross.
Derek suggested you read the other comments. I agree, but also re-read Derek’s article. And also God’s Word, your Bible, EVERY DAY.
We are NOT judging you, Messenger, only God can do that.
As sisters and brothers in Christ, we’re commanded by Jesus to be kind to one another, to help each other. Not disparage, discourage, but to enlighten. Understand, Messenger? Oh, I pray so!
God’s bountiful blessings upon you and your family!
Your sister in Christ, Jesus….Patty


Derek Hill July 6, 2013 at 9:48 am

You are such a wonderful person, Patty! Thank you for your comment. I’m am glad to call you my sister in Christ! Blessings on you and Gary!


OHAJI ONYEDIKACHI ANTHONY July 18, 2013 at 5:23 pm

If i have the fear of GOD as a gift of the holy spirit, it will help me not to live a sinful live.
it will help my conscience to know what is good and what is wrong,
I need this gift of fear of GOD, How do i get it ?


Derek Hill July 18, 2013 at 8:46 pm

Hello Ohaji! The Bible says that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” (Proverbs 1:7) A natural fear of the Lord will make you not want to sin. When you think of how amazing and powerful God is you learn to fear Him in a healthy way. All you have to do is hold God in reverence. It isn’t a gift, but a choice. You have to choose to fear God.


Joel July 25, 2013 at 10:16 pm

Great article! Derek

I’ve been following in this website since mid-this year. I really love every articles I’ve been reading here. In fact I have printed most of the articles that I have already read and are very useful in my christian life.

This wibsite is every informative and life changing. Thanks to God for the people He has been using to share the Gospel Christ through here.
May God continue to gives you (All the authors here) the wisdom to share God News that everyone should know.

Even the comments here are very encouraging and kind words. After all like, Patty said, it is a command from our Lord Jesus Christ to to be kind and encourage one another, “we’re commanded by Jesus to be kind to one another, to help each other.”

You-all the authors are such great blessing to all the readers here. May God Bless you all and your families as well. In Christ, Joel


Derek Hill July 26, 2013 at 9:52 am

Thank you so much Joel! Yes, I feel the Holy Spirit moving through the authors of this site and it is definitely fitting to say, ALL GLORY TO GOD!! Thank you for such kindness in your comment, Joel! Blessings on you and all of your loved ones!


Joel July 30, 2013 at 12:18 am

I am 100% agree with you Derek that the “Holy Spirit moving through the authors of this site and it is definitely fitting to say” I felt the same when was once reading your article about that “7 Prayers For Forgiveness and Repentance”
As I go on reading through the Prayer for the Pators I can’t really stop the tears falling from my eyes for guilt.
I stop reading for a while for prayer of forgiveness for myself that I have always focus my prayers only for my personal needs without realizing that even our Pastors need my prayers too. I really thank God for you for that wondeful article. Since then I was more eager to follow this site ‘coz I know God is working on you.
More Blessings be on you and your family.
In Christ Jesus, Joel


Derek Hill July 30, 2013 at 10:51 am

Amen Joel! Our pastors all need our prayer. If you wouldn’t mind, please pray for my fellow friend and writer on this site, Jack Wellman. He is an awesome servant of God and a pastor as well. I can attest to how true he is to the Word. He is a friend and a brother to me and I know he could use more prayer, just as we all can. Bless you and thank you for such kind words Joel!


Joel July 30, 2013 at 11:19 pm

You can count me on sir in prayer for you and Ptr Jack Wellman as well as the other writers here. I believe God needs a trully faithful servants like you to share His Words in this world. God provisions to your prayer will be my prayers as well. Thank you sir for the inspiring and encouraging words.

God Bless! Joel

Patricia Schneider July 30, 2013 at 10:41 am

Hello, Derek! Hope this greeting finds you snuggled up in Jesus’ loving arms!!

Dear sisters & brothers in Christ Jesus, DON’T FORGET TO VIEW THE VIDEO ABOVE THIS PAGE, right side! Called, “WHOM SHALL I FEAR” by Chris Tomlin. Terrific praises to God!! (Click on “Full Screen”.)
Always, your sister in Christ Jesus….Patty


Derek Hill July 30, 2013 at 10:54 am

Thank you Patty! Actually, I really feel close to Jesus today! He is an awesome Savior!!! God bless you and Gary!


Mike January 12, 2015 at 10:00 am

Fear is an Old covenant problem (hense where we see all the cited scriptures are from). We have something much better. On this side of the cross we need not fear. Our salvation is sealed, and the only reason to fear would be if were going to be punished, which we are NOT.
[Romans 8:15] For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to FEAR again, but you have received a spirit of ADOPTION AS SONS by which we cry out, “Abba! FATHER!”
[1 JOHN 4:18] “There is NO FEAR in love; but perfect love CASTS OUT FEAR, because fear involves PUNISHMENT, and the one who fears is NOT PERFECTED in love.


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