The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops. He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
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Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing?
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Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But you, dress yourself for work; arise, and say to them everything that I command you. Do not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them. And I, behold, I make you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests, and the people of the land. They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, declares the Lord , to deliver you.
Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master and in high favor, because by him the Lord had given victory to Syria. He was a mighty man of valor, but he was a leper. Now the Syrians on one of their raids had carried off a little girl from the land of Israel, and she worked in the service of Naaman's wife. He would cure him of his leprosy. Have I not commanded you? Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,. Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.
For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad.
Im so scared im going to hell
Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer.
Getting Over The Threat Of Hell
Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever! To the choirmaster. Of David, the servant of the Lord. Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in his heart; there is no fear of God before his eyes.
The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant.
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But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.
I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name's sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. But do such cases represent religion itself, or are they a distortion of it?
We will focus here on Christianity, since this is the tradition that Russell was mainly concerned with. While Russell argues as if his rejection of fearful belief and fear-inducing dogma comes from an atheistic perspective, the Christian tradition itself contains a vigorous critique of fear. The First Letter of John, for example, puts forth the basic tenet that "Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love", and suggests that fear and love are incompatible with one another: "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love.
In the 17th century, Spinoza — whom Russell described as "the noblest and the most lovable of the great philosophers" — invoked the First Letter of John to attack the persecution of non-conformists by the Dutch Reformed church. The violent dogmatism witnessed by Spinoza is exactly the sort of thing emphasised by modern atheists who claim, like Russell, that religion is a harmful force in the world. But Spinoza attacked "superstitious" forms of religious belief, which are characterised by fear, as a dangerous perversion of a purer Christian teaching found in the New Testament.
Prefacing his Theological-Political Treatise with a verse from the First Letter of John, Spinoza implied that the church was failing by precisely those Christian ethical standards which it claimed as its own. Another example of a Christian critique of fear can be found in Kierkegaard's analysis of the theological concept of sin. Traditionally, pride has been identified as the fundamental form of sinfulness, but Kierkegaard argued that human psychology is darkened by an inseparable combination of pride and fear, which both get in the way of love. This means that the Christian ideal of love requires us to battle against both pride and fear, to combine humility with courage.
According to Kierkegaardian theology, fearful religion is sinful religion. These two brief examples suggest that the Christian tradition has the resources not only to recognise the dangerous consequences of fear, but to scrutinise them closely and provide a spiritual response to them. However, this is not the sort of perspective that Russell was prepared to explore in his philosophical work.
He was certainly unwilling to invoke the Christian doctrine of original sin — presumably because it was closely associated with the Victorian moralism that, to Russell's disgust, lingered long into the 20th century. But his atheist disciples may be surprised to discover that privately Russell found some meaning in the concept of sin. In his autobiography he describes a visit in to a small Greek church, where he became aware within himself of "a sense of sin" which, to his astonishment, "powerfully affected" him in his feelings, though not in his beliefs.
If Russell had followed Kierkegaard in paying more heed to such "feelings", he might have come closer to understanding that fear is a religious problem, and not just a problem with religion.