Bevere said God doesn’t want us scared of him. He wants intimacy with us.
So far, so good.
Then … thud.
He said the fear of God is when we’re “terrified” to be away from God.
Is that true?
Mr. Bevere has been criticizing the Grace Revolution, and sometimes his points are valid because the misinformed or half-informed take things too far.
Other times his criticisms are invalid.
This is one of those times.
We can never be away from God, even in our most egregious sins. In fact, we’re never more in touch with his grace than before, during, and after our sin.
Romans 5:20 says: “But where sin increased, grace increased all the more.”
And I love these verses in Deuteronomy:
6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” … 8 The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deut. 31:6, 8)
They are repeated in the New Covenant: Hebrews 13:5, so we don’t need Old Testament sacrifices to restore broken fellowship with God. Our fellowship through Christ, the once-for-all sacrifice, is never broken: Heb. 7:27 and 10:10.
We need to stop the belief that our sin breaks either our relationship with God or our fellowship with him. Nothing is broken or disrupted.
Rather, his grace is pursuing us in our sin. But he doesn’t leave us in it. He lifts us out of it, even getting, if necessary, in the mud with us to help us out of it.
I was surprised Leon didn’t catch it. He understands the grace message better than most. Maybe he was being too polite and didn’t want to argue with a respected teacher in front of a general audience.
In any case, I’m not hunting for errors in the Body of Christ. I don’t like that kind of “ministry.”
And I like Mr. Bevere. I’ll continue to watch him in his TV appearances. But I hope he really studies a new approach to Scripture–the Grace Revolution.
My takeaway: We don’t need to be “terrified” to be “away from” God. We are never away from him, because he’s never far from us.