Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
May 8, 1958


Roger M. Hendriks, Dayton, Ohio

"Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire." (Heb. 12:28,29.)

These verses call to our attention the fact that Christians are to reverence God. However, in this age when many show little or no respect for anyone or anything, it is not uncommon to find irreverence to God on every hand. Irreverence is a sin against which we must ever be on guard; lest it creep into our lives and, as a deadly disease, eat away the spirituality.

Those who reverence God as they should will one day be ushered into that eternal city; there to dwell throughout the endless ages. This being the case, we need to understand what it means to have a proper reverence for God.

His Person — His Being

If I am to have a proper reverence for God, I must reverence his Person, his Being. The Bible pictures God as being good (Rom. 2:4), merciful (Titus 3:5), holy (Ps. 22:3), eternal, immortal, invisible (1 Tim. 1:17), powerful (Gen. 1:1), etc. Surely, such a being is worthy of reverence! In Revelation four and five we are given a view of heaven and are caused to be cognizant of the fact that God is worthy of praise. We should praise him in song, in prayer, in conversation, and in life itself.

His Name

In order to have a proper reverence for God one must reverence his Name. Israel was thus commanded. (Lev. 22:2; Ex. 20:7.) His is a glorious (Neh. 9:5), an excellent (Ps. 8:9), a holy and reverend (Ps. 111:9), an everlasting (Isa. 63:16) name. But, even in view of all of this, a lack of reverence for the name of God is much in evidence.

His name is blasphemed by his enemies. (Ps. 74:10.) Thus, the atheists cry, "There is no God." The Psalmist declared, "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God." (Ps. 53:1.) Someone has added, "But they which are worse than fools have blabbed it right out loud."

The name of God is taken in vain by his enemies. (Ps. 139:20.) For one in deep sorrow or agony to cry out, "My God, My God," today, sounds foul. Why is this so? Because the enemies of God have, so often, taken his name in vain. It is because God's high and holy name has so often been uttered in an irreverent manner. Just to say, "God," sometimes sounds dirty! Brethren, let us not be guilty of taking the Father's name in vain.

His Son — Jesus Christ

One in order to show proper reverence for God must reverence his Son, Jesus Christ. The infidel manifests a lack of reverence for Jesus and lowers him to the level of an illegitimate child. Denominational names show disrespect for the Christ. Irreverence for Jesus Christ is shown in bringing dishonor to the name "Christian." It is further evidenced in bringing reproach to his bride, the church.

Christians can cause the Lord's church to be reproached by engaging in worldliness, by compromising with sin, by manifesting indifference, and by their attitudes and behavior in worship.

In regard to the latter, I ask if you have ever seen parents who let their children wander around the building during worship? Perhaps you have noticed young people (or older ones) whispering, courting, looking at pictures, writing notes, or doing something similar. During worship there are at times brethren who daydream, sleep, play with babies, etc. Or it may be that the members are generally noisy. All of this is a manifestation of irreverence for Jesus Christ and the Father.

His Word — The Bible

We must, if we are to evince proper reverence for God, reverence his Word, the Bible. Men have ever taught to highly regard the Word of God. (Pro. 28:9;30:5,6; Ps. 119:103,104; 130,131; cp. Heb. 11:6 with Rom. 10:17.) To hear and not obey is to show disrespect and irreverence for his Word. (Ezek. 33:31; James 1:21, 22.) His every command, applicable to us, is to be obeyed. Are we willing to do this?

Yes, we should learn to "serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire."