“The Bible says the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom,” Comfort said, appealing to Jesus’ words in Matthew 10:28 (NIV).
Christ proclaimed, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Comfort, author of the new book “How to Make Sure God Hears Your Prayers ― Find Peace and Comfort in God’s Promises,” said some “gloss over that Scripture” and miss what Jesus is proclaiming.
“He’s saying, ‘If a man’s coming at you with a knife to plunge it into your chest, don’t fear that — fear God. And the fear of someone trying to kill you is nothing compared to the fear of God,’” he said.
But, in some circles, there’s a pushback on fearing the Lord.
Comfort spoke about his own experience before becoming a Christian. One night outside of a dance hall, he recalled dishonorable intentions he had while hanging out with a female.
“As we lay there, my intentions were not honorable, but she said something that put the fear of God in me, even though I wasn’t a Christian,” Comfort said. “She said six words. She said, ‘You know what? God’s watching us.’ And that was like a huge bucket of ice fell on me.”
Comfort said they went back inside, and he now reflects, as an example, on how fear at the time helped keep him from making poor decisions.
“Even as a non-Christian, I learned the power of the fear of God,” he said. “I could have got her pregnant, I could have shamed her parents … So, I look back and thank God for the fear of the Lord, and that’s what I cultivate as a Christian.”
Comfort detailed his take when asked why he believes there’s such a pushback on the fear of the Lord in culture and even in some Christian circles.
“I think it’s the same problem that Israel had for many, many years,” Comfort said. “And many times, in the Old Testament, the Bible says they got into idolatry, they bowed down to idols. And the reason idols are so attractive to sinful human beings is because they don’t have a moral dictate. An idol doesn’t say, ‘You shall not steal, you shall not commit adultery you, shall not kill you, shall not be a false witness.”