Whatever Happened To “Fear And Trembling”?

Paul’s admonition to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12) is a seldom expounded, and unpopular, text. By the way, it does not say to work out your salvation with “Fun and Calmness”—but with Fear and Trembling.

 The average sermon is all about COMFORT, and nothing about CONVICTION. A stern Jehovah has been replaced by a gentle Jesus who neither makes demands, nor commands obedience. In fact the prevailing silence about the holiness of God has led to a predictable softness toward sin. Preaching about Hell or judgment is virtually unheard of, with a few exceptions. CORPORATE REPENTANCE is the crying need in American Christianity. We hear many calling for prayer, but when did you last hear a call for churches to repent? The need is universal in both left-wing and right-wing circles.

How can modern churches be the “moral conscience” of society when they refuse to deal with moral sin within their membership? The dishonor that has been perpetrated against God’s honor and holiness is disgraceful. I’m tired of hearing about “praying for revival” by leaders who won’t lift a finger to call out sin in their Camp, or obey the BLACK AND WHITE mandates issued to under-shepherds.

Paralytic spirituality, lack of conviction, absence of conversions, and comatose or Pollyanna-ish church services are the results of an imbalanced ministry that has eliminated Godly fear. As you would expect, a sentimental Christ portrayed by feminized preachers has created an impotent church. It makes no difference whether it’s the skinny jeans crowd, or a vintage Shepherd donning a hand-painted tie—it is rare to sit under preaching that brings eternity to bear upon time.

By the way, God has other attributes besides love. Fear and trembling may be out of vogue, but there will be no recovery from apostasy and frozen-orthodoxy without it.


  1. jasonc65April 22, 2019

    I rarely hear this soft preaching that you talk about. Almost every church teaches law, not grace. But Romans 11:6 says clearly that they do not mix. You mix it up and get it wrong. Anything less than faith alone and eternal security is not grace. And, ironically, I find that when I embrace the comfort of eternal security, my sin decreases.

  2. Nolan WynnOctober 12, 2018

    Bro. Vaughn,
    This is a sad truth in today’s pulpits and churches. Preachers are more worried about padding the numbers of their pews than heralding the truth. I have found since our grand opening, that I have had lot of people visiting and yearning for truth and looking for someone to tell it like it is. The sugar coated society of political correctness is what people live in all week long. People who come to church want to hear the truth with conviction! John 8:32 (KJV) And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:36 (KJV) If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. Our churches and the people within the church have become Anemic Christians because the preaching has no meat or substance of the truth to fill their spiritual soul. Instead of worrying about what the people think, let the Men of God Preach the Word and let the Holy Spirit do the work that He so desires to do! Hebrews 4:12 (KJV) For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. I have realized in this short time as a Pastor that I have a lot to learn and I have not arrived yet neither will I ever attain all knowledge. I do know one thing that the Bible has all the answers we need and all the answers the lost are looking for! So I refuse to hide the Word of God under a Bushel and trust what the bible says in Matthew 5:13-14 (KJV) Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. 14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. (Please for give me for the Grammatical errors I am just a simple Preacher doing my best to Proclaim His WORD!)
    Great Blog Bro. Vaughan!!


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Harold Vaughan

View posts by Harold Vaughan
Evangelist Harold Vaughan is the founder of Christ Life Ministries, Inc. To date, his ministry has led him to preach in forty-eight states and many foreign countries. Click on "ABOUT" in the menu bar to learn more about Harold.
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