by Jeff Strite

This content is part of a series.

Once Saved Always Saved? (1 of 4)
Series: Right Or Wrong
Jeff Strite
Romans 11:1-24

OPEN: While visiting the Oregon Caves National Monument, a couple had hoped to get some rock samples -until they heard the following introduction by a cave tour guide: ''I hope you enjoy our trek through the caves. I must ask you not to destroy or take any of the rock formations. Actu-ally, we have had very little trouble with this. I don't know if it's because of our visitor's great love for nature, their desire for the preservation of the caves, or their respect for the $500 fine.''

On a sight-seeing trip on Florida's west coast, another couple were visiting an old mansion. In the exquisitely furnished master bedroom, we were surprised to see signs on the bedspread and curtains reading: ''WASH HANDS IMMEDIATELY AFTER TOUCHING.''
Afterwards the wife noted: '' We admired the furnishings from a safe distance, but our curiosity was aroused, so, on leaving, I decided to ask the guard if the fabric had been treated with some harmful preserving chemical.''
The guide just grinned: ''Oh, no, ma'am,'' he said. ''There's nothing on 'em. We just never did have much luck with the 'Do not touch' signs.''

APPLY: Fear - it's a powerful motivator. It's often mentioned in Scripture. By my count, the phrase ''fear God'' (or some variation thereof) is commanded or commended at least 47 times.

''Oh…'' someone might say, ''that's just in the Old Testament.''
Well, no. Peter writes that Christians should: ''Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, FEAR GOD, honor the king.'' 1 Peter 2:17

Another might say ''when the Bible uses the word 'fear' that means 'respect.'''
Well, no. The word in I Peter for example is ''phobeo'' a word from which we get our term ''phobia.'' It means to be ''terrified.''

Phobeo is found again here in Romans 11:20 ''…Do not be arrogant, but be afraid.''
Afraid?… Afraid of what?

I. At the church at Rome there was a small ...

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