Listen to audio version
This Week’s Bible Question:
Regarding “The Terror of the Lord,” as seen in 2nd Corinthians 5:11, could you explain this?
Michael Pearl: Here we are, in the middle of a beautiful day, come to answer your Bible questions. I’m Michael Pearl, No Greater Joy Ministries. We’ve got Jared there behind the camera. He has received some of your questions by email. He’s going to read them to me, and I’m going to see if I can come up with a Bible answer. What is the first one, Jared?
Jared: Regarding “The Terror of the Lord” as seen in 2nd Corinthians 5:11, could you explain this?
Michael: 2nd Corinthians 5:11. By the way, I just taught 2nd Corinthians, and just edited it, about an hour ago I finished it, and so it’s all going to be available on MP3 download, within a week I guess. 2nd Corinthians 5:11. Alright. “Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are made manifest unto God, and I trust also are made manifest unto your conscience.”
The issue here is that Paul is writing to the church at Corinth and telling them that he is, in fact, God’s apostle, and that he has a deep, compassionate desire to stay there with them and minister to them, that he loves them. He wants to make them understand the nature of his ministry, why he is so fervent as an apostle. Paul was beaten five times with a cat‑o’‑nine‑tails, 39 licks each time. Shipwrecked three times, beaten with rods…went through all kinds of suffering.
He says, in verse 8, “We are confident, I say, willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labor, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted to him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to what he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord…” Toward sinners, the terror of God toward those people that he doesn’t share the Gospel with, the people he’s not able to communicate with, “we persuade men,” we persuade them to be born again, to be saved, to trust in Christ. “But we are made manifest unto God,” that is, God knows clearly our heart, “and I trust also are made manifest in your conscience,” that is, that you know us and understand why we do what we do. “For we commend not ourselves again to you.” Paul had been commending himself to them, saying, “Here are the reasons you should trust me as an apostle.” He said, “I’m not saying this so that you’ll trust me as an apostle.” He says, “But we give you occasion to glory on our behalf.” He said, “We’re giving you some talking points so when the false apostles come in and condemn us, you can say, ‘Look, the apostle Paul has a burning desire to reach people. He knows that God is full of terror toward sinners, and so he’s trying to persuade men to come to Christ.’” That’s what motivates him.
That’s the context of that, and you can get the full version on our 2nd Corinthians download. We didn’t do this to [laughs] peddle our 2nd Corinthians, that was just an accident that developed that way.
Voiceover: If you would like to ask a Bible question, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call at 931‑805‑4820.