Am I following God because of my fear of hell and my selfish desire to be saved?

Question:

Hello,

I have been a Christian for most of my life. Recently my heart has fallen under heavy conviction (I think), and I feel as if I have not desired God above all else in my walk with Him. With this, I began to fear that I was not actually saved, and a deep fear of hell set in my heart. I have now begun to wonder if I am feeling convicted at all, or if it just my fear of hell, and selfish desire to be saved that is driving me to Jesus. There was a time in my life, where I loved Him so much, but I am fearful that I have lost that. It has gotten to be so bad that I am fearing my mind has become reprobate. I want to change, and I want to follow Jesus, but I am scared this is being pressed by the wrong motivations. What do I do? I feel like my hope is being lost.

Please help me. Thank you.


Answer:

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction" (Proverbs 1:7).

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding" (Proverbs 9:10).

"In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge. The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death" (Proverbs 14:26-27).

"The fear of the LORD leads to life, and he who has it will abide in satisfaction; he will not be visited with evil" (Proverbs 19:23).

"Do not let your heart envy sinners, but be zealous for the fear of the LORD all the day; for surely there is a hereafter, and your hope will not be cut off" (Proverbs 23:17-18).

"Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied" (Acts 9:31).

There are far more passages that could be cited, but reading through just these, where do you get the idea that having a healthy fear of God and the consequences of going against His will is wrong? Why do you label a desire to be saved from sin as "selfish." How is it that you being saved denies anyone else from the opportunity?

But notice throughout this entire note, you are basing all your concerns and worries on emotions. Emotions are unreliable (Proverbs 28:26). God judges us according to our deeds (Romans 2:5), so where in your actions have you left God? If there are such places, then correct the problem and return to following God.