"Prepare to meet thy God."

THE common acceptation of the Scriptural injunction, "Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel," which is found in the fourth chapter of Amos, is crowned with anything but a halo of light. Rather does it suggest some harrowing death-bed scene, where a poor mortal is being coerced into tardy repentance, or tortured with the assurance of merited future punishment because he has not repented or perhaps subscribed to some particular creed or faith. It has been a weapon of fear in the hands of priest and layman to intimidate many a poor sinner who had not measured up to their standard of profession and piety. It has likewise been a popular slogan during revival seasons, where the same fear and dread of coming face to face with God has been instilled into the hearts of hungering mortals. So intimately associated with the thought of death has it been that most people have very naturally interpreted it, Prepare to die.

But why the fear and dread which it invariably occasions? Because one and all have united in the thought that this meeting with God is to take place only after death; more than this, they have been led to accept the awful uncertainly that perhaps the individual has not lived up to such a standard of righteousness here as to ever make possible his meeting with God in peace. What has been the result of such teaching? Fear, fear,—a shrinking from the thought of meeting God! No assurance of present reward, but much wonderment as to what the future may have in store for him. In this state of fear and ignorance the poor mortal opens his door to the invasion of every disease and discord known to earth, until the schoolmaster of experience finally causes him to question the soundness of a doctrine that would drive people into heaven through fear and death.

Escape from Delusion
June 24, 1905

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.