There are two mountaintops that people, Christians in particular, have their feet on the summit of and cannot make a decision which peak to live on - Mt. Fear or Mt. Hope.

Hebrews 12:18-24 states it like this - 

"You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, because they could not bear what was commanded: 'If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.' The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, 'I am trembling with fear.'"

But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel."

Now with Fear there must be a two-pronged understanding. Fear can be paralyzing OR fear can be praiseworthy. The kind many people are familiar with is the terrifying or threatening experiences. Usually, in scenarios like this, fear attacks or tries to seize control of all functions of the individual. Fear has many helpers, perhaps you have heard of a few of them - anxiety, depression, confusion and the like. 

This kind of fear is devoid of hope, belief and love. This kind of fear the enemy of our souls strategizes and uses against believers from his kingdom of darkness. The devil would have you so scared that you do not share The Good News anymore, but Philippians 1:14 says, "...dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear."

There is another name for one of the mountains people stand on in their lives - Mt. Law. The Law, with all it's many rules and regulations for living a perfect/holy life, was meant to point out that none can live the perfect life except the prophesied Savior or Messiah to come. Why give it? To provide structure and boundaries until The Christ comes and leads us further. The Law dealt with rules and punishment. Then Christ Jesus came to provide us a better mountain we could choose to stand on; a life that "speaks better" than if we had both feet or even one foot on Mt. Law.

Many instances in Scripture refer to fear as respect, specifically honoring God. In the book of Acts you can find terms like - "God-fearing women", "God-fearing Greeks" and "a God-fearing man" - describing people with the highest regard for God. Hebrews 11:7 portrays Noah building the ark - "in holy fear" - a feat and attitude that was rewarded with the salvation of his family and the animals. In the Christian journey 1 Peter 1:17 instructs the believer to "live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear." In addition, Paul in his letter to the church in Phillipi encouraged the contingent - "continue to work out your salvation with fear [or great respect and awe] and trembling."

The Good News is that God so Loved the world that He sent Love in the form of His Son Jesus. 1 John 4:18 says, "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment." Christ took our punishment on The Cross. We do not have to be ruled or controlled by the terrifying fear of the world and the enemy. There is no terror, no horror in love.  This is why all are drawn to love. Love never fails and He will not fail us now. This is why we must respect and honor God, because God is love (1 John 4:8).

Yes, Love in the form of Christ Jesus has showed its awesome purpose and power - to redeem human kind and create a perfect future with God, which at the moment of Christ's resurrection became our Hope.

Paul says it nicely when he addresses the believers in Rome - "...we boast in the hope of the glory of God." After the salvation of an individual - what becomes the believer's focus? Hope. Hope of a transformed, glorified body like Christ's one day. Hope of Christ's promises being fulfilled personally and corporately. Hope of seeing "our righteousness" in person (Galatians 5:5; 1 Timothy 1:1).

Paul tells us in Romans that the whole of Scripture was written for the sake of Hope.

"For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope." - Romans 15:4

Scripture has proclaimed that believers are the Ambassadors of Hope - "Christ in us, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27). 1 Timothy 6:17 even singles out what we should and should not place our hope in. And the author of Hebrews does a beautiful, word-smith job of describing Christ Jesus, His promises and our Hope - "as an anchor for the soul".

There is a proper fear to have toward God. Our relationship with God should contain a healthy dose of respect and honor for Him to keep the proper perspective. I see shirts and bumper stickers all around with the slogan - "No Fear". Some fear is healthy, it keeps us cautious and aware or alert. But if you allow this mantra of No Fear to control every aspect of your life, even your relationship with God, at the moment of death you will be filled with nothing but fear of a horrible kind. 

Luke 12:5 declares Hell is real but you do not have to spend eternity there. Christ Jesus has the authority to place you there should it warrant. 

"But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him." 

This same one with authority to send one to hell can also grant entry into Heaven because He paid the price. This same one who made an impossible Law to follow, also made The Way to escape from living under perfect performance. 

C.S. Lewis once said, "Aim at Heaven and you will get Earth thrown in. Aim at Earth and you will get neither." Using the same formula, aim at Mount Grace and you will get the structure and guidelines that pointed to the fulfillment of all of them in Christ. Aim at Mount Law and you get neither Grace nor a perfect, holy life you can live - only impossible rules with punishments. 

This does not mean we should not honor instructions like The Ten Commandments. However, Christ has fulfilled all commandments, granted us forgiveness when we fail and granted believers common sense to live under the Spirit of Grace.

I encourage everyone, but especially my brothers and sisters in Christ, stand solely on His Grace. If you find that you are living in a straddling position with one foot on Mount Sinai, Mt. Law, Mt. Fear and the other on Mount Zion, Mt. Hope, Mt. Grace, then place both feet upon Zion, upon Hope, upon The Rock Of Grace.