Biblical Preaching – Appeal to Fear

Charles Koller’s next appeal that he finds in scripture is the appeal to fear. Koller notes that this appeal has been greatly neglected. I would concur and say that among many it is no longer heard at all. No one wants to hear or preach about the “wrath of God” or about “judgment,” but we cannot preach the whole counsel of God without at least referring to this.

God uses this appeal in the scriptures for example, in Acts 9:4,6 we see God knocking Saul down turning him into Paul. The prophets used this appeal for example when Nathan said in 2 Samuele 12:7, “Thou art the Man!” The fear of judgment helped Nineveh to repent (Jonah 3:4).

Certainly fear is not the best incentive to come to right, but when all else fails, it might be something to help some take steps in the right direction.



Sherman Haywood Cox II is the director of Soul Preaching. He holds the M.Div with an emphasis in Homiletics and a M.S. in Computer Science.

Posted in blog, Preaching, Sermon Construction
One comment on “Biblical Preaching – Appeal to Fear
  1. Preaching the whole council of God does mean some time we have to put the fear of God in the congregation. It is better to scare people into Heaven, than to slowly cook them in a lukewarm state to Hell. We must let the people see the goodness of God leads men to repentance, and that worldly sorrow lead to death. God is good all the time, and because those that He loves He rebukes, so that we will walk the straight and narrow way. Broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many there be that travel that way. God loves us too much to leave us in our sin. Thank God for that truth. Jesus said you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

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Revised Common Lectionary
Proper 14 (February 26, 2017)
  • OT: Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28
  • Psalm: Psalm 105: 1-6, 16-22, 45b
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  • Gospel: Matthew 14:22-33
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