Fearing God fell out of fashion decades ago, and I’d venture to guess that it’s not going to make a comeback among most evangelicals. Popular wisdom (if you can really call it wisdom) says that we should come to Christ out of love, not out of fear.
But I praise God for allowing me to feel afraid of eternity in hell for two weeks in January of 1971. It was a miserable two weeks, most assuredly, and I wouldn’t want to repeat them. But the Lord graciously gave me that dreadful period of fear as a preparation for hearing that Jesus died for my sins. The grace of fearing God enabled me to experience the grace of receiving His mercy.
Verse 2 of Amazing Grace reminds me of that horrible two weeks and that wonderful day when He opened my heart to the Gospel. Indeed, it was grace that taught my heart to fear, and precious grace relieved those fears!