TO FEAR, OR NOT TO FEAR
What Lies Ahead Prior to Christ’s Return
By W. G. Guy
Luke 21:25- 27 – And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
When God’s Word declares that men’s hearts will fail due to fear of what is expected to happen, then you can be assured that is exactly what is going to happen. So what is that would cause such fear that could cause heart failure? Could it be war, famine, natural disasters or revolution? Not likely since mankind has faced these things throughout history and such has not caused men’s hearts to fail. In fact, such events usually spark man’s ability to face the challenge to become resourceful and fight to overcome.
There is one thing however that has caused men’s hearts to fear and cause many to seek their own death. Our own recent history documents just such an event – the Great Depression. Remember that men of means were dying by jumping out of windows and committing suicide. What was it that made them take such radical action? FEAR! They feared loss of their financial security and their ability to control their resources and the affairs of their own lives.
Just as Jesus warned, such “fearful” things are currently being anticipated throughout the world, especially in Europe and the United States as the worldwide economy faces total collapse; and collapse it will, since Jesus said such fearful things WILL occur and even the powers of heaven will be shaken.
What is fear? Fear is defined as anticipation of misfortune or pain; the state of being afraid; something dreaded; anxiety. So we see that fear is a perception of an event or happening that has not yet occurred; it is anticipated or expected. Fear may be a reality for some, but it is not necessary. Fear is simply putting confidence (faith) in the wrong place.
In order to NOT fear one must have their confidence (faith) in God, His Son Jesus Christ, in His Word and He has promised. One must a be true believer in Jesus Christ and really, really trust Him and His Word. Why?
2 Timothy 1:7 – For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Fear is NOT from God! So why do people fear? Because they don’t really know God, so they don’t know that they can trust God. They don’t know His promises as listed in the Bible, thus they have nothing positive to trust in. Consider what it is that God gives to those who really believe and trust in Him as listed in the verse above: POWER, LOVE, and a SOUND MIND. Let’s look at each of these items that God supplies through Jesus Christ:
POWER – His sovereign ability and authority.
LOVE – His benevolence and cherishing care, (knowing His love for you is most important).
SOUNDNESS OF MIND – Clarity of thought and reason; peace; the absence of fear, worry and anxiety; rationale. (As stated in knowing God’s love is the most important factor in living free of fear and its torment.)
1 John 4:16-18 –And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
Note first of all that God IS LOVE; second that there is NO FEAR IN LOVE; and third that FEAR IS TORMENT that removes soundness of mind. The conclusion being that a person who has fear of the future is not trusting in the Lord and His love for them since perfect love casts out all fear. They fail to know how much God loves them. Many people have misplaced love. They love the things of the world that shall pass away. That is what they fear, the loss of worldly things.
1 John 2:15-17 – Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
Jesus warns us not to be preoccupied with the things of this world and the cares of this life. Do not put your faith and confidence in material things, man or government – instead trust God and His Word.
Luke 21:34-36 - but take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
As stated in 1John 4:18, perfect love casts out fear; therefore it is imperative that we obey Jesus’ command to love God and love others. Then we know that God’s love is in us.
1 John 2:5 – But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.
Nothing that is coming can prevent God’s benevolence from reaching us.
Romans 8:35 & 38 – who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
What does the Bible say about what His people are to fear and what not to fear?
Matthew 10:28 – And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Isaiah 41:10-13 – Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. “Behold, all those who were incensed against you Shall be ashamed and disgraced; They shall be as nothing, And those who strive with you shall perish. You shall seek them and not find them —Those who contended with you. Those who war against you Shall be as nothing, As a nonexistent thing. For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’
Isaiah 43:1-2 – “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name;
You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God,
Even though we as Christians do face trials, opposition and persecution, fear is not to be a factor in our lives because of His comfort.
Psalm 23: 4 – Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You must know what the Bible says about how great God’s love is for you. Once you know how much God cares about you then it is easy to respond to the things that precede Christ’s return.
1 Peter 5:7 – casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
Ephesians 3:17-20 – that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,
1 John 3:1 – Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
John 16:27 – For the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me (Jesus), and have believed that I came forth from God.
Hebrews 13:5 – Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Matthew 28:20 – ……lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Psalm 145:20 – The Lord preserves all who love Him, But all the wicked He will destroy.
Christians who are not convinced of God’s love for them personally will be subject to fear what is coming. They have misplaced faith or they are too preoccupied with the cares of this life which suffocates the Word of God’s promises in them.
Matthew 13:22 – Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.
Luke 21:34 – “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly.
Many Christians are so caught up with worldly pursuits and the cares of this life that they are neglecting their growing in the Lord to spiritual maturity and faith. It is high time to wake out of a spiritual slumber and really repent and fully begin to trust in the Lord.
Romans 13:11-14 – And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
God’s love will cover your sins if you confess and repent. God knows everything you’ve ever done; He knows everything you’ve ever said; He knows everything you’ve ever thought, imagined or fantasized; and He still loves you enough to forgive and forget. There is no sin that you have ever committed that is stronger than His love for you. So if your life is not right with God at this time, it is not too late to repent and get your priorities right.
Matthew 6:31-34 – “Therefore do not worry (fear), saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles (unbelievers) seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
The command not to fear does not mean that the fearful things will not come – they will come as promised. However, those that trust in Christ and God’s loving care have no reason to fear as God has also promised to provide and protect His own. They will see these fearful things happen, but they are in His hands of protection and provided a means of escape.
Luke 21:35-36 – For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.
We also read in Psalm 91 that we will see these fearful sights, thye will be all around us, but He is our shelter.
Psalm 91:4-10 – He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look, And see the reward of the wicked (unbelievers). Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
Therefore, trust God and keep His commandments to love Him and others and do not worry about the days that lay ahead as He has all these things in His hands and that is also where you want to be!
So the answer of whether to fear or not to fear is now obvious; we are not to fear what is coming; instead we are to put complete trust in God, Jesus Christ and the promises in His Word, the Bible – and stand fast upon that which cannot be shaken – His Word and The ROCK.
Hebrews 12:25-27 – See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.
It is important to understand that circumstances, situations and conditions that occur in the world DO NOT nullify God’s Word and His promises to his beloved. Therefore put your trust in Him and His Word and not in those circumstances, situation or conditions that you will see and hear about. Then fear will not be a factor in your future. Amen, So be it!