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It is Time to be Very Afraid!
Fear Can Make Us Vulnerable
Fear Does Have a Positive Side.
The Two Faces of Fear!
We live in a world of fear that is mounting higher and higher as each day passes. Fear is no longer relegated to a single region of the world or a single people group but has driven its tentacles deep into all societies, including that of the Church. To the people who eschew God or anything godly it is to be expected and comes in many forms, such as:
"...fear of ... failure, change, acceptance, health issues such as cancer, the lack of meaning to life, being alone, old age, their next meal, the unknown and ultimately - death. Add to this the countless "phobias" that our wonderful professional mental doctors have added to our vocabulary. Add to this the modern fears that consume our country: the fear of refugees and terrorism, violence in our schools from K-12 through college along with the violence demonstrated by the latest "Black Friday" events, road rage, family genocides over mindless issues and the ever present growing fear of disease that our loving media so eagerly foments 24/7.
Many fears are truly rational and at number one on the list is death; the great safety mechanism placed by God within the heart of all mankind. I will elaborate shortly. Irrational fears are NOT the work of a sound mind and many are easily exploited (vulnerable). They are open to con games such as get rich quick and be healthy for "life". Billions of dollars have made a "few" very wealthy and many much poorer; that includes in friends they have alienated in their fearful quest.
Godly fear is the antithesis of worldly fear ... or it should be!
The real fear of God, and please do NOT change the word fear into "reverence", is perfectly liberating when it comes the fear of death . Those who exchange reverence for fear can be people who in their personal lifestyle are among the most irreverent of believers. It has become a "catch-phrase" for performing godliness at "church" and for excusing their lack of total obedience to God when alone, at home or work.
The Name Above All Names!
John Was Very Afraid!
When then the apostle John encountered the glorified Jesus Christ, he fell down as dead. He was not being reverent but was deathly afraid for the first words spoken to him by our Lord was "FEAR not:..". I believe that Jesus knows the difference between fear and reverence. I had no doubt that my earthly father loved me, but when I heard those fearful words, "wait until your father gets home" fear entered into my stellar conduct for the rest of the day, hoping my mother would either forget or soften the message for my father's ears. She never forgot and she usually had a tendency to expound upon the severity of my crime, which did not help matters as far as I was concerned.
When is the Church going to wake up in America and realize that we WILL give an account for everything we have done or not done and for what have said or left unsaid? We need to rid ourselves of the flippancy in which we approach not only our corporate worship but also in our current lifestyles and lack of being a witness before a lost and dying world. You ask what has worldly fears brought into churches and our lives. The fear of God has been watered down as evidenced by:
- Fear of offending another...
- Withholding the Truth for it might smite another's "self-esteem"...
- Fear of being too judgmental...
- Fear of being different and how easy is has become to conform to the ways and desires of society...
- Your personal beliefs being more important than loving the brethren...
- The fears of the world becoming very pronounced within our fellowships and our personal relations.
Ungodly fears lead to a multitude of perverse lifestyles: lying, thievery, reclusiveness, hedonism, alcoholism, promiscuity, homosexuality, racism and murder to name just a few. There is a common thread, for the god of this world, Satan, is not only the most hideous of deceivers but is most likely the most fearful: he knows what his end SHALL be. As evidenced by the fear of "Legion" not wanting to go to the pit, the Devil's minions and his earthly followers would naturally be a very fearful group. To alleviate these fears, they in turn make money, power, or sex their gods.
"He who dies with the most toys wins" was a common bumper sticker several years back, and when you look around your own congregations, how many still hold to this principle? There is only one way to negate worldliness and that is to fear God: fear displeasing Him, fear the coming judgment of the believer so that we will be found faithful and fear that we should not miss any opportunity to give glory to our Savior.
The Creation - Young or Old?
What You Believe - Makes All The Difference
What does evolution have to do with the fear of the Lord? Let us approach this in a very logical progression:
- If evolution had any real impact upon a persons fears, it would be evidenced by the lack of the fear of death. It espouses that we are nothing but a culmination of chemical and biological changes over a long period of time. We are nothing, for the materiality of the laws of evolution teach that we came from nothing and we will return to nothing.
- Do not get preservation confused with the fear of death. Animals do not live in a constant mental state of the fear of death, but of awareness for the preservation of their species. They will do everything to preserve their species and that includes dying, something very few humans actually ever consider attempting let alone living it out.
- Mankind's mind is constantly dwelling upon death and subsequently attempts to distract themselves as much as possible through a myriad of avenues such as aforementioned wealth accumulation, power, etc.
- Evolution introduces an alternative belief system that eliminates God by supposed science which is nothing more than a lure of the Devil to take as many with him as possible.
- A gaping hole in evolution is that it depends upon the pre-existence of the universe and that the universe is a CONSTANT state of evolution. Ask any astronomer what he or she has discovered in their studies and their work and you will find that everything is dying. Stars are constantly dying or in the process, Galaxies are not stable and the evidence of old galaxies are beautifully displayed with the Hubble telescope photographs. All of this confirms the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics: ALL matter is going from order to disorder (dying) that includes our sun, the moon's orbit, the moons of Mars and that 1957 Chevy left to rust in someone's old barn. Order demands energy and the universe testifies to energy being converted to matter.
- How can anything be evolving, if everything is dying? Just a thought.
How has this impacted the Church?
In the Garden of Eden, there was NO fear of death and the animals were not consumed with preservation. Sin changed everything!
- Christians being bombarded with evolution in school and on television stopped taking God at His word when it comes to the universe as we know it today.
- Quick they began developing scenarios to meld the Bible's creation account with that of the evolutionary model, i.e. the long day and gap "theories" both of which deny the omnipotence of God and the trustworthiness of His Word.
- Christians began to become confused for the evidence, though contrived and a lie, seemed to point to something other than the Genesis passage.
- The door opened for people begin to question other aspects of the Word and subsequently the majority of pulpits has done very little to quell this hideous enemy of the Cross.
- When a true believer loses sight of the power of God and His Word, fear replaces faith and prayer goes out the window. They have a fear of God not providing their needs and look to other means and devices. Their memories become distorted and they forget the miraculous times when the hand of Providence moved mightily in their lives. Worldliness storms the Bastille; we equate things as blessings and children as too expensive to add to our quiver. Many prefer their worldly friends to those who truly have their eternal interests at heart.
Our churches have become filled with the fearful while the fear of God has taken a backseat.
The time is upon us: the American church is ripe for a shaking wind from heaven. God will not allow us to continue as we are, for He will shake us to our core so that which cannot be shaken will remain. The day is coming quickly when we shall NEED each other and I pray that I am not a hindrance but a faithful servant.