Monday, August 18, 2008

60 Seconds (10)


G. K. Chesterton, the British author, once said, “If I could preach only one sermon, it would be a sermon against fear.” One doctor observed that, “Fear is the most devastating enemy of human personality.” Scientist estimate that 50 million Americans suffer from one type of phobia or another. They have classified more than 500 fears that can send victims into a cold sweat, start hearts racing, or make them faint.

This is not “the fear of the Lord,” which is a phrase of Old Testament piety meaning “reverential trust with hatred of evil,” but a fear that is intimidating and a terror. The Apostle John put it this way, “Fear has torment,” 1 John 4:18. The word for “torment” he used means, “to punish as in our prison system.” Psalm 73:19 tells us that fear can become so intense at times it is described as consuming. Ann Landers, the syndicated advice columnist, was at one time receiving ten thousand letters a month from people with all kinds of problems. When asked if there was one common denominator among all her correspondents, she said that the number one subject of her letters was fear. Fear of nearly everything imaginable, until the problem became so great that many had a fear of life itself.

God admonishes and promises in Isaiah 41:10, “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.” Max Lucado wrote, “Are you aware that the most repeated command from the lips of Jesus was, ‘Fear not’? Are you aware that the command from heaven not to be afraid appears in every book of the Bible?” God told Abraham, “Do not be afraid.” God told Isaac, “Do not be afraid.” God told Jacob, “Do not be afraid.” God told Moses on three different occasions, “Do not be afraid.” Three times He told Joshua, “Do not be afraid.” On ten occasions Jesus told His disciples, “Do not be afraid.” Twice God told Paul, “Do not be afraid.” And the list goes on and on.

Henry Durbanville wrote about the gifted fourth-century preacher John Chrysostom: “Exiled from the position which he held as the greatest preacher of his age, this noble man refused to be intimidated. ‘What can I fear?’ he asks. ‘Will it be death? But you know that Christ is my life, and that I shall gain by death. Will it be exile? But the earth and all its fullness are the Lord’s. Will it be loss of wealth? But we brought nothing into this world and can carry nothing out. Thus all the terrors of the world are contemptible in my eyes, and I smile at all its good things. Poverty I do not fear, riches I do not sigh for, and from death I do not shrink’.”

Someone stated, “Fear not tomorrow – God is already there!” While John was exiled on the island called Patmos, Christ declared to him, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last,” Revelation 1:17. In effect He was saying, “I was here before there was anything to fear and I will be here after all things you fear have passed away.” Remember, He is the Alpha and Omega – and all the alphabet between! FEAR NOT.

Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©


MrsEvenSo... said...

This is a very good teaching. Thanks for sharing!

Even So... said...

Amen honey...I am thankful that I do not have to fear a "0" comment post, one of the many, many benefits (both big and little and everything in between) of being with you...

Even So... said...

1 John 4:18