Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Reasons We Fear

By Ron Thomas

    There are many things in life that generates fear. Frequently, the fear generated is associated with the unknown. If a person has a clear vision about what is ahead, the person can prepare him or herself for the journey and the obstacles that might present themselves, thereby eliminating some of the unknowns. On the other hand, if the journey is into the realm of the unknown, there is apprehension, and sometimes that apprehension turns into fear. Fear is controlling.
    Do you remember when you were a little boy or girl and the anticipation of getting in trouble? I do. I would do what I could to squirm out of it, but the punishment always found a path to my rear end! While I did what I could to avoid the blows, because of the blows, I was made a better person. This is not the case with many today. There is fear of the government when parents seek to discipline the children because the parents do not know what government will do, if they do anything. When children learn of this, they (fear) control the parents.
    The Lord talked about fear also. He said to His disciples, “And be not afraid of them that kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt. 10:28, ASV). This seems easier to understand than it is to apply. All we have in this world is our own experiences; with these experiences, all we know is the life we live. The idea of not fearing for one’s life seems unnatural – and surely it is. Yet, the Lord said His disciples are not to fear those in the flesh. The reason for this is clear to the spiritually minded person. What is your life but a vapor in time? If that is so, then once the vapor vanishes, are you prepared after one’s physical life is over?
    This plays well with what we read in Acts 9:31. “So the church throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria had peace, being edified; and, walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, was multiplied.” If only New Testament saints would live in accordance with this sentiment would the church grow as it should, but it doesn’t, so what does that say about the local New Testament church? Maybe we need to fear the Lord! Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, “Knowing therefore the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are made manifest unto God; and I hope that we are made manifest also in your consciences” (2 Cor. 5:11).
    While many people fear the unknown, the unknown is very much known to us, so what is there to fear? Those who have identified themselves as Christians, but are not living a life of holiness, they have everything to fear. They should fear greatly because the so-called unknown is NOT unknown. They know very well the Almighty before whom they will stand. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Heb. 10:31). Since we know these things, “How then should we live?”
- Ron Thomas preacher for the Sunrush Church of Christ, Chillicothe, OH. He may be contacted through the congregation's website. http://sunrushchurchofchrist.com/

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