It seems that everyone is upset today. No matter where you turn, you hear political mumbo-jumbo, pandemic scares, anger in the streets, evil inflicted upon babies, ungodly lifestyles, and much more. Sin is rampant. That’s all we hear… sin, hate, chaos. Godly values are vilified while satanic ways are embraced. All of this evil can begin to wear away at people, and fear can cause many sleepless nights. What’s wrong with that picture?
The fear that is generated by the news media should have no effect upon Christians. The media can talk all they want, but none of their doom and gloom should shatter our hope and faith in Jesus Christ. Maybe the trouble is that we have a hearing problem… instead of hearing God’s voice, we only hear Satan’s voice speaking through worldly people doing worldly things. Brothers and sisters, we need to openly speak of our faith in order to calm fear and encourage each other.
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).
To hear the voice of the Lord, pray, study Scripture, and fellowship with other Christians. When you hear God’s truth, you’ll reinforce your faith and will block the fear-mongers of this Satanic world from discouraging you. When others hear your faith in these troubled times, you will be an influence on them.
The news media jabbers on 24/7, and we listen. There’s a frenzy of misinformation. In trying to be the first to break news to the world, they throw out “facts” as fast as the speed of the internet. Then, when the “facts” change, they retract their first fable and throw out other “facts”, which will change before the day is over. It’s all liberal lies. It all creates confusion, which leads to fear. On the other hand, if we listen to Christians standing upon God’s word, our fear is quelled.
“For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints” (1 Corinthians 14:33).
Who do you listen to? If you only hear the chaotic voice of Satan, then your fear will rise. Hearing God’s voice will calm your fears and build your faith. We need to share our faith with non-believers in order to bring them to the saving grace found only through Jesus. We also need to share with fellow Christians. When we share our faith with other believers, we encourage each other to be strong in the Lord. I use prophecy a lot when speaking with fellow believers, because God is in control and prophecy proves He knows exactly what’s happening – because He told us it would happen. It’s easy to be afraid when you’re alone, but knowing there are others near you who have rock-solid faith in Jesus Christ can allow our fear to fade. Don’t stop fellowshipping with other Christians. We need each other.
Paul wrote his letters to the Thessalonians in order to calm their fears. False teaching had trickled in, and these teachings caused confusion and fear. The believers in Thessalonica had been the first to hear about the Rapture, which gave them a sense of peace and hope. Paul had only been with them for three weeks, but in that short time he shared the Gospel, established a congregation, and taught deep spiritual truths. Unfortunately, many pastors today don’t preach the Gospel, let alone mention the Rapture.
From reading Paul’s letters to these Christians, we can see that their faith was true, and they served the Lord. They also saw members of their congregation die. Many were being severely persecuted, and some were martyred… the result of tribulation caused by a corrupt and evil government. They were watching and waiting for the Rapture to take them away from it all, just as we should be doing. Then, false teaching began to enter and caused fear. Instead of remembering what they had heard from Paul, they began to fear they had somehow missed the Rapture. This is similar to the false teaching of today that there will be no Rapture. The congregation in Thessalonica was worried and fearful. Instead of faith giving them peace, false teaching was making them afraid. Paul wrote to reassure them and calm their fears.
“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-2).
The Christians in Thessalonica listened to things that caused them fear, and their faith was shaken. They didn’t have MSNBC to feed them lies, but the same spirit of evil existed then as exists now. Paul encouraged them and reiterated the sequence of events leading to the Great Tribulation. The Rapture would happen first.
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).
First, there will be a falling away. There’s some discussion as to whether Paul meant a departure as in Christians departing in the Rapture, or a falling away from faith as in worldly Christians that care more about secular pleasures than God’s truth. Other Scriptures make it clear that both are true. Today, we see many people turning away from Christianity and mocking God, even when sitting in a pew, standing behind a pulpit, or calling yourself the pope. These are people described in Revelation chapter 3 as the Laodicean congregation.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20).
When the Rapture happens, if you individually haven’t opened the door to Christ, you will be left to face horrors of the Great Tribulation. After the Rapture, the man of sin will set himself up as God Almighty. He’s NOT God Almighty but possessed of Satan. We know that the temple has to be rebuilt in order for him to sit in the temple of God, and that could happen very soon. This passage, as well as many other prophetic passages, tells us that time is getting short and the Rapture is on the near horizon. We need to keep our faith in God and believe His word. That faith will dispel fear.
Do you speak openly of your faith? Many people today are afraid, and only God’s truth can bring an inner peace. Speak up because people need to hear the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the hope that it brings. As a Christian, can you explain that to someone? First, we’re all sinners. Adam’s sin put a chasm between humans and God. We had no way to go to Him because of our unrighteousness and sin. Instead, He came to us.
“But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Romans 3:21-26).
All sin can be forgiven through faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, but you have to admit you’re a sinner and change your mind about sin. Instead of embracing that which separates you from God, repent and embrace Jesus Christ for salvation. The time for repentance is swiftly ticking away. Accept Christ and turn your fear into faith.
Every believer needs to study prophecy. That means studying both the Old Testament and the New. Understanding the times in which we live can take the fear out of what’s happening around us. God gave us prophecy for a reason. Studying prophecy won’t make the future in this life rosier, but it will give you a road map of what’s to come. Just like when traveling down the highway and your gas gauge is almost to empty, you can find hope and peace in seeing signs that a gas station lies ahead.
We are rapidly moving towards the final seven years of earth’s history. That will be a time filled with horrors unlike anything seen before. Prophecy makes that very clear. Jesus said that there will be many frightening things that lead up to the Great Tribulation, and we are seeing those things happening quickly. That means the Rapture is very near. Every generation thinks they are the final one, but no generation until now has seen so many prophetic signs fulfilled. Israel being back in their God-given land is a major milestone in prophecy. Peter encouraged the study of prophecy. He had seen many wonderous sights as he walked the Holy Land with Jesus, but it’s prophecy he says to pay attention to.
“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:19-21).
Fear of the dark is dispelled by a light… Satanic darkness is dispelled by the Light of God. As we move through the dark times in which we live, the light of God’s word will calm our fears. Only Biblical prophecy will give us light and help us to see that our Lord will call us Home soon.
Have faith… don’t fear. You have the choice between living in fear or living by faith. Choose faith.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham’s previous commentaries archived at https://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is “theopneustos,” God-breathed.
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