There is no doubt now that the End Times are firmly upon us. Daily, the news gets worse and worse. Fear is being peddled on every side as though to thoroughly demoralize and mentally debilitate us citizens at large, to better enable the evil ones of the world to have sway over us. And that is exactly what indeed is happening.
Fear doesn’t necessarily paralyze. Fear can spook a body into acting irrationally. If you have ever truly encountered a deer in the headlights, as I have on several occasions, you know that rather than being paralyzed, the deer will often react in unpredictable ways. Sometimes they will even jump onto the hood rather than jump to the side of the road.
It seems people do similar things when ‘spooked’ by fear. The ‘pandemic’ has shown those of us who are still thinking for themselves just how irrationally a frightened human being can act. We have seen how people, when threatened with being sexist or racist, or with losing a job, will often adopt the most insane of agendas.
Christians — and I am speaking to all of you who are born-again, born in the Spirit, Christians — when are we going to stop shopping in the Fear Market and begin buying firmly into God’s promises. This endless listing of trials and horrors is getting us nowhere we need to be. We need, instead, to be trusting holus-bolus, surrendering completely in every cell of our being to our Redeemer, Saving, Loving God – the One Who made heaven and earth and each one of us in His own image.
Each morning and evening, practicing Jews repeat the Shema, which is the Hebrew word for ‘hear.’ The first line of the prayer in Hebrew is: “Shema, Yisrael, Adonai, Eloheinu, Adonai Echad.” “Hear, O Israel, the LORD, our God, the LORD is One.” The following lines of the prayer are as familiar to Christians as the LORD’s Prayer: “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5).
Perhaps we are so inured to these words that we have somehow lost the strength of their meaning. The LORD God wants us to love Him with everything we are, everything we have, everything that is in us … right down to every cell in our bodies.
The hymn “I Surrender All” is a pretty good summation of how much we are called to love the LORD and trust completely in Him. “All to Jesus I surrender; all to Him I freely give. I will ever love and trust Him, in His presence daily live.” According to the words of Deuteronomy and Jesus in Matthew 22:37, before all else, we are to love God completely. If we love Him in every fiber of our being, it means we also trust Him in the same way. If you love completely, you trust completely.
So here’s my question, Christians: Why are you still so afraid? Why do you wallow in the horror that fills our news every day and belabor it until your soul is sickened? Stop! Stop filling yourselves with dread of what is coming on the world. Not one of us ought to be surprised at what is happening when it has all been laid out so neatly in the Word of God for us.
In Revelation 2, Jesus tells the church at Ephesus that they have forsaken the love they had for Him when they first believed. Though they have worked hard and done many deeds of kindness and charity, though they have persevered in the face of wickedness, they have fallen from their first lofty love and trust in Him. And Jesus calls them to ‘Repent and do the things you did at first.”
Coming to Jesus in the first place is a huge step for us sinners. It takes an enormous amount of trust and love to put our hand in His, surrender our Will to His, repent of our sin, and turn away from the life we once knew. It seems incredible that, for some, after a few years, faith can be taken for granted, but it does happen. Sometimes, our first love and trust need a boost, just as the Church as Ephesus did.
There is another lesson for us in Jesus’ letter to the angel at the Church at Laodicea. He reprimands the Church for being lukewarm. They have become rich and complacent, and though still going through the motions of worship and praise, they blow neither hot nor cold for the LORD. Jesus says He could even bear it if they were cold more than this wishy-washy lukewarmness. They are sitting on their comfort, their wealth. Not needing anything material, they have forgotten they need the Saviour, the Lover of their souls, the Lamb of God to Whom they were betrothed at conversion. And therefore, they are no longer surrendered to Him.
In total surrender, we trust that no matter how wicked the world at large is, no matter how messy our personal world is, no matter what is happening around us and to us, we have certain promises from God that He has our back. As believing, loving, trusting Christians, we have nothing to fear.
How often did our Saviour say, “Don’t be afraid,” “Fear not,” and like phrases? We need to stop shopping in the Market of Fear and start buying more into the promises of God that He will never leave nor forsake us.
In order to do that, here are a handful of verses (in addition to the Shema) that would be helpful to visit daily:
a.) “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
b.) “… I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our LORD” (Romans 8:38-39).
c.) “The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Psalm 118:6). (The whole of this psalm speaks to trusting the LORD in the midst of all kinds of evil.)
d.) Jesus said: “In this world you will have tribulation [trouble, testing]. But take heart! [Be of courage!] I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
e.) Jesus said: “Since you have kept My command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth. I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have so that no one will take your crown” (Revelation 3:10-11).
It would seem that the time to speculate whether the End is near, or here, has long passed. All the passages of Matthew 24, Mark 19, and Luke 21 are all evident in the world now, as are Paul’s words to Timothy about the terrible times in the last days. That list of evils has now been unleashed in the world. In fact, Paul says, “everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” Rather than being alarmed at knowing this, we can be at peace also knowing that Jesus has us firmly in His care.
If you find you are reading or writing fearful things a lot of the time, please consider what you are doing to yourself and others. Ask yourself if this is helpful. Faithful Christians, who know God’s Word, can help both ourselves and non-believers to find peace in Jesus’ Good News rather than visiting and re-visiting the evil news of the world.
Having written that is not to say that we ignore what is happening in the world. We are to be in the world, but not of the world, until Christ comes for us. Jesus prayed to the Father, “I am coming to You now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of My joy within them. I have given them Your Word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that You protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it” (John 17:13-16).
This world is NOT our home. You and I have nothing to fear from either the world or anyone in it. Our home is with the One Who loved us so much that He sent His one and only Son that all who believe in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
So, let’s all stop shopping in the Market of Fear and begin appreciating what Jesus has promised us – to keep us from the Wrath of God that is coming on the world and to appreciate what He has bought for us; that is, eternal salvation, eternal life in Him. And all God’s children said, “Thanks be to God!”
Are you Rapture Ready? If anyone reading this devotional has not yet received Jesus as their Saviour, but God has touched your heart by His Holy Word, please email me (email@example.com) or find a Bible-believing local church and ask the Pastor what you must do to be saved in Grace. In the meantime, please consider the ABCs of Salvation:
A – Admit
Admit what you have done wrong and ask forgiveness.
Romans 3:23 “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Romans 6:23 “The wages of sin is death.”
I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
B – Believe
Believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose again as payment for your sins.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
1 Corinthians 15:3-4 “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.”
Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
C – Confess and Choose
Confess and choose to allow God to be in charge of your life.
Matthew 16:24 “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”
Romans 10:9 “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Romans 10:13 “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
This article, based on God’s Holy Word, was written by the inspiration of God’s own Holy Spirit. All glory to God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.