Date: September 22, 2019 (Sunday AM)
Bible Text: Genesis 9:1-2 | Steve Damron
Series: Transcribed Sermons
What the Bible says about Fear
5-year old Johnny was in the kitchen as his mother was preparing supper. She asked him to go into the pantry and get her a can of tomato soup, but he didn’t want to go in alone. "It’s dark in there and I’m scared." She asked again, and he persisted. Finally she said, "It’s OK--Jesus will be in there with you." Johnny walked hesitantly to the door and barely opened it very slowly. He peeked inside, saw it was dark, and started to leave when all at once he had an idea. He said: "Jesus, if you’re in there, would you hand me that can of tomato soup?" (taken from Humorous Illustrations)
Passages to Consider: Genesis 9:1-2; Exodus 14:10-13; Psalms 27; Psalms 34; Psalms 46:1 / Psalms 61:1-4
I. Symptoms of Fear
- Dark depression and loneliness
- Intense paranoia
- Physical weakness
- An unforgiving spirit
- Feeling of freedom to sin
- Distrust in the person of God
II. Solutions to Fear
A. False theories to peace
- Self help
B. A Great New Testament example – the Apostle Peter (John 18:15-27, 20:3-11, 21:1-3)
Conclusion: Have you let fear keep you from God? Is fear crippling your ability to trust in the one who can take away your fear?
“Fear is born of Satan” – A.B. Simpson
“How sweet the name of Jesus sounds, in a believer’s ear! It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds, and drives away his fear.” – John Newton
We are going to be looking at Genesis, Exodus, and then we are going to get to Psalms. All right, Genesis, Exodus, and then look at Psalms. Genesis 1, you will see why we are going to look at that one in just a moment, we will not spend a long time there. And then we will look at the Exodus and then we will kind of park in the book of Psalms and look at a number of those. We are going to be looking at the idea of what the Bible has to say about fear. And you may be like little Johnny. Little Johnny was a little kid and he had problems. He had fear issues and he was five-years-old. He was in the kitchen with his mom and she was preparing supper. And she asked him to go into the pantry and get a can of tomato soup. But he did not want to go alone. And so he looked at mom and said, well, it is dark in there. I am not going in there. It is really dark in there. And she said, you know what, you need to go in there and get the can of tomato soup. And finally she said, it will be okay Jesus will be there with you. And so Johnny walked hesitantly to the door, opened it up a crack. He peeked inside and he started to leave and then an idea came to him. And this is what he said. He said, Jesus, if you are in there, hand me the can of tomato soup. All right? You may have experienced fear in your life. So we are going to look at the idea of fear.
The word fear, or some form of the word fear, is used in the Bible over 380 times. So fear is a topic that is covered in the Bible, and we can understand it. For instance, our verse is one of those that we said together in Proverbs, I believe it was Proverbs chapter 29. Where it says, "The fear of man bringeth a snare? All right, but right in that verse it tells us the opposite. A lot of times, the book of Proverbs is that way. It is called parallelism in the Hebrew poetry. Parallelism is a little bit different than what we think of as poetry in America. Parallelism in the book of Proverbs was that, it would give you the opposite right in the same verse. So here in one part of the verse it is saying there is fear, but right in the verse it gives us the parallel, and that is trust in the Lord.
And so this morning we are going to look at the idea of fear and dwell on it just a little bit. Because what I want to do is look at is what does the Bible have to say? Because fear will keep you from making a right decision about eternity. It really will. Fear will keep you from doing that and there is a right fear. The Bible talks about a right type of fear and that is the fear of the Lord. And the Bible says that right type of fear, the fear of the Lord, is the beginning of wisdom. So the beginning of the right type of fear is started with an understanding of Christ the Lord. And so we are going to look at Genesis chapter nine first. And this is the first time that the word fear is used in the Bible. Those of you that know different types of studies know, there is one called, the law of first mention. And this first mention is about a man and fear. It is actually talking about the universe. It kind of goes against those out there that want to get into political things as far as in this verse. But you will see that a Bible understanding helps us know about even earthly things. So look at Genesis 9:1 it says, "And God blessed Noah" (So this is after the flood, which I believe actually happened. Just so you know.) "And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. (Notice) And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth,..." So, I am sorry if you think this, but biblically, this is one of the things that the Bible is able to correct us on. Okay? My dog is not on the same level as me. Now you may think so. You are like, oh yeah, I am telling you. All right, I have already started hearing you and am thinking your dog is smarter. All right, well, the Bible is indicating to us that man was created at a higher level than animals. That is what it is saying right here. And animals will fear you. It is not saying that we should mistreat him, it is just saying that this is what is wrong. When you take the Bible out of society, then things get messed up. Why? Because the Bible is my sole authority for faith and some people have stopped at that. It is not just a sole authority for faith, but it is a sole authority for faith and practice. And so I must do that which the Bible tells me to do.
And so that is the idea of the law of first mention. So we are going to jump up from there. So let's go to Exodus. So in Exodus, chapter 14. This is the passage that basically in the Bible, it is the first time that the idea of our relationship with God and fear are connected. And it is interesting because there is another word that is introduced in this passage that relates again with the solving of our fear. Notice in Exodus chapter 14, this is talking about the children of Israel. They are in bondage in Egypt and God wants to deliver them. And so they have been delivered because God sent 10 plagues against the Egyptians. And the children of Israel were then released and brought to the Red Sea. And at the Red Sea notice what happens in verse 10. "And when Pharaoh drew nigh, and the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; (Notice here is the idea.) and they were sore afraid..." Here is fear. This is one of the first times that you see it in action in the Bible. And God takes action in regards to man's fear. So here are the Egyptians. Most of us, I think know the story of the children of Israel. And the Egyptians had put them in bondage under hard labor. For those of us now in this day and age, as we look back at history, the Egypt in the Bible represents the sinful life, the life of bondage. And so it is a good picture for us because guess what Satan does? He uses that hard labor and bondage of sin. And then I am sore afraid of the devil. I am afraid of what he is going to do. I am afraid of him. And so that is where the children of Israel are at. They got released they are running away from these guys and they come up to the Red Sea. Here is Pharaoh charging behind them with all of the armies and they are sore afraid.
And the children of Israel they at least did something smart. They cried unto the Lord in verse 10 and verse 11, "And they said unto Moses, Because there are no graves in Egypt..." This is so typical of man, isn't it? We start crabbing because there were no graves in Egypt. "...hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? Whoever we can lash out at. And that is one of the symptoms of fear believe it or not. You start lashing out at people. "Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians?" So just so you know when they are saying that the Egyptians killed their children, put them in hard labor, they had early deaths because of the hard labor under the Egyptians, and now they are being released and there is fear that comes on. And notice what they start doing. Crabbing against the man of God, crabbing against God who delivered them and then they are turning and saying, see, it was better back then. That is really stupid. And I think most of us understand that. I mean, come on, they were taking their kids, killing them, they are doing all kinds of ridiculous things to you. Oh, and that is a better life. No it is not. But that is what fear can do. Fear can make you do silly things, "... For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness." Actually, I would rather die in the wilderness.
Verse 13, here is the idea of, now God steps in and it is one of the first times in the Old Testament that God steps in and helps us to understand how He can help us when we have fear. Notice in verse 13, "And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, ..." He ties it together with a word 'salvation,' fearing not in salvation. This morning that is what we kind of want to look at. We want to look at this idea of what the Bible has to say about fear. Because fear, that is one of the devil's tools to keep you kind of, stymied in that bondage. And at the end this morning we will talk about how we can, be released from fear. And part of it is turning to God in faith. And faith is a lot different because faith according to the word of God is something you can not see all the time. And the devil makes us doubt because we always have to see right here. And so because he has got you right here and he says, oh, come on. I mean, have you ever seen God? And he puts all of these thoughts in your mind and you become overwhelmed with fear. And then you start saying, well, fine. You know what? I do not want church anymore. I do not want the Bible, forget it. I would rather go back and just live that life. You ever heard anybody say that? Yeah. Guess what? The devil is able to captivate people with fear and then he brings him back into bondage.
Here is Moses. Moses is a picture in some sense of a Christ, he is a deliverer. He is a sent one. Moses actually in the book of Hebrews is compared, there is Moses and Christ. And Christ is better than Moses. But Moses was a sent one from God to deliver his people. And guess what he tells them, fear not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord. And guess what happened? They were delivered. They were delivered. And this morning my prayer is that God would deliver you from the fear of the devil, the fear of man, the fear of hell and damnation. Deliver you from that, and it comes by the opposite -- faith. Faith in a loving, compassionate, all mighty God. And this morning my prayer is that you would be able to see the salvation of the Lord. Heavenly Father, I pray that you would bless this morning, give us wisdom and guidance. Help us as we look at scripture this morning, that you would lead and guide. Help us to be clear in defining this idea of fear and the opposite is faith. And Lord I pray they would lead folks to see that faith in God can overcome fear. I pray that you would help this morning. As always do that which I cannot do and that is speak to hearts. We ask and claim your power in Jesus name, Amen.
You may say, well, I mean, what is the big deal about fear and overcoming fear? I think that some of us do not realize how much fear is in our life. How much fear is there? It keeps us, it restricts us from doing that which we know to do. Why? Because the opposite of fear is faith and faith always, biblical faith, is always tied to the word of God. How do I know that? Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. That is Romans 10:17. Also, you can find in Hebrews the book of Hebrews 11:1, it explains faith. "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." So faith is the opposite of fear. But the difference with faith is that it is relying on something that you always cannot see. Now I can bank on this. I can bank on God, but it takes my faith in this Book. And this Book normally reacts contrary to the devil and it reacts contrary to the world, and it reacts contrary to your flesh. And so because of that, stepping out in faith means that I am leaving that old life behind, and that can make us fearful. It really can. So I want to look at a couple of things this morning as we think of this idea of fear. So bear with me and we will try not to be long, but I would like us to understand a little bit about fear.
So let's turn to Psalm 27 we are going to look at four different Psalms. David, King David is a great person for us to consider about fear. And how did he overcome fear? How did he get out of it? Because King David was anointed as King of Israel and then something really bad happened. He was chased out by the guy that was before him, King Saul. He was chased out and he lived, until King Saul died, he lived running, living in caves, working for the enemy. That was King David. You can look it up in the Bible and you can look it up in history. King David, he lived in caves and he built his own army. Eventually he had about 600 mighty men that fought with him, but over and over he was being chased and King Saul wanted him dead. He wanted him dead. So guess what, fear, David knew about it. David had it overtake him. And so how did he overcome fears? So this morning I want to look at this idea.
So Psalm 27 and first of all I want to look at some symptoms of a fear, and this may have happened in your life. In Psalm 27 notice what David says in Psalm 27. "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple." Notice a little later, go down to verse nine. Start in verse eight, "When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek. Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help;..." Now notice that it is opposite. He is saying he is praying for something that overcame him, that took him over. And this is a symptom of fear. Notice in verse nine, "Hide not thy face...put not thy servant away in anger..." You know what happens when you let fear take over --intense paranoia. Everybody is out to get me, right. Intense paranoia. Also, hide not thy face, put not thy servant away. "When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up." What does it sound like? Dark depression and loneliness. Fear will leave you in dark depression, loneliness, intense paranoia. We see this also, later. Look at verse 13, "I had fainted, unless I had believed..." So physical weakness is a symptom of an overwhelming fear. And so dark depression, loneliness, intense paranoia, physical weakness.
Psalm 34 is another psalm that talks about fear. Look at Psalm 34. Look at verse four. "I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from (what? ) all my fears." So in this passage, look at verse eight, "O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the Lord, ye his saints:...The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: (That is verse 10) but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing." When I have fear, take over me. Guess what happens? Dark depression, loneliness, intense paranoia. I also have physical weakness, but opposite of this, this is why David is saying this. He had fear. And guess what he started doing? He started saying that God is not taking care of me. Once you get fear taken care of, you start saying, you know what? The young lions do lack and suffer hunger, but they that seek the Lord. They do not need anything. But when you let fear take over in your life, you start saying, you know what? God is not taking care of me. What am I getting out of life? That is a symptom of fear. Look at verse 13, "Keep thy tongue from evil, and they lips from speaking guile." Again, it is opposite. He has found the solution, but the opposite is true. When you are filled with fear, just like the children of Israel coming out of Egypt, what did they do? They started mouthing off. They started crabbing against Moses, crabbing against God. And guess what happens when you are overwhelmed with fear? You think you have a license, a freedom to sin. You think that you have the right. Man, you know what, I can say this. No, no, no, no. That is a feeling of freedom to sin.
Psalm 46 is another passage that we see about a symptom. And this actually Psalm 46 most believed that this was Martin Luther's inspiration for his song, 'A Mighty Fortress is Our God.' And you think of Martin Luther. Martin Luther probably had fear overwhelming him because the Catholics wanted to kill him. If you know his story, they wanted to kill him. Why? He was coming against the authority saying, no, no, no. The just shall live by faith. And they said, we are going to kill you. So guess what? He probably had some fear coming in and maybe he was reading Psalm 46. And notice what it says in verse one, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;..." Look at verse five, "God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early." Here the psalmist again, he was overcoming fear. So the opposite is true. And so it is another symptom. It is a distrust in the person of God. Fear will take over you when you start saying, you know what, God does not care. God does not care about me. Where is he at? Oh, he is here. So that is some of the symptoms and we are just kinda breezing through that because what I want to do is deal with the solutions to fear.
Notice in Psalm 46, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Notice another passage that deals with this is Psalm 61. Notice what it says in Psalm 61, "Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: (That is fear.) lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For thou has been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings." What is it telling us here? It is giving us solutions in all of these. In Psalm 27:1, "The Lord is my light and my salvation..."
And as we start out looking at the solution to fear, there are false theories of peace that are out there. You know, one false theory is charms. Oh, hey, and religions do this, hey, if you buy this and put it on your dash, it will help you. I do not know, it might actually block your vision. All right? You will be looking and all of a sudden a big bobblehead will be up there. All right? Whatever saint it is. And with his bobblehead there you will be like is that a car? I can't tell. Or it might be that you come to some religion and they say, hey, for this price you can wear this around your neck. It is the same thing. All right? Just think, I know that I am being facetious here, so you are going to have to bear with me, okay? But it could be that some mugger grabs you and you are wearing it and you just gave him the weapon, you just helped him. No, I'm just kidding. All right. But I am just saying, that little trinket, you know what they did, they just conned you to give them some money. That is all they did. That money is sitting in his pocket and he is heading down to some island or something like that. Because he just goes, hey, if you wear this, it will help you. Say no, wear it yourself. You know what I mean? I am going to trust in the Lord. Charms are not the thing that is going to help you to overcome your fear.
Chance, that is becoming popular today in America. We have kind of delved into middle Eastern or not middle Eastern, far Eastern, medicines and different things like that. And people are like, Oh, Hey, you have to meditate and overcome, just empty yourself. Well, actually, again, biblically, I have tried to teach our church this. You always go to the Bible to get instruction. Do you know what biblical meditation is? Biblical meditation is opposite of the world. Again, just like the world has their idea of salvation, and you go to the Bible and it is like, no, that is not how you do it. It is the same way with meditation and the world's idea of meditation. You sit there and you empty your mind. That is nowhere found in the Bible. Biblical meditation is filling your mind with God's word. That is what biblical meditation is, and I think it is actually really good to do biblical meditation. The Bible says I should meditate in it day and night. So it instructs to me to do biblical meditation but not empty my mind. If I empty my mind who is filling it? Yeah, maybe that is why you are fearful because you empty your mind and something is going to come in. And if I am opening myself up and taking the world's idea, who is the Prince of the power of this world? The devil. Guess what I have opened myself up for--the devil. I do not want anything to do with him. He only brings fear. He only brings despondency. He only brings depression. There is nothing good in the Bible about the devil and Satan and anything about him. I do not want anything to do with him.
And so I do not want the world's false theories because what they say is charms, chance, self-help. That is big. You know what just believe. Believe in what? Well, believe. Like, believe what. And some people have it. Hey, just so you know, even if you do like a sticky thing on your wall, just putting a sticky thing on your wall that is not going to help your house. It looks nice. But you say every time I walk in I touch it. All right, what you are doing is putting dirt on the wall. All right, that is what you are doing, you need to clean it. You know, sometimes we are silly with these things because we are like, Hey, so you, I have this word and, and I just have to believe, you know what is in your heart. Find what is in your heart. You know what is in your heart. The Bible says your heart is desperately wicked. And then it asks, a question. Who can know it? You know, who can know your heart, God can. He can know your heart.
So do not follow the world's idea of taking care of fear, because they say charms and chance and self-help. Oh, here is another one. You need therapy. Yeah. You know I was dealing with something a couple of months ago and I was dealing with something pretty rough and, and they had to get a licensed therapist to deal with something. And I was like, oh, so how much is that going to cost? They said, well normally they charge about $300 an hour. I was like, what? I said, I am in the wrong business. And they said, yeah, and in order to do this fully, it will probably take about six to eight hours. I said, did you just hear what you said? For, six to eight hours. That is one day. They just made more than most of us make in a month or a week. I mean, come on. I said, I am in the wrong business. Give me a license. Like, hey, sit down here, and you know, if you give me enough money and I will tell you. And you know, study it. I have. I help our students in our college. We train people for fulltime service and I do not buy into most of the psychology or psychiatry. You know why? You know who most of them follow. I have studied it. Look up what they call them the five authors of psychology. Have you ever read anything about Freud? I am telling you that guy needed to be locked up a long time ago. He is dead now. But that guy was strange. Oh, you know what, there might be some good, but there was nothing good there. The guy was mentally unstable. He needed the therapy. And this is what happens sometimes when we get into this self help, we get into chance, we into charms. We get into psychology or psychiatry and then some, you know what they do? They turn to religion.
I am not talking about Christianity. Religion, hey, I got to get religion. And so, and there is this idea, and looking up definitions of words is important. So they say, I am going to get reformed. You know, in the Bible, I do not want to be reformed. The Bible says in Hebrews 12, that the word of God Christ can transform. You know what transform means? Transform is that caterpillar? It is the same idea in the Greek. It is a caterpillar that goes in and makes a cocoon and he goes in as a caterpillar and he comes out as what? A worm, a snake, how does he come out? This beautiful butterfly. He is transformed from something. I mean, how in the world does a caterpillar go in, make a cocoon, and all of a sudden you see it. I mean it is amazing. It is transformed. It is changed completely. That is what Christianity does. That is what Christ does. Religion reforms you, Christianity transforms you. It changes your whole being. So let me give you an example of this found in the book of John. All right? And we will close with this idea.
So we talked about fear and what does the Bible have to say about fear. Well fear, in Psalm 27, Psalm 34, Psalm 46, and Psalm 61 you see fear can take over you and shut you down. And King David was able to go to God and he found that in the person of God, in the understanding of the compassion of God, he could be transformed. So is there an example in the New Testament? There is. There are two people. One is the apostle Peter. The apostle Peter looking in John chapter 19 or John chapter 20, sorry, John chapter 18. So one chapter earlier, we see the beginning of Peter's kind of demise. So notice what happened in verse 15, "And Simon Peter followed Jesus and so did another disciple: that disciple was known unto the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest. But Peter stood at the door without. Then went out that other disciple, which was known unto the high priest, and spake unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter. Then saith the damsel that kept the door unto Peter, Art not thou also one of this man's disciples? He saith, I am not." So what is he doing, what is taking over the apostle Peter's life? Fear. Guess what they just did? They just took the Christ that he followed and they are leading Him away and they are saying, crucify Him, crucify Him. And Peter's been associated with him and so fear takes over. Look at verse 25, "And Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. They said therefore unto him, Art not thou also one of his disciples? He denied it, and said, I am not." In other passages, we read that he cursed and he said, no way. What is taking over Peter? Fear.
Look at John chapter 20 now, John 20 we see another lady that is taken over with fear and that is Mary Magdalene. So you see the apostle Peter, you see Mary Magdalene. And Mary Magdalene is coming up to the tomb after the resurrection. She runneth look at verse two, "Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, ....and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord..." Verse three. "Peter therefore went forth,... and came to the sepulchre. So they ran both together: and the other disciple did out run Peter and came first to the sepulchre. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in." All right. And then you see, verse 11, But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping:..." What is this? This is sorrow. Here is the person that they sunk their whole life into and he is gone. That is that fear and despondency, anxiety that is taking over. Look at chapter 21, we see now the disciple, the apostle Peter again, look at chapter 21:1 "After these things Jesus showed himself..." And then in verse two, "There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas..., and Nathaniel,..." And look at verse three, "Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee." What is Peter doing? Fear, when it takes over and you let it build, it makes you just say, forget it. That is what it did here. So what changed them? What changed them? You know, what changed them? The resurrection of Christ and the faith to belief.
Now in this passage earlier, you will see that Thomas did not believe at all, and they were fearful. They were all hiding in a room. They did not even want to come out of the room, and Thomas is in there and the disciples come in and say, Hey, Jesus is risen. And Thomas says, you know what unless I see him and I put my hands in his nail scars and I can touch the scars and I can put my hand in his side. I am not going to believe it. And right then Jesus walks in and he says, go ahead, Thomas. And Jesus said this, blessed are those that believe basically with out seeing. You know what that is called? Faith. And this is what my challenge is to you this morning, fear keeps you glued to your seat. Fear keeps you encapsulated basically in bondage to the devil. That is what fear does. You saw some of those symptoms: it is just loneliness, it is oppression, it is nobody cares for me, I am all by myself. And that is fear. The devil is a master at fear and he has this world gripped in it.
And Jesus Christ through the resurrection power, no longer does Satan have the power of death. That is found in revelation chapter one. In fact, in Hebrews chapter two it says that Jesus Christ broke he that had the power of death, that is the devil. And so Satan no longer can hold that over me. Why, when I have faith in Jesus Christ, when I trust in that resurrection and say, guess what devil you have played the fear game so long with me. You have told me that I am in bondage. There is no hope for you. And we live in no hope in this society. We live in fear, fear of the future, fear of what is going to happen, fear of man, fear of our neighbors. We live in fear everywhere and Jesus Christ through his resurrection broke that. And that is why even in the face of death, fear no longer is there. You know how I know that? I was there yesterday at death's door with one of our members and you know what was there, peace? How is that possible? Paul said it, Oh, grave, where is thy victory, Oh, death, where is thy sting? And that whole passage says the reason that we can face fear is the faith in a resurrected Lord because Christ is risen. The Bible says he is risen indeed. He came up out of the grave. He came out of that tomb. He put the devil to flight and he defeated him. He is a defeated foe. So I no longer have to fear. And when eternity is there weighing on you and you say, well, what am I going to do? What about the future? How do I know these things? The opposite of fear is faith.
Trust in the Lord and you shall be safe. You trust in a risen Lord. What did that risen Lord do? He came down and he died for our sins. He died on Calvary. He faced fear. I believe that, I believe even at Gethsemane, I believe on his knees He faced fear. How do I believe that? Well, because he said, if this cup will pass from me, if possible. I believe some of that cup was sin. He had never ever tasted sin or felt sin. Jesus never did. But in order for him to die for our sins, he had to take sin upon him. You know what? If I was perfect and sinless and holy, and had never ever been around sin, I might be fearful of what sin would feel like. And yet Christ faced fear. He faced it--and he defeated it. And he is living today in heaven saying, for you that are gripped and fear about the future, gripped in fear with this earth, gripped in all this fear, because that is what this world is.
Every time you pick up a paper, you know what I just heard it this week. Our world is not going to last past 2029. I did not know that. And so you need to vote for me. You know what? It does not matter, I am dead in nine years anyways. Alright, if I am dead in nine years--eat, drink, and be merry. Why? Because in 10 years I am dead and so are you. So why vote for you? Give me your money. All right. I mean, it is ridiculous, but what is it? It is a tool. It is fear, fear, fear, fear, and our world just hovers in fear. And guess what Christ does? He beats it up. I do not have to fear tomorrow. I do not have to fear after a storm. I do not have to fear about, Oh, what does man think? It brings a snare. All of those are the fear that the devil has. And he brings them upon us. And guess who can beat that fear? Christ. And when did he do it? He beat that through the resurrection. And you can experience that release of fear by coming to a Christ who already defeated all of that.
First John is an interesting passage. In first John, I believe it is chapter four, it says this, perfect love casteth out fear. Wait a minute, so now all of a sudden God threw another mix into it. I thought that it is faith. Yes. But guess what perfect love is. It is answered in the passage. God is love. So guess who can cast out fear? God, but you have got to come to him. You got to trust in him. You got to accept his payment for sin. And this morning, that is what I am asking you to do.
Hey, has fear gripped you, taken a hold of you. I mean, you are anxious about everything you are anxious about tomorrow. You are anxious about your possessions, you are anxious about all these different things and fear has gripped you. Turn it over to God. In Christ, you can have freedom from fear. Know how? Because in the resurrection we find a couple of people, Peter and we find Mary Magdalene. And later on, you know what you read about the apostle Peter in Acts chapter two, he is up there boldly proclaiming the gospel. In Acts chapter four in verse 13 it says this, they were taken prisoners. They brought him before some of the magistrates, before the authorities. And they spoke and it says this, they had boldness and they took note that they had been with Jesus. You know what will change your life this morning? Coming to Jesus. That will change you. Like I said yesterday, sitting at a hospital, overlooking, and you know what? It is hard. It is not easy. Tears come to your eyes and memories come and you think about different things, but there is no fear of death. Why? Beause guess what? With Christ, she is in heaven. Oh, death, where is thy sting? Oh, grave, where is thy victory? And then it says, it answers the questions. Thanks be unto Christ. Christ, He is the answer.
And that is where sitting wherever it may be. Why can as a Christian it be different? Why is there no fear? Remember that was a famous thing a few years ago. No fear! You know what you can wear that tee shirt all you want, but I am pretty sure it does not matter. There is going to be some guy bigger than you and you better fear him. No fear, just because I put a slogan on, but a slogan is just the slogan. You know something on the wall is just something on the wall. But in Christ, in Christ, I can have victory. We sang this song. Faith is the victory, oh glorious victory that overcomes the world, and that is even your fear. Heads bowed, eyes closed.