391. Jesus IS Coming Again, Fear Not!

god_is_nearRevelation 22:20-21 NKJV  He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!  (21)  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Here at the end of John’s Revelation and at the end of the final book in the Bible we find one more reason not to fear.  John recorded a powerful quote from the Lord Jesus, “Surely I am coming quickly.”  Jesus is coming again.

Such a simple statement, yet so full and profound.  Its meaning though abundantly clear, carries ramifications that we can’t possibly understand or fathom until that day.  Yet completely understood or not this simple reality will free you from fear.

Jesus is coming again.  There will be no more sorrow and no more tears.  And pain and death will also be a thing of the past (Revelation 21:4) as we forever live in the light of His glory (Revelation 21:23).  Jesus’ promise is more than just words though, it is a reason to live fearless.

For almost 7 ½ years we’ve walked through the Bible and looked at hundreds of Scriptures about fear…  Let me leave you with this… Jesus is coming again.  Fear Not!

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387. End Times Phobia?

endtimesRevelation 11:11-13 NKJV  Now after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them.  (12)  And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them.  (13)  In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven.

Many sincere Believers regardless of their pre, mid, or post tribulation rapture beliefs fear their future days on the Earth.  While mid or post tribulation rapture adhering Believers fear the devastation and horrid trials through war, pestilence and ruthless men as such as the world has never seen in its history, pre-tribulation rapture believing saints fear the world wide calamities leading up to their rescue, selfishly not fulfilling their dreams, or that somehow they might miss the rapture and be “left behind”.  But Revelation 11 once again shows the awesomeness of the Lord God and that we never have to fear.

Revelation 11 tells us that for 3 ½ years two witnesses prophesy, bear witness, and provide evidence of the Lord.  Once they finish, the Beast will rise from the Abyss and kill them.  But God always gets the last laugh.  For 3 ½ days lovers of evil will party and rejoice over their death until the Lord God raises them up from the dead.  Then great fear will overtake them as they yet again see the overcoming power of our Heavenly Father.

Regardless of whether you are pre, mid, post tribulation rapture or even amillennialists this kind of terror is not meant for you.  The Lord God is AMAZING and we should not fear ANY days to come nor the signs, wonders, miracles, or events that we are seeing or hearing around us today.  Jesus has the keys of Hades and of death (Revelation 1:18) and is LORD over all.  He is alive and forever on the throne.  Best of all He loves you.  Fear Not!

386. Fearless and Faithful

il_340x270-1301284640_ix7bRevelation 2:10 NKJV  Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

Faithfulness is the quality of being true and utterly constant in our lives.  It is more than commitment; it is the allowing ones commitment to permeate into every aspect of their daily life.  The faithfulness of God is one reason we never have to fear in life.  Faithfulness is also to be our response in the midst of a fearful circumstance.

In Jesus’ discourse to the church in Smyrna as recorded by the Apostle John, He warns them that suffering will be coming their way and admonishes them not to be afraid but to instead be faithful in the midst of their tribulation.  He tells them that suffering is coming their way and does not promise them exemption from it, but instead commands them not to be afraid of it and to simply remain faithful during it.

Despite what most of us would desire, the Gospel does not promise that life with Christ will be free from problems, difficulties, persecution or even suffering.  Jesus actually tells us, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. (John 16:33 NLT)”  In a world still, itself, suffering from the results of sin, it’s inhabitants even those who follow Jesus also find themselves impacted by the effects of a world infected by it.  But don’t despair, both of these verse give us direction and hope.

It is first important to note that the Lord is was not the author of the church in Smyrna’s suffering.  Nor is He the source of yours.  Suffering in the world is a result of any number of things: the fallen world, the devil, decisions of others, our own decisions, etc… but it is not because of God.  Instead He gives us hope.  A hope that tells us to remain encouraged, because He has overcome the world and though we are here in a messed up world, we are part of Glorious Kingdom and have been crowned with His everlasting life.  Therefore, no matter the circumstance or trial we can and should take heart, not fear, and faithfully live out His Word.

Allow your commitment to Christ to permeate every area of your life.  You can remain faithful and constant even in the midst of a horrifying situation.  Jesus is with you and He has given you the crown of life.  So fear not and faithfully live for Him now because no matter what you face you have already triumphed and been crowned victorious.  Let’s live fearless & faithful.

385. Jesus’ 3 Reasons Not to Fear

fear-notRevelation 1:17-18 NKJV  And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last.  (18)  I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.

One day while John was in the Spirit (most likely meaning he was fully engaged in worshiping the Lord, praying in the Holy Spirit, singing psalms, hymns & songs given by the Spirit, lost in meditation of the Word, or some other form of worship where his attention was turned totally toward the Lord), Jesus appears to him in a glorified way that he never encountered Him before during Jesus’ earthly ministry.  It says His eyes were like a flame of fire, His head & hair were white and wooly, His feet were like polished pure brass, His voice like a roaring waterfall, & His face was as bright as the midday sun.  This would truly be an overwhelming and fearful sight to most of us and John was no different, falling down on his face at Jesus’ feet.  Then Jesus picks him up and says, “Stop being afraid.” International Standard Version.

Then Jesus shares 3 truths with John that comforted him and abated his fears, before giving him 7 important messages to local churches of the day and taking him by the Spirit to Heaven where he would receive the rest of the Revelation.  These 3 truths not only helped subside John’s fear, but they will also help us in living free from fear today.  Jesus said, “”Stop being afraid! I am the first and the last, the living one. I was dead, but look-I am alive forever and ever! I have the keys of Death and Hades.” (ISV)

  1. Fear not – Jesus is the First & the Last. This speaks to His Divine nature.  Remember, you don’t just have a relationship with a man, this man also happens to be a part of the Godhead and was a part of the beginning of all things.  Jesus is also the Last.  He always gets the last word in and at the end of time He will hand the Kingdom back over to the Father (1Corinthians 15:24-26) and we will all live together forever.  If we’ll really get revelation of Him and live in a constant reality that the faithful One who is the First & the Last is always for us, with us, & in us, we’ll be like John and quickly get up on our feet.
  2. Fear not – Jesus is alive. This speaks of His presence.  Revelation 1:18a in the Good News Bible says, “I am the living one! I was dead, but now I am alive forever and ever.”  There is no end to Jesus nor to His eternal love for us.  Hebrews 13:5 tells us He will never leave us.  As a follower of Jesus, we are never alone and therefore never have to fear.
  3. Fear not – Jesus has the keys of Hades and of Death. This speaks of His authority.  Hebrews 2:15 shows us that all fears ultimately stem from the fear of death (we’ve looked at this in previous blog posts and is discussed in my book Fearless Psalm 34:4  Living Free From Fear).  Since Jesus has authority over the thing that causes fear in the first place and has commissioned us to go in His authority and walk in fearless victory (Matthew 28:18-19, Romans 8:37), we can walk in His authority and live free from fear.

Jesus is picking each of us up today, helping us stand back up on our feet and saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.”

382. The Law of Displacement

FrontCoverOnly1 John 4:18 KJV  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

Galatians 5:6 tells us that faith works by love.  In 1 John 4 we read that love casts out fear and there is no fear in love.  This always makes me think of the law of displacement. 

I remember this law being demonstrated in one of my classes when I was a boy.  My teacher had a large pitcher of water and added food coloring to it so it all turned a certain color, blue I believe.  This pitcher sat in a large basin so that the floor didn’t get wet during the demonstration.  Then he began to pour clean water into the pitcher.  As he did the overflow of water began to spill out into the basin.  The water in the pitcher slowly began to dilute and become less blue until finally he lifted the pitcher full of water out of the basin and it was completely clear again just like the water he was pouring in.  You see the water he poured in pushed out the water already in the pitcher until the blue colored water was completely replaced by the fresh clear water.

This idea is conveyed to us here in 1 John concerning love and fear.  Verse 18 says love casts out fear.  The more love that gets poured into ones heart, the more fear is displaced and is purged from it.

Unfortunately the converse is also true.  Remember, fear is self-centered and when one begins to get in fear their thoughts are turned solely toward themselves.  The fear focuses one on them self because of its selfish and self-centered nature and begins to push out the love of God for others in their heart.  Then fear begins to consume even more of their focus which leads to their fear increasing.  While one is thinking about them self they can’t be thinking about others.  This is detrimental and devastating to the life and walk of faith, because faith works by love (Galatians 5:6).

Faith works by love, so when you’re in fear it hinders your faith to believe and receive the promises of God and your deliverance in that situation.  Fear also keeps you from doing the things He’s called you to do.  This applies to all of us.  God wants us to be fearless so we can walk in faith and accomplish His purposes doing the things He’s called us to do.

381. Stay Alert and Stay Strong

90d837a6e3da89b1d38c67d71a5260011 Peter 5:8-9 NLT  Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.  (9)  Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.

Some people don’t believe in the devil, but the Scripture is clear that he exists and he is our enemy.  Peter wrote that he, “prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”  Yet we don’t have to fear him when he roars and you really don’t want to either.  You see that’s how he locates those he can devour.  He prowls around and then lets out a ferocious roar to see how you react.  At that moment when that horrifying and deafening roar occurs, even the strongest in faith might startle, but how you respond makes all the difference.

“But wait,” you might say, “I’ve only heard a lion roar at that zoo.”  However his roar doesn’t sound how you might expect.  The devil’s roar rarely ever sounds like an actual lion and it really doesn’t matter what it actually sounds like at all (sometimes he even sounds like you).  Instead it matters more what the roar says.  While on the prowl he roars words.  He roars things that cause fear to rise in people.  Things like, “LOSS” “DEBT” “ALONE” “LOSER” “PAIN” or he’ll even roar, “CANCER!”  Then he’ll just crouch down to see how you react.  Will we start to sweat, panic, run, say, yell, or stand in faith and speak the Word.

Though I’ve never seen a Harry Potter movie (I’m not getting in the argument of whether or not it’s ok to watch or read the books. You decide for your family. I just don’t have any interest), I did read a great quote taken from one.  “Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.” – J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.  The enemy is counting on us to reveal our fears in what we say and how we react when we hear his roars.  But what he roars are really just names.  Names of things people fear.  People hear cancer and shudder, but as nasty as the disease is, it is still just a name associated with a disease.  A name that does not compare to the name we are associated with.

We have a name that is associated with Creator, Savior, Provider, Comforter, Victory, & Healer.  We have the name of JESUS!  When the devil begins to roar, you can stand strong in your faith, smile and say, “Jesus.”  Your struggle is not unique.  The devil prowls about looking someone, anyone to devour and though his specific roar might be different to all people the grace of God and the Name of Jesus empowers us to stand fearless and strong in faith no matter how loud he roars.  The devil is on the prowl and he roars the things nightmares are made of, but we have the Lion of Judah, the Name above all names, Jesus, living on the inside of us.  No matter what name the devil roars, stand firm, smile, strongly roar back, “JESUS!” and Fear Not!

376. Don’t Be Turned From Your Purpose

484142_18_e9135bHebrews 11:27 NKJV  By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible.
Hebrews 11:27 BBE  By faith he went out of Egypt, not being turned from his purpose by fear of the wrath of the king; for he kept on his way, as seeing him who is unseen.

You don’t have to allow fear to turn you from what you began in faith.  Moses led the Children of Israel out of Egypt by faith.  Immediately after making starting the journey the thoughts rushed in.  Even if Moses himself didn’t have personal thoughts of fear, he heard the fears of the people. “What if Pharaoh changes his mind?” “How will we survive in the wilderness?” “It would have been better if we never left Egypt.”  But Moses was not turned from his purpose, even when it looked like they might succumb to the wrath of the Pharaoh when he led his army against the Children of Israel.  Moses stayed steady, endured, and kept on his way.

No matter what God directed journey you are on, there is an enemy that will try to turn you from the purpose God has given you.  His number one weapon is fear.  This verse gives us 3 great points to help us stay free from fear.

  1. Live by faith. “By faith he went out…”  Whether you are going to work, visiting the doctor, or playing a game with the kids, do it in faith.  Pray often and remind yourself of the Word, then trust in the Lord and walk in the Word.  Romans 1:17.
  2. Stay your course. “…not being turned from his purpose by fear… for he kept on his way” The opportunity to fear and doubt will come.  Keep your mind stayed on the Word and Spirit of God because you trust Him. Isaiah 26:3 tells us that doing so will keep us in His perfect peace.
  3. Look unto Jesus. “…as seeing him who is unseen.” Moses looked unto God and the plan and purpose that God had for him and His people.  We look, unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2.  Looking unto Him, keeps us in constant contact with Him and watching for any course correction or new instructions along the way that will keep us steady and in our lane.

We don’t have to be derailed by fear.  Like Moses we are to begin in faith, knowing the Word and Character of God.  We keep our minds on the promises of His Word and our eyes on the victory set before us.  We keep our eyes on Him and follow His leading which keeps us in our lane and out of the ditch.  Don’t be turned from your purpose. Live by faith, stay your course, look unto Jesus, and Fear Not.