September 27, 2017
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that can do nothing more. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight. But even the hairs of your head are all counted. Do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.
What should we fear?
What do Jesus’ words mean for us today?
There is so much unwarranted fear in our country right now. I’ve been amazed at what’s been coming across the media since the elections showing the fear in so many segments of our society. But what about? What are we so afraid of? Do we think that the sky will fall because we have a Republican president? Will the world stop spinning because the elections didn’t go the way CNN said they would last week? Will cows stop giving milk and chickens quit laying eggs?
The fear that runs across the country is really ridiculous if you ask my opinion. And the fear would be equally ridiculous if Hillary Clinton had won the election and Republicans claimed the world had come to an end. Neither of these two individuals or their staffs have that much influence. Some might think they do, but trust me, they don’t. God is still in charge of this world. He allows things to happen, but He is still in charge. His plans will come to fruition whoever sits in what we think is the seat of power in this country.
So, why are so many people afraid? I doubt if next week or next month or next year there will be any squads sweeping through the streets dragging people out of their homes and taking them to the gas chambers. We don’t live in that kind of country. Neither candidate, neither party, none of the leaders we elected in the last few days would condone or put up with any such behavior. Both love our country too much to allow any such nonsense to take place here.
But there is something we should fear. We should fear the lies that Satan keeps planting in our brain. We should fear the division that keeps creeping in between us. We should fear the hatred that spews from the mouths of those that call themselves Christians in this time. We should fear the One who set the rules in place as to how we should behave in any culture, not just a republic or a democracy or a dictatorship or a theocracy. We need to read God’s rule book and obey the things He laid out for us.
The thing to fear are those who would tell us that God’s word doesn’t need to be followed. The thing to fear are those who lead us to certain destruction by lulling us into thinking God doesn’t care about what we believe or that a God of love would not let anyone be doomed to an eternity without Him. The problem with that thinking is that God isn’t the one doing the dooming. He isn’t the one sending us there. God isn’t the one who make the choice about our eternal destiny.
God takes His hands off of that decision. He lifts His omnipotence in that one area and gives that choice to each of us. We decide if we will spend eternity in heaven or hell. We decide if we will follow Him or not. We decide if we will face eternal reward or eternal punishment. God is love. That’s why He made a way for us to be with Him forever. But He also expects us to choose His way. If we choose not to follow Him, He has told us the consequences. There is no doubt about the outcome. We are empowered to choose the path.
So now what do we do? Should we fear the paltry issues the media seems to throw in our faces to raise their ratings and get us to watch their newscasts? Should we shed crocodile tears over the meaningless headline that won’t last another week before something else hits the news and takes its place? Should we fear these false Armageddons that society tells are happening all around us that might disrupt our personal comfort and pleasures?
I think it’s time we pull out the rulebook of the One who will be our final judge, the One who checks our actions against our stated beliefs and looks into our hearts to see how it all matches up. I think it’s time we figure out He’s the One we need to start paying attention to and live up to His expectations. If we choose not to, then it’s time to really be in fear. Then it’s time to check the sky and see if this is the day He comes to take out His vengeance on those who fail to follow Him.
What should we fear in these days? Only God.