Fear Factor

S ome necessary ramblings today on something called, “fear of prophecy”. I won’t give it a clever name because it’s a real condition, and I don’t want to make light of it because I don’t take it lightly. But I do want to offer some gentle suggestions to those who struggle with a very real sense of fear and foreboding at the thought that ‘the end is near’, with it’s accompanying birth pangs and trials as outlined in the Scriptures.

Having been involved in a ministry for many years that stays on the cutting edge of Bible prophecy, I have learned that there are only 2 responses that stir in the heart of a believer when they hear that time is short, and that the human race is headed for certain “unpleasant” global events on our way to redemption and the consummation of all things. Some respond with excitement, joy, and a rush of adrenaline that usually leads to a voracious appetite for “more of that”. If a believer grew up in a denominational tradition that never acknowledged the Bible’s tendency to predict the future with 100% accuracy, these Christians tend to react with the most incredulity that they were kept out of the Revelation loop for so long. I was one of those who was religious but spoon-fed only those things my denomination deemed palatable or necessary for my possible redemption at my last breath. Note, I said, ‘possible’ redemption. They never really knew the way to San Jose after all.

The other reaction I have encountered fairly regularly is one of great discomfort at the mention of certain events on the prophetic horizon. Things like global government and the accompanying dictatorship, famine, pestilences, wars, and financial insecurities or all-out ruin. The natural response to threats such as these would be fear, as we are all hard-wired to survive and give all we have for our lives. The Bible says that those who are on the earth at that season will literally experience their hearts failing out of fear of what is coming on the planet. But the key word here is: natural response. As in, the “natural man”, or unregenerate, or fleshly. To all those Christians who struggle with a fear response to any solid case presented for prophetic fulfillment, you need to know that while your response is natural and understandable, it is not biblical. There are many things in life that scare us out of our wits, and we will feel fear, sometimes daily. But feeling it, and acting on that fear or living by it is not the proper choice for the believer in Jesus Christ, those to whom have been given the keys to the Kingdom – to come. Not this one. This one is passing away, rapidly, and we look forward to the one in which righteousness dwells. But in order for that to happen, God has deemed it necessary that planet earth endure some serious birth pangs as the sin of mankind reaches its fullness, making His judgments righteous and pure, to His praise and glory. Wow, I can get real wound up at the thought. I am so looking forward to the day Christ returns in His glory. But I digress – sort of.

So….say you hear a well thought-out prophecy presentation, one that brings forth ample evidence, based on Scripture, that we are edging closer and closer to that time of which the Bible speaks. Let’s say that there are people that God has actually given the task of sounding the trumpet and letting folks know the hour. But perhaps you are one of those who tends to keep your distance from prophetic topics because it is distressing. But maybe on that day there is someone – perhaps a friend or relative of yours – listening in who sees their lost state and receives Christ before it’s too late. Would you say then that the presentation was meant to terrify, or that God was truly convicting and working? I have no doubt that many over time have gotten saved thanks to a well-timed and well done prophetic Bible study. I know many, as a matter of fact. I am one of them. I literally had the “hell” scared out of me. Thank you faithful pastor.

But if you think prophecy is merely frightening and has no other value that you can see, think about this: what if no one was watching these things, what if no one was warning? What would the church be like? Even as fewer and fewer give heed to the times, we can see a great lukewarmness, and social – gospel ‘purpose’ infiltrating and taking over the body of Christ, to her great peril. But what if no one bothered to address the times in any way? Would you feel more comfortable, or would you at some point be indignant that no one told you which end was up? If you sent a loved one to hear a church service and all they got was a feel-good seeker doughnut instead of a full breakfast of the gospel, wouldn’t you be angry that your loved one was not challenged spiritually and allowed to simmer in their own sin?

As we do get closer, more and more signs will be in place and more and more evidence will present itself that the Bible is the pure word of truth. This is a guarantee. It is not made to make us feel good, however. So what should our response be as children of the One who has all things in His grasp?

The Bible warns us of these things so we can know what to expect. We are told that when we see these things BEGIN to take place, (implying we will be watching all along if we are believers) we are to look up, lift up our heads (not bow them down in fear) and rejoice because our redemption is nigh. We are told to comfort one another with the blessed hope of the rapture. Fear indicates we do not trust our Lord with the events coming upon the earth, that He should come up with a different method or plan as this one does not suit us or keep our comfort zone in tact. It could also indicate a closer connection to this life than we ought to have, a love for our lives that could indicate that the things of heaven are farther from our thinking than they should be. Lukewarmness? Maybe. Only the fearful know that in their hearts, I am not their Holy Spirit. But if you are one of those who reacts with fear instead of excitement or joy, I would encourage you to set your affections above, and count all things loss for the sake of Christ. This life is but a vapor, eternity is, well, forever. And only keeping our eyes on Jesus hour by hour can we avoid the carnality of reacting with fear at the thought of His soon return.

Rev 19:10b – “Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

2Timothy 1:7 – “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

I have been a believer since 1981. Everything else before that is relatively meaningless. My heart has, from day 1, always been toward the subject of bible prophecy and I have seen the Lord do amazing things in my life through simply studying the Word and applying it to my life. I am a wife, grandmother and work full time in ministry. Life is full, and full of learning curves and seasons.

5 Responses to “Fear Factor” Subscribe

  1. laurie September 24, 2008 at 4:43 pm #

    Thank you Mary for this excellent post! I am filled with anticipation of the very, very soon return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I believe it was David Reagan who said something to this affect, ‘there are so many signs all around us, it’s as if Jesus had a big neon light in the sky flashing, “I am coming soon”. I probably butchered his quote! I see so much happening so fast, the falling away of professing believers into apostasy, the words the Apostle Paul spoke of in 2 Timothy chapter 3, and the one sure sign our Lord gives in Matthew 24:4, “Take heed that no man deceive you”. This goes hand in hand with the falling away. The anti-Christ is waiting in the wings. But that is not who I am looking for…God bless you, and thank you for sharing what God has given you.

  2. Jessie September 29, 2008 at 11:56 am #

    Hi there Sister in the Lord
    I am so excited I have found your site!!! I have been following In The Days for a few weeks now and find it great. I saw your link and here I am.

    I am also an avid follower of The Berean Call, UTT and Rapture Ready.

    I read the above post and am one of those who are so eagerly expecting the Lord at anytime. The thought fills me with such joy. I still can’t believe that Jesus has a relationship with me and dwells within me. There are no words really..

    I will come and take a look around when I have more time. Bless you
    In Jesus, Jessie

  3. Vee September 30, 2008 at 3:02 am #

    This is a great post.

    I do get excited at the signs of His coming, but the natural man in me does have a sense of fear too. Not for me necessarily, but for my family and friends who are not saved, or who are saved but have their rose coloured glasses on and would rather not think about it because at the moment their life is pretty good.

    I fear for them, because I love them

    Thanks for the post

    Vee

  4. Mary September 30, 2008 at 6:41 am #

    I agree wholeheartedly. Well said. We all fear on one level or another for something, and the Lord can use that to bring us closer to Him if we trust in Him instead of our feelings. It’s a battle! And there are so many believers with their heads in the sand on prophecy, that won’t make it any easier to go through the things we must until He comes for us, somehow it seems they think it will help if they ignore the signs.

    Press on! Maranatha!

  5. Caroline October 29, 2008 at 6:58 pm #

    Mary, I could have the Lord this very night, and have no fear, just sorrow of my children & granchilren, dad & siblings without a true relationshio with the living God. With each sunrise & sunset I always think, is this THE day , Lord? I’m filled with joy & ready to go!

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