June 23, 2016

Fear of the Message

Ron talked to me about his brother, Bob, who hasn’t taken very good care of himself physically.  After a recent life threatening situation Ron said, “I think Bob knew he had problems, but he was afraid to go to the doctor. He was afraid of what he might hear.” Ron then went on to say, “I’m wondering if that’s why some people don’t go to church…they are afraid of what they might hear.” Ron has a point. I have this image of the men who were furious and gnashed their teeth at the testimony of Stephen. When Stephen said he saw the Son of Man Standing at the right hand of God it was more than they could take and I suspect there was an element of fear. “At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him” (Acts 7:57-58b NIV).

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----Fear focuses the mind upon the powers of what is feared out matching the vulnerabilities of personal vitals. Fear is like all other emotions, it can make one stupid or it can make one smart, depending upon how humble or arrogant one is. The Bible never says fear of the Lord causes wisdom. That’s like saying the starting line causes a race. Those who desire to race go to the starting line. Even the demons tremble at the thought of Him. But they are too arrogant to draw up to the starting line. Therefore, their fear of Him merely heightens their stupidity as they run off wetting their beds even worse.
-----Having what is feared combined in the same frame of mind with the vulnerabilities of personal vitals elicits one of two basic responses. These two opposing responses are even more basic than fight or flight. This first level choice is between surrender or resistance. Fight or flight is the second level choice of resistance, the trembling demons’ choice. The trembling humble choose surrender, the choice to join the race. They move to the starting line.
-----But the world is a mixed up place. This same choice is available in the face of evil offering a peace agreement. Many evils challenging our personal integrity face us with peace agreements in hand, corners we can cut, deceptions we can make, cheating, stealing, murdering, always poking ourselves into situations not our own, and eventually expecting others to surrender to our interests. These signatures of surrender are the wrong choices to make. Signing those agreements is only avertable by having signed a better agreement with something most fearful.
-----The Greek particle “anti” expresses either opposing challenge to something or a standing in the place of something. The congruity of these two concepts becomes apparent at the success of the opposing challenge, because its intent is to replace what it opposes. John wrote, “…every spirit which does not confess Jesus is not of God. This is the spirit of antichrist, of which you heard that it was coming, and now it is in the world already.” (I John 4:3) This spirit brings many fears to our personal lives, just as the perfection of God does, each with its own form of peace agreement in hand. At one time in the near future it will come into the world literally within a ferocious and seemingly overpowering man with a peace agreement in his hand, feigning a very special aspect about God -His gateway to safe harbor. But, as Jesus said, there’s only one gate. There’s only one door. There’s only one Being to whose fearfulness surrender begins wisdom.

Love you all,
Steve Corey