Steve Ellison: Fear Or Fear Not?

Thursday, April 30, 2020 - by Steve Ellison

We live in a time of rampant fear.  Many are afraid of COVID-19. Others are afraid of foreign governments. Others are afraid of our own government. Others are afraid of economic disaster. Others are afraid of the uncertainty surrounding all these things.  Fear is not always a bad thing. Fear may well keep you from doing stupid things.  The Bible speaks of the “fear of the Lord” 25 times. Because of the “fear of the Lord” we are told: be careful of what you do, it is wisdom, it is the beginning of wisdom and the beginning of knowledge, act faithfully, teach it to children, that it will cause you to discover the knowledge of God, it is hating evil, it prolongs life, it will help us to teach others about God, etc.

 

 

On the other hand, fear often causes us to do stupid things. Most of what we fear, never comes to pass.  Furthermore, 2 Timothy 1:7-8 tells us that God has not given us a spirit of timidity (fear, cowardice) but we are to be unafraid to suffer for the gospel’s sake according to the power of God.  “Fear not” is a recurring directive in both the Old and New Testaments. So, which is it?  Fear or Fear Not?  Jesus’ emphatic answer to this question is recorded in Matthew 10 and Luke 12.

 

Luke 12:4-7 states, "I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do.  "But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him!  "Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God.   "Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows. (NASU)  Jesus put a clear focus on fear, what to fear, and what not to fear.  The Bible is plain in declaring that fear of the Lord translates into obedience to the Lord.  All who name the name of Christ are called upon to obey His commandments.  Not obeying equals not fearing.

 

Speaking of fear, I would be afraid to listen to one who claims spiritual leadership but never mentions that hell is a real place where real people go.  Jesus clearly believed in hell and in the wisdom in fearing going there. It is a good thing to take precautions against temporal, physical harm but it is the height of stupidity to focus on that while ignoring the calamity that is unending. COVID-19 serves a marvelous purpose, pointing out to us that death is sure, certain, unending, and perhaps soon. It would be tragic to miss this lesson.  Preparing for a virus, even one that does not have a very high mortality rate, is wise.  Preparing for certain death is much wiser. God has clearly revealed in the Bible how to prepare for death.  The Church has been studying that message and proclaiming it for centuries. Perhaps it would be wise to fear Him who has the power and authority to cast you into hell.  Perhaps it would be wise to seek out His method of reconciliation so that hell can be avoided.

 

If He knows the sparrows and the hairs on your head, He knows your soul.  Romans 10:9-10 tells how your soul can be saved: Repent of your sin, believe in your heart and profess with your mouth that Jesus is the Resurrected Lord.  That is how “Fear Not” becomes a reality in your life.


Steve Ellison: What Races?

Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints Invites All To Come Unto Christ

Next Virtual Rhythm Session Is "Establish A Healthy Rhythm of Work and Rest During this Pandemic"


There is only one race of people: humans. The genetic difference between any two human beings is infinitesimally small. Reproduction occurs naturally across all ethnic groups. Skin color is a ... (click for more)

President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, issued a statement abhorring racism and reminding that "we are brothers and sisters, each of us the child of a ... (click for more)

The Chattanooga House of Prayer's next Rhythms Retreat, "Sabbath," will be held virtually on Saturday, June 13 from 9 a.m.-noon. “As life takes on a 'new normal' following this season of ... (click for more)



Church

Steve Ellison: What Races?

There is only one race of people: humans. The genetic difference between any two human beings is infinitesimally small. Reproduction occurs naturally across all ethnic groups. Skin color is a commonly used characteristic to claim differing races. Every human being’s skin color is the same, at least it is determined by the production of the same pigment by the same type of skin cells. ... (click for more)

Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints Invites All To Come Unto Christ

President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, issued a statement abhorring racism and reminding that "we are brothers and sisters, each of us the child of a loving Father in Heaven. His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, invites all to come unto Him." President Nelson’s full statement – posted on Facebook and released to the world – is supported by ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Hamilton County Reports One-Day Record 106 New Coronavirus Cases; Deaths Remain At 19

The Hamilton County Health Department reported a one-day record 106 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday for a cumulative total of 1,381. Officials said, "While the majority of people are compliant with the Health Department’s isolation and quarantine instructions, there are an increasing number of people who are not staying home and not being cooperative. This behavior puts the ... (click for more)

Hamilton County Correctional Officer Tests Positive For Coronavirus; Silverdale Facility Employees, Inmates To Be Tested Wednesday

The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office was notified Friday morning one of its Corrections Division employees has tested positive for COVID-19. Per Hamilton County Jail guidelines, the employee is at home under isolation order from the Hamilton County Health Department. Jail personnel are currently working with Health Department personnel to currently track all inmates and personnel ... (click for more)

Opinion

It's About Time Riverbend Was Cancelled - And Response

Since its inception, Friends of the Festival seemed bound and determined to make Riverbend a national event, ignoring the opinions of many Chattanoogans. Riverbend started as a local event drawing on the tastes and desires of local citizens yet has devolved into an outrageously expensive, super-crowded two-week-long free-for-all. Riverbend has drastically deviated from its original ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Rhea Migrants Vanish!

A promising online news website debuted last month from its statewide base in Nashville. Identifying itself as “Tennessee—Lookout,” the website has what appears to be sound leadership and creditable reporters. Its vow is that it hopes to become an “Independent non-profit news site dedicated to covering Tennessee government, policy and politics. Hard-hitting but fair.” I wish it ... (click for more)