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On the Origin of Evil In Creation October 12, 2015

Posted by regan222 in Philosophy, Religion.
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This is mainly for me but if it helps someone then I am blessed.  If you disagree, that’s OK also.

On the Nature and Origin of Evil in Creation

The origin of evil has been a stumbling stone almost since the appearance of Mankind on the planet. It is difficult for us to rationalize the existence of a perfect creator God with the existence of imperfection in the universe. Great intellects like Augustine and Einstein wrestled with the question of the origin of evil and many Christians today are plagued by the same quandary. How can a good God, a perfect God, allow evil to be? Did He create it? Where exactly did “evil” come from?

Einstein was a follower of the Jewish faith. As such, he was shaped by his culture just as we all are. He could easily rationalize a creator God because he understood that cause always precedes effect in our universe. The idea that the universe sprang into being from nothing for no reason was as ludicrous to Einstein as it should be to us. However, shaped as he was by his Jewish culture, there was within him a need for rational and logical rules. This can also be seen in Einstein’s abhorrence of the Quantum Mechanics theory. He could not rationalize the existence of evil outside or apart from the creator and yet he could not indict God with the willful creation of Evil.

The answer to the question lies in defining evil. We tend to anthropomorphize evil into a personality. We equate evil with Satan. We give it personality, or at least, existence. The key to the quandary is found here. None of these things are true. Evil is not a quantity, a quality, a substance, or an object within creation. Evil is simply the absence of God. Anything, apart from God, is less than God, and thus, imperfect. We assume that evil is a created thing, when, in fact, it is the absence of something; God.

We can draw a parallel between the appearance of evil in the universe and the appearance of the universe itself. In Genesis we read that

 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

(Genesis 1: 3 – 4)

God created light but he did not have to create darkness. It exists as the absence of light. God perceived the light based on the way it interacted with darkness and in this same way we know that light exists. It was created. Darkness, on the other hand, cannot be created. It is a state apart from light. It does not exist as an entity. Light always banishes darkness because darkness is simply light’s absence.

In this same way, evil is the absence of God. Imperfection is the absence of perfection. God is defined by his nature, just as everything is. He is, of all things in the universe, the only example of perfection. He is a singularity in three aspects. The concept that there is one God only is fundamental to existence.

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;”

(1 Timothy 2:5)

As a singularity, God was alone in eternity past. He chose, for His own reasons, to share his existence with others (e.g. angels, people, animals, etc.). According to God’s inherent nature, he had three choices.

  1. Not to create at all and continue as a singularity.
  2. Create exact copies of himself, indistinguishable from Himself, and thus, perfect.
  3. Create beings that were not Him, and thus, were, by definition, imperfect.

There are no other options. Perfection is impossible apart from God. Anything created that is not God would be less than God, even if created BY Him, and so, imperfect. Had God chosen to create perfect beings of His own nature, or in other words, to duplicate Himself, it would have violated the nature of God as an eternal singularity, without origin. God’s nature demands that He be eternal. To create others like Himself would seriously rearrange reality and the space/time continuum. God’s only choice then would be to create beings outside of and different from, Himself, who, because they were not of God’s nature, had within them the capacity for imperfection. In this way, “evil” can be considered to exist as the absence of God in creation. Even when created perfectly, the capacity for imperfection exists within the creation because we are not God. Given the existence of the capacity for imperfection within created beings, coupled with the proliferation of creation, it was a matter of time and statistics.

The follow-on question then, is, how can a benevolent God allow evil to continue? The short answer is that He has no choice. We have established that imperfection is a potential inherent in everything that is not God. If God were to sovereignly banish evil He would have to get rid of everything but Himself and become alone again in non-creation. The only option for creation to continue is to allow imperfection to continue. Thus, evil, as the presence of anything “not God”, persists. God, never being without foreknowledge was aware of this condition of creation, and accounted for its resolution within His blueprint. He was aware from the beginning that simply creating would not be enough. He would have to deal with the potential for imperfection. The plan of salvation is as much a part of the plan of creation as “Let there be Light.”

Even Satan is a convert to evil, for he was not always so.

12 Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.

13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.

14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.

15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.

(Ezekiel 28:12 – 16)

Here Ezekiel is commanded to lament for the King of Tyrus but most scholars view this as a description of Lucifer prior to his fall. Lucifer was in Eden. He was, perhaps, second only to God in glory and beauty. He was the covering cherub. He was perfect until he was not. As a created being, not being God, Lucifer had that potential for imperfection. God did not appoint him to the position of evil but God knew of the possibility and chose to account for it in His plan. Had God chosen to destroy Lucifer instead of banish him, then, as eternity progressed, another and another of the created beings would have fallen until, once again, God would have found Himself in isolation. Anything not God is doomed by definition to imperfection. God did not immediately destroy the fallen but instead chose to use him to strengthen and perfect the other parts of creation.

God allows Lucifer/Satan to continue but not indefinitely. At some point, the imperfect will be removed from creation and only the perfect will remain. That is why it was so important that Christ be identified with us as human. As he is like us, we have the potential to become like him, and thus, like God. If we are made of the same substance or type as God, then we can share in God’s perfection. We have now, in the spirit, the same relationship that Christ had with the Father. When we are changed, we will have it in physical reality as well. All that is not God will be removed and only that sealed portion of us that is essentially the indwelling of God will remain. The miracle of salvation is the transformation of created being from “not God” to “God like”. We will see Him as he is because we will be as He is. God will no longer be a singularity but the foremost of a perfect congregation.

And so the final question is this: Where do YOU fit in? As a created being, and not being God, you have that capacity for imperfection. Each day of our lives, we are presented with our own “Garden of Eden” confrontation, both collectively and individually, and each day we fail. Our nature demands it. We are flawed. We cannot exist in God’s presence because we are not as He is. Our only hope is the physical, spiritual, and existential conversion of “not God” into that which is “of the same substance as God”. As imperfect beings we are unable to attain perfection.

“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”

 (Galatians 2: 16)

We require no less than God Himself, in the aspect of His son, the motive force of creation, to continue that creative process in us. Because the task is so herculean, only God could accomplish it. His nature must be satisfied and yet we cannot. In His infinite brilliance, God created a plan whereby we could exist in Him by existing in us. Thus Christ because one of us for all eternity, that we might become one with Him. The vehicle of this transformation is faith. We can simply choose to identify with Christ and allow him to continue the creation story within us, or we can choose to remain as we are; imperfect and lost.

Let a Man Examine Himself August 10, 2012

Posted by regan222 in Books, General Ranting, Religion.
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Watch the video and then watch the sermon

But Let a Man Examine Himself

1 Corinthians 11:27-29

Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

Taken in context, these verses encourage anyone partaking of the Lord’s Supper to examine their own hearts and make sure they are approaching the Lord with the right motives before they sit down at His table.  It may be inferred that self examination is profitable at any time.  I made the majority of that video a reflection in a mirror for a reason.  We need to pause and reflect upon our own reflections for a moment and take stock of our growth and progress.  Hopefully what you have just watched will offer up some things to look at as you examine yourself.

I. Examine your Methods.

Right away we should be aware that God is not so nearly interested in what we do as He is in why we do it.  Each of us has been given talents and gifts to make us uniquely suited for the role God would have us play in the world.

Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

Ephesians 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

We have no right to glory or boast in our abilities because God is the source of the talents and abilities we have received.  God, in His wisdom, knew that the church would need many different kinds of workers, just as the body needs many different kinds of organs.  Some He called to preach or to teach or to give, or to encourage, but we all have in common the source of our abilities and what we are to use them for.  Of ourselves, we are nothing.  If you are a great singer, a powerful speaker, a wise businessman, beware of pride.  What exactly did you get outside of God who sovereignly gives and takes away?  Look at the person who has nothing and think for a moment, there but for the grace of God go I.

As this is the case, we are held responsible for very little.  In the work of salvation, Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith.  We only accept or decline.  As a witness we are called upon to spread the gospel.  We are not held accountable for its results.  I don’t hold James responsible for carrying out the trash or washing the car yet.  There is very little that we are held responsible for because we are capable of very little.  God does, however, expect at least two things from us.  We must be faithful in our service if we want to serve and we must do our best.  If we have the faith of a mustard seed we can do much, but we must have that faith.

  Numbers 19:2
This is the ordinance of the law which the LORD hath commanded, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring thee a red heifer without spot, wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke:
  Numbers 28:3
And thou shalt say unto them, This is the offering made by fire which ye shall offer unto the LORD; two lambs of the first year without spot day by day, for a continual burnt offering.

  Numbers 28:9
And on the sabbath day two lambs of the first year without spot, and two tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, and the drink offering thereof:
  Numbers 28:11
And in the beginnings of your months ye shall offer a burnt offering unto the LORD; two young bullocks, and one ram, seven lambs of the first year without spot;
  Numbers 29:17
And on the second day ye shall offer twelve young bullocks, two rams, fourteen lambs of the first year without spot:
  Numbers 29:26
And on the fifth day nine bullocks, two rams, and fourteen lambs of the first year without spot:

When we do give something to God, be it sacrifice or service, He only wants our best efforts.   We need to examine ourselves and see if we are truly giving our best.

II. Examine your motives

To a Christian, motives are the most important factor in their actions.  The unsaved man’s motivation comes from worldly things.  They are focused on self and what pleases self.  Even their good deeds are motivated by selfish motives.  They give to causes and charity because it makes them feel good.  All actions from the lost man are motivated by self and the world.

The early Southern Baptists held that “The scriptural doctrine of depravity is not that every man is a bad as he possibly can be, for there may be indefinite progression in guilt:–nor that one man is necessarily as wicked as another,–for there may be as many shades of depravity as there are sinners in the universe. But it teaches us that man, by nature, is destitute of all holy principles and desires; that there is nothing in his character which is pleasing in the sight of God; that being alienated in his heart from God, corrupt in the very fountain of action, in the temper and spirit of his mind, all the actions that he performs, even those which are in themselves excellent and lovely, are still the service of an alien and a rebel, and consequently an abomination in the sight of heaven.”  The lost man, even in the act of caring for his child or providing for his family, is in the service of “an alien and a rebel” and is “consequently an abomination in the sight of heaven.”

The Christian, on the other hand, is commanded to put self last on the priority list.  We are motivated by God’s will.  He asks and we act in disregard for self or worldly gain or anything else that would motivate a worldly person.  History is filled with examples of Christians who would prefer to live in poverty or die in pain rather than act out of God’s will.

Matthew 6: 1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:

That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

The lost soul does good to receive a reward.  They operate under the law.  When the Pharisee prays on the street corner and in the market place he gets his reward from the people who are impressed when they see him.  The Christian is commanded to do alms, or to give, in secret.  No one should know.  We are not motivated by worldly recognition.  We only seek God’s well done.  We need to examine ourselves and see if we are acting out of love for God or for ourselves.

III. Examine your Future

You’d think we should examine the past first rather than the future, but as you will see, the past determines the future.  For the saved church member, we stand at a critical junction.  Like Gideon’s army at the river

Judges 7:4 And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go.

Look around for a moment.  There are seats empty that were once filled.  The people who sat there have, for one reason or another, fallen by the way.  We have a place being prepared for us just as the Israelites of the Old Testament but not everyone who set out with us on this journey will arrive.  In order to have a future we must be faithful in the present.  They wandered in the wilderness for 40 years until none of that original generation of adults was left alive because of their lack of faith.  The group future was preserved just as God promised but a lot of individual futures fell by the side of the road getting there.

Isaiah 11:1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

The church has been described as a vine.  I am not so familiar with grapes but I have an acute awareness of blackberry vines.  The best way to get more fruit from the vine is to cut away the dead wood during the winter.  The time for pruning is when the vine is not actively producing fruit.  The wise gardener knows this and when he sees the vine with no fruit he cuts away the dead wood.  In the spring, the remaining wood produces more fruit.  No vine ever died from careful pruning and in fact, they produce more fruit for the gardener.  We need to examine our future.  Don’t be part of the pruned.  Hold fast and remain faithful and receive the reward.

IV. Examine Your Past

Contrary to what you might think, the past is more important than the future in this case.  The past writes the future.  If you believe and receive the gospel in the past, then in the future, your reward is assured.  If you have no past relationship with Jesus Christ, you have no future.  You cannot sneak into heaven.  Some people have the mistaken idea that if they hang around the church long enough, attend enough services, give enough, even get baptized or become a member of the church, then they will somehow establish a relationship with Jesus by proxy or by just being around long enough.  You need to examine your past right now and see if there is a moment in time when you definitively responded to the call of the gospel and accepted Jesus Christ as savior.  Somewhere at sometime in your life you said yes to the Lord and your life was changed.  This is the only way in to heaven.

The past is past.  It’s gone.  The wonderful thing about the present is that you have a chance to change the future.  Today is your opportunity.  It’s the only chance you are absolutely guaranteed.  The future is very uncertain.  You might not have one outside of this door.  Don’t take that chance.  Examine your past and write your future here in the present and for all time.  Accept the Lord Jesus in faith.  Choose to believe the gospel that he died for you and rose again and you will rise as well.

Metaphor and Meaning May 13, 2012

Posted by regan222 in Books, Educational Ranting, General Ranting, Religion.
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    God gave me an idea for a sermon:

Sermon 4 – Metaphors and Meaning

met·a·phor/ˈmetəˌfôr/

Noun:
  1. A figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable.
  2. A thing regarded as representative or symbolic of something else, esp. something abstract.

Hermeneutics:  The study and practice of interpretation, particularly of written text.

Key Verses:

John 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

John 10: 14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

John 15:1 I am the true vine and my father is the husbandman.

John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

John 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am

A metaphor is an implied comparison.  In John’s Gospel Jesus regularly used metaphor to describe himself and his role in the world.  Metaphor is an excellent way to teach because it takes an unknown concept and applies a familiar example to explain it.  Successful teachers frequently use metaphor in the classroom.  The human mind craves order and it is programmed to seek patterns.  If we can find a familiar pattern then we can usually grasp whatever new concept that we are presented with by using comparison and contrast to see how it is similar and different from things we know.

Great care must be taken, however, in applying and interpreting metaphor, or any other literary device.  It is possible to take something intended to be merely descriptive and force some other deeper (and false) meaning upon it.  In this way the scripture can be twisted to mean just about anything we want.

2 Peter 3:16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

The word “wrest” comes from the Anglo Saxon “wrestan” and means simply to twist or distort.  The same root provides us the word “wrestling” or “wrestle”.  Peter is telling us that some unlearned people twist the scriptures to suit their own purposes.  Peter also tells us what the outcome of faulty interpretation is…destruction.

So how can we determine what to interpret and what to read at face value?  In most cases Context is the key.  We should never try to read a single verse as stand alone.  The Bible was not originally divided into verses and chapters.  The divisions are NOT inspired.  They are convenient but also potentially problematic because we tend to see verses as little building blocks that can stand on their own.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The scripture was given as a whole unit and should be interpreted as such.  Both Luther and Calvin held the view that “scriptura sui ipsius interpres” or “the scriptures are their own interpreters”.  This means that if we read enough before and after the verse in question, then the further reading that we do will help us make the correct interpretation.  Context is the most important tool.

Peter was correct when he described those who “wrest” the scriptures.  He called them “unlearned”.  One of the most important things we can do to insure that our interpretations are correct is to be very familiar with God’s Word.  It has been said (by R. C. Sproul among others) that “A text without a context is a pretext, that is, the meaning of a text is determined by its context.  The context may be the entire Bible.”  If we are not familiar with the scripture as a whole, it is much easier to make a mistake in determining the meaning of a single verse.

Enough history.  Here are some things that you can do to read your Bible correctly and get the full and true meaning from every word.

1.  Spend enough time reading it.  Familiarity is the only way to truly get the context.  Three times a week during church is not enough.  If you aren’t reading your Bible at home you are suffering from malnutrition.

2. Read extended passages.  Don’t “lucky dip” or just randomly open to a page and run your finger down to a random verse.  Remember, CONTEXT is the key.

con·text/ˈkäntekst/

Noun:
  1. The circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood and assessed.
  2. The parts of something written or spoken that immediately precede and follow a word or passage and clarify its meaning.

If you plan to understand what you read then you need to get the context or the overall sense of the passage, not just one little verse.

3.  Have an organized, systematic approach.  There are many hundreds of daily Bible readings or devotional plans available today.  They can be purchased at book stores, found online, or your local minister can likely provide a good system.  A good one will have daily readings long enough to give you the context of what you are reading and be short enough to keep you from being late to work because you overslept.  The goal is to read the entire Bible.  Most will have it completed in a calendar year.  Reading daily is not just a good study habit.  It is a discipline for the mind and spirit.  We all need it.

4.  Have an attitude of prayer as you read.  Ask God to enlighten you and show you His will.

Matthew 7:8  For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

5.  Be careful of the interpretations of others.  While we can gain insight from wise teachers and pastors, it is vital that we feed ourselves on the Word of God.  It is much better to read the Gospel of John, for example, than to read 20 other people’s interpretation of John.  Before you trust someone else to tell you what to think about a scripture, you should find out for yourself what it says.  Supplemental materials do not replace the word.

6.  In order to rightly divide the word you must be born again.  The Bible is a supernatural book.  It is not intended as a great work of philosophy although it is.  It is not meant to be a moral guide post although it is the greatest one ever written.  The Bible is the Word of the Everlasting God, and as such, there is a supernatural element involved that cannot be gotten around.

1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

No matter what amount of study or education you receive, you cannot fully appreciate or even perceive the full measure of truth in the Bible until you are a believer.  <Invitation>

Ain’t Skeer’d May 6, 2012

Posted by regan222 in Books, General Ranting, Religion.
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I think I will use the blog to post possible sermons and get a reaction on them before I preach them.  If you want to be a sermon “beta tester” then just comment below on what you think…

The Desires of Thine Heart

 

Turn in your bibles if you will to Psalms 37:4.

Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

On the surface the verse seems very straightforward and easy to interpret and yet this is far from true.  “Delight thyself also in the Lord”.  Everything about the Lord should be pleasing to you.  It should bring you delight.  We should delight in worship, delight in doing His will and delight in being the witness He wants us to be.  If we are not delighted in service we need to examine our motivation as well as our position with Him. 

In most people’s opinions,  the verse seems to present a simple action and reaction.  If we delight in the Lord then He will give us whatever we desire in our heart.  This is a faulty interpretation.  If we look deeper we find that God does not want to give us the selfish desires of our worldly hearts, He wants to change our hearts and make our desires fit into His will.  If we delight in Him, He will give us the right desires in our hearts.

It is in verses like this that real Christian commitment begins.  We want the things that we want.  They are not always bad but they are not always what God wants for us.  He wants for us the best things. 

King Hezekiah had reached his time upon this Earth.  He had done, for the most part, what was pleasing in God’s sight and yet he felt that he knew better than God.  His time was at an end and the King was about to cross over and receive his reward, yet he was not ready.  Rather than seek God’s will the king asked for healing and more time on Earth, not a bad thing , but not the best thing.  God’s permissive will can be changed by our prayer.  Sometimes it is not for the good.  The Lord added 15 years to Hezekiah’s life.  During the added 15 years he behaved foolishly and cost the kingdom of Judah nearly everything they had.  Surrender means TRUSTING GOD TO DO THE RIGHT THING EVERY TIME. 

Luke 22:42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

If we are truly surrendered to the calling then our only prayer should be the same prayer that Jesus prayed in the Garden…”never the less, not my will but THINE.”  A beloved family member becomes sick or injured and we are immediately beseeching God for a miracle.  A financial setback can bring us to our knees on the altar service after service.  Once again, a physical healing is not a bad thing, but is it the BEST thing.  For Hezekiah it most surely was not.  Better to pray “not my will but thine” and MEAN it.  That is the place where the truly surrendered and committed Christian lives.  No trial, no circumstance, no condition, physical, spiritual, or financial can touch us.  Each time we pray we know that we are heard and answered because we only pray God’s will be done.  We can spend more of our prayer time praising and thanking Him and less time telling Him about the troubles that He already knows about anyhow.  Believe me, it’s scary to let go and trust a sick family member or a potentially devastating financial setback to God’s will, given the possibility that going through the trial might BE his will but if we can develop that kind of faith then we will find freedom that few Christians dream of. 

Ain’t Skeer’d

Have you ever seen that bumper sticker?  Absolutely NO FEAR because we are 100% committed to the belief that God knows best and we are 100% committed to seeking His will in everything.  Too much of the average Christian’s prayer is motivated by fear.  We fear death, disease, financial trouble, persecution, and a myriad of other things.  How would you like to be completely free of all that.  The Bible tells us to “fear not”.  This is not a suggestion.  It is a commandment. 

  1. Luke 5:10
    And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.
    Luke 5:9-11 (in Context) Luke 5 (Whole Chapter)
  2. Luke 8:50
    But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.
    Luke 8:49-51 (in Context) Luke 8 (Whole Chapter)
  3. Luke 12:7
    But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.
    Luke 12:6-8 (in Context) Luke 12 (Whole Chapter)
  4. Luke 12:32
    Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
    Luke 12:31-33 (in Context) Luke 12 (Whole Chapter)

Jesus spent a great deal of time telling his disciples not to fear.  His will for us is to be so committed that nothing disturbs our peace.  If we truly believe then there is no reason for us to fear anything that the devil or the world can do and no reason to fear any trial or challenge that God may send.  We are designed to be fearless.  Daniel and the three Hebrew children should be our models…

Daniel 6

20 And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?

21 Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever.

22 My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.

 

 

Daniel 3

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.

17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.

18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

That is the sort of faith we should have.  They were not even careful in their answer.  We don’t care, O king, what you do.  If you kill us then we are at home with God.  You have no power over us.

This sort of faith is not easy.  It does not come quickly.  The human condition is one of fear.  For the lost man there is NO alternative to make the fear go away.  If you have no relationship with God then you have no hope and you should be living in constant fear.  This is why the world fights so hard to reject Christianity.  They terrified not to.  If the world allows the least bit of credulity concerning the Gospel then the possibility of spending eternity in Hell becomes a reality.  For this reason, the Christian doctrine is attacked unreasonably.  Are you tired of living in fear?