The religious rhetoric about sin is based on fear. If we understood Grace fear would be removed. God says his perfect love casts out fear. The two don’t coexist. Fear is a normal reaction to danger but it should not persist in the presence of God and security of His Grace. When fear persists it becomes the basis for theology. When you are afraid of falling into hell instead of being transported to heaven you implement all kinds of rules and laws and doctrines to “keep people safe.” The truth is this kind of fear based approach actually creates the perfect ecosystem for Satan to work his master plan of deception. The law gives power to sin. Grace defeats sin. The law puts a person’s eternal security in their hands, their effort, their power. Grace puts eternal security on the cross. People can’t get it right in their own power. Jesus already got it perfect once and for all.
Paul Ellis has this awesome quote in His new book “The Gospel in Twenty Question.”
“If you were to wander like a stray sheep, the good news is you won’t get kicked out of the kingdom. Since a Christian by definition is one who has been united with Christ, the only way you can go to hell is if Christ goes—and Christ isn’t going”
I really love that one. There are so many verses that support his statement. Here is just one passage.
John 10:27 The sheep that are My own hear and are listening to My voice; and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never lose it or perish throughout the ages. [To all eternity they shall never by any means be destroyed.] And no one is able to snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, Who has given them to Me, is greater and mightier than all [else]; and no one is able to snatch [them] out of the Father’s hand. (AMP)
You really have to go a long way around the wrong mountain to refute such an obvious declaration but I don’t want to debate. You ask Jesus. He will show you.
Fear is a language for a deceived, lost mankind ruled by law. The law is perfect but the Adams family is not. Under law fear is likely the only motivation that most would understand. Some saw through all that and found God’s true nature. David saw God’s mercy. Moses saw God as goodness. Elijah saw God as confidence. Josiah saw God as restoration. Isaiah saw God as savior.
On this side of the cross however there is no place for fear. To fear as a child of God is to reject what Jesus did as not enough, period. I really don’t mean to be mean but come on. Fear tactics is the tactics of the enemy. “But doesn’t it say we should fear the Lord?” Check out this post for some answers. For now let me show you what Jesus said about “the fear of the Lord.” I think He is a good authority on any subject.
Deut 6:13 Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. (KJV)
Matt 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. (KJV)
Jesus interprets His own Word who He is (John ch 1). That doesn’t look like “fear making a mistake” kind of fear.
I was afraid my whole life. I was attacked by a dog when I was only 6 (no pity parties please) and it left such a scar inside and out. The kids would tease me and call me scar face. The sound of a chain rattling would send me into a hyperventilation attack. Amusement parks weren’t amusing, they were terrifying. Birthday parties were something to be avoided, kids say mean things. Public places were an opportunity to lose sight of my parents. The list goes on and on. Then I grow up and join the military to be an Astronaut. I became a fighter pilot, test pilot and TOPGUN graduate. Looks like I had something to prove about fear? The head doctors would have a field day with me. Landing on ships at night and flying combat missions is pretty scary. Actually it can paralyze you with fear. OK that’s enough. You get the idea.
Guess what? I have known about Jesus since I can remember. How do you think that impacted my fear issues? It made it worse. I was so afraid of dying. I knew that it was very likely that my destination would be the bad place. I never got it right. I tried hard and really didn’t want to be bad but sometimes I would cuss or yell at somebody or copy someone’s homework. All those were capital offenses, right? Then years later in the military it was way worse. Flying airplanes wasn’t always fun for me. Often I would dread going flying because of the fear of dying or getting into trouble or making a mistake… You would think that being a fighter pilot would be one of the most fun jobs on the planet. It probably is for most. It was a necessary skill to learn to be an astronaut. It was a pathway to a better life (or I thought). As a side note I got really close to making it. I missed the cut by 5 people. God had a better plan.
I discovered Jesus and began to discover the Grace of God late in my career. Flying was actually fun for the first time. Flying jets is a cool job, I won’t lie. I finally saw a glimpse of eternal security. I began to find joy in living instead of fear of dying.
So you can probably tell I hate fear. I hate it as a tactic of the enemy. God had such a better plan. Jesus set us free and we are free indeed. That means free of fear too. Religious seeds of fear are from the enemy. No person has ever been changed by fear, ever. It may bring you to the end of yourself for sure. But it will not change you. Only Jesus can change us. Only re-birth can set us free. Only the love of God can finally make us who we were intended to be. Fear is not a tool God uses. He can’t. It is contrary to His nature. Man uses fear. The devil uses fear. Masters use fear. Bad bosses use fear. Abusive parents use fear. God does not use fear at all.
We have certainty in Jesus. We don’t have to be afraid any more. We don’t have to worry any more. Not only is it God’s nature to love us and take care of us, He PROVED it by dying on the cross. He PROVED it by being raised from the dead. He PROVED it by making His home in us. I really want to crush fear. I believe it is the primary tool used by the enemy. We fear so we protect. We fear so we hide. We fear so we don’t share. We fear so we don’t let God. The love of God is so much bigger than any fear of the enemy. We already won. Jesus is King. We get to live in victory. If you fear anything, anything at all ask your Abba in Heaven for wisdom. I guarantee the enemy is using a proven tactic on you. God will rescue you, He has saved you, He does love you. If your fear is God Himself, then turn to that religious spirit and tell him one thing, “stop messing with me, my Jesus is King.” If it is coming from the pulpit, ignore it, it is a lie. Jesus loves you. He died for you. He will not use fear to change you. He uses love to save you and keep you saved. You can’t be snatched out of His hand, ever.
Help me crush fear. Every time you feel fear rise up look to Jesus. Every time the religious tell you to fear, look to Jesus. Every time someone says “be very afraid” look to them and say JESUS IS KING!