Luke 12:4-7 ESV
“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
Those Who Kill the Body
Jesus was speaking here to his disciples, so if we are his followers, this message is for us, too. We are not to be afraid of other humans who oppose us, who threaten us, and who persecute us, and lie about us, and lie to us. We are not to fear those who try to trick us and trip us up, too.
We are also not to fear circumstances beyond our control, or the “what ifs” in life. But we are to believe in the sovereignty of God over our lives, trusting him fully that he is control and that he is working all things together for the good of them who love (obey) him (Rom 8:28).
For, we live in peculiar times unlike any that we have faced before. Never before in our history have we seen such a united global effort as we are seeing now in dealing with something historically unprecedented by any other event or time in our history.
Many messages of multiple varieties are circulating the internet regarding our current events, some of which are intended to instill fear within us. Yes, we should all exercise much godly wisdom in these troubled times, but we should not make decisions based on fear, but on faith.
We must not let other humans instill fear within us so that we are “running around like chickens with their heads cut off” fretting everything, in a state of panic, worried about this, and afraid of that. For fear is the opposite of faith and fretting never solves anything.
Just because times are now more trying than they were before does not mean that God is less than sovereign, or that he is less powerful to take care of us and to provide for us and to see us through every difficulty that we may face in this life.
So, we trust him with our lives and with our circumstances, and we pray for wisdom to know what to do, and then we do what we believe the Lord has directed us to do, and then we rest in Him. And we trust him to work it all out for our good.
Him Who has Authority to
So, we are not to fear those who kill the body, who can injure us, cause us harm, do evil to us, and even physically put us to death. For, once we are dead, there is nothing more that they can do to us.
But there is someone we are to fear and that is God. And Jesus said this to his disciples who believed in him. For our God is not a genie in the sky there to grant our every wish, nor is he like a doting grandfather in the heavens there to spoil us and to give us everything our hearts desire.
And Jesus (God the Son) did not give himself up for us on that cross just so we could be forgiven our sins and just so we can go to heaven when we die. He died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. And he died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us (1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15; Rom 6:1-23).
Our God is not okay with us just praying a prayer or making a public confession of faith in him or us just acknowledging what he did for us on that cross. And he is especially not okay with us then continuing to live in deliberate, habitual, and premeditated sin against him, claiming his grace.
For the grace of God, which brings salvation, teaches us to say “No!” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return. For, Jesus gave himself up for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good (See: Titus 2:11-14).
We also need to be aware here that, as followers of Jesus, we must leave our worldly lives behind us, forsaking our sins, and we must follow our Lord Jesus in obedience to his commands, as a matter of practice, or we will not inherit eternal life with God.
For, if we walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the flesh, and we make sin our practice, and righteousness is not what we practice, and if we walk in darkness (sin, wickedness) while claiming we have fellowship with God, and if we say that we know God, but we don’t obey him, we don’t know him, we are liars, the truth is not in us, and we will die in our sins.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 3:4-10]
So, we are not to be afraid of what other humans might do to us, but we are to walk in the fear of the Lord, showing him honor and respect by submitting to him as Lord (owner-master), by leaving our sinful lifestyles behind us, and by walking in obedience to his commands (New Covenant), in the strength and power of God’s Spirit now dwelling within us.
We are to fear not human beings nor our circumstances nor things out of our control, but we are to trust ourselves into God’s capable hands, believing in his sovereignty, trusting in his Word, and treating him with the upmost honor, respect, value, adoration, worship, submission, and praise.
No matter what happens in this world of ours, God is in control. What we are seeing presently take place in our world fits perfectly, too, with the prophecies of Scripture regarding these last days before the return of Christ. So, how this all pans out should not surprise us nor undo us. But we should commit ourselves to our Lord and trust him with it all.
Stand by Me
By Ben E. King
The former work, a spiritual, “Stand by Me, Father,” off of which this song is partially based, was partially based off Psalms 46:2-3.
When the night has come
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we’ll see
No, I won’t be afraid
Oh, I won’t be afraid
Just as long as you stand
Stand by me
If the sky that we look upon
Should tumble and fall
Or the mountain should crumble to the sea
I won’t cry, I won’t cry
No, I won’t shed a tear
Just as long as you stand
Stand by me
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