Sermon on Fear
A. Psychologists tell us that we are born with two fears, the fear of falling and the fear of noise; but we soon develop many more.
1. It would be interesting to know how many different “phobias” are mentioned in the dictionary.
a. Indeed, our dictionaries betray us.
b. Our age is frantic with fear.
2. Members of a psychology class asked 500 people, “What are you afraid of?”
a. Those 500 people listed 7,000 fears!
b. But it need not be that way, for Christ came to deliver us from our fears.
A. THE BIBLE SPEAKS OF TWO KINDS OF FEAR
1. There is a fear that is commanded
a. This kind of fear involves respect, honor, reverence, and a sense of awe.
b. Thus, we are to fear God.
1) Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
2) Acts 9:31
3) Hebrews 11:7
c. This kind of fear leads to:
1) Holiness … 2 Corinthians 7:1
2) Working out our own salvation … Philippians 2:12
3) Evangelism … 2 Corinthians 5:11
2. There is a fear that is forbidden
a. This is the fear synonymous with dread, alarm, fright, terror, apprehension, anxiety, perplexity and distrust.
b. This kind of fear is forbidden
1) Psalm 91:5
2) Luke 12:32
c. This type of fear is not to be confused with caution
1) For example, fear of being run over will cause one to look both ways before crossing the street.
2) Also, fear of polio will cause one to take the vaccine.
3) These types of fears are normal and good.
B. AREAS WHEREIN FEAR OPERATES
1. Men fear failure
a. Fear of failure caused the one talent man to do nothing (Matthew 25:25)
b. Our Lord has promised us inevitable and assured success in the things that are really important … 1 Corinthians 15:58
c. It is our duty to do the best we can and leave the results in the hands of God.
2. Men fear the unknown future
a. This fear has kept many congregation of the Lord from growing, expanding, building buildings, adding missionaries, and otherwise doing more work for Christ.
b. We need to realize that it is vision and excitement that keeps people and congregations active, vibrant and growing.
3. Men fear responsibility
a. Because of this the one talent man did not assume his responsibility (Matthew 25:25)
b. Because of fear Israel shirked their responsibility in conquering the land (Dt. 1:22-46)
c. Fear will keep us from our responsibility of being fishers of men … Luke 5:10
4. Men fear old age
a. Yet, the Bible teaches that honor and glory are attached to old age
1) Leviticus 19:32
2) Proverbs 16:31
b. Some of the greatest accomplishments in life have been accomplished by the elderly
1) Webster wrote his dictionary at age 70
2) Moses was 80 when he lead Israel out of bondage
c. Realize also that old age is but an indication that one is nearer his home.
5. Men fear insecurity
a. Jesus went to great lengths teaching man that he should not have such fears (Matthew 6:24-34)
b. God has always provided for his own, and will continue to do so.
1) Psalm 37:25
2) Philippians 4:19
6. Men fear what other men will say and think about them, or do to them.
a. Luke 12:4-7
b. This type of fear often causing one to do wrong
1) Because of fear Peter denied the Lord (Matthew 26:69-75)
2) Fear cause Peter to be guilty of hypocrisy (Gal. 2:11-14)
c. Fear often times keep one from taking a stand for truth
7. Men fear death
a. Many are slaves to the fear of death (Hebrews 2:15)
b. The fear of death can be removed when men realize:
1) That it is inevitable … Hebrews 9:27
2) That it is the gateway to bliss and association with Jesus……. Philippians 1:21-23
3) That Jesus will be there to take us by the hand … Psalm 23:4
C. THE TRAGIC EFFECTS OF FEAR
1. Fear makes life a wretched experience and warps the personality
a. This is seen in the life of Saul (1 Samuel 28)
b. Fear is a dark room where negatives are developed
2. Fear will prevent one from doing the will of God
a. Men make excuses … as in the case of Moses (Exodus 3)
b. Do we disobey God for fear of persecution?
3. Fear renders one useless
a. There is no place in the kingdom of God for the fearful, because we are in a battle against Satan, and we need people of courage.
b. We are in an important battle and we need people of courage
4. Fear brings on the very thing we fear
a. Peter’s fear of sinking brought on his sinking
b. Fear of disease often brings on illness
c. Research has shown that 85% of the emotional and physical ills of men are brought on by fear
5. Fear will cause a person to be lost … Revelation 21:8
D. OVERCOMING FEAR
1. Remember that fear is strictly prohibited
a. In fact, fear is a characteristic of the wicked (Proverbs 28:1)
b. “Fear not” and “be not afraid” appear in the Bible 180 times
2. Enthrone Christ
a. Peter said … 1 Peter 3:14
b. He then tells us how this is done … 1 Peter 3:15
3. Put your faith and trust in God
a. Faith is the foe of fear
b. It is either faith of fear … Isaiah 26:3
4. Conceive of God as a Father
5. Never lose sight of the fact that you are in the presence of God and that His help is nigh
6. Never take counsel of your fears
a. A general who was fearful of an attack planned in the Shenandoah Valley, and expressed his fears to Stonewall Jackson, was told by the courageous Jackson, “General, never take counsel of your fears.”
b. Philippians 4:13
*Information gathered from Windell Winkler