Fearful or Fearless?

One of the most admirable traits of the first Christians was their courage in the face of persecution and great difficulty. They were fearless. They knew what they believed and were willing to die for their beliefs. They faced ruling counsels, religious authorities, even Caesar himself and testified to the risen Lord. Their level of boldness and fearlessness was attractive to the world around them as they bore witness to their faith through great pain and persecution.

Rome didn’t worry them.

The Pharisees couldn’t phase them either.

They weren’t worried about grain futures in Egypt either.

All that mattered was that Jesus had risen and He promised to raise them too…that death, the greatest enemy of all, had already been defeated. Who or what should they fear?

They had nothing to fear and everything to gain. That is how they saw life and it is how we should see life too.

If we are trying to restore the early church, somewhere along the way I am afraid that we have missed out on restoring their fearlessness. People today are hesitant to share their faith for fear of rejection so the Gospel goes un-shared. Christians fear everything from what happens in Washington to what happens to their 401k. Our fear keeps us from our freedom in Christ and the result is a church on the defensive…wall building and insulation from the community. Somewhere along the line we forget hell had gates, not the church.

It is time we move our attitude and mindset from fear-driven to being fearless followers of the risen Lord. So let’s talk about fear this month and how we can restore in our souls, congregations and communities a renewed boldness and a sense of fearless adventure as we risk it all for the kingdom of God.

Leave a Reply

  1. Most people I know are not afraid to share their faith. Two reasons pop up more and more:
    1. But they already believe in Jesus, so who am I to tell them they need to know more
    2. O, but good people are not really lost
    It is not so much the fearlessness that seems to be missing, but the concern that yes, even good people will be lost. We seem to be caught in the idea that everyone who believes in Jesus is safe, because after all, they believe in Jesus!

    One of the main part of “our” message through the years has been the concept that unless you are baptized, no forgiveness takes place. Because of some of the famous voices among us, “As long as they believe in Jesus, they are good to go…” is a much more comfortable place to be.

    We seem to be more comfortable to ignore talk of “Judgment to come…” even though that was certainly a part of the message of the early church. Separateandapartfrom that, there seems to be much more familiarity with the writings of contemporary authors than with the Bible. And that DOES shape our “theology.”

    I saw the light come on with one of our teens. “But if the invitation of Jesus into your heart and you are saved” is wrong, than all these people will be lost if they are not baptized. What an amazing revelation that was.

    We did a \n “analysis” of three of the “baptism” passages, (Acts 2, Romans 6 and COlossians 2), and looked at all the things that take place in baptism. “Ask Jesus into your heart and all is well…” was not among those. And if newness of sin are imparted ONLY in baptism, something is seriously missing. But who wants to take THAT message to people?