I Am Afraid

Luke Bennetch
 

Covid 19 pandemic is raging around the world. People are sick and some are dying. Many businesses shuttered their doors and workers are laid off. The stock markets have crashed. The swift changes this has brought to normal life are staggering. Fear grips many hearts.

Let’s turn to the Bible for some help in these scary times. 1Jo 4:18 recognizes that, “Fear hath torment.” Fear keeps us awake at night. Fear makes us anxious in the daytime. Fear makes us tired physically. It takes the joy out of normally joyful activities. We crash in exhaustion eventually and cry out, “How can I escape this fearful situation? When can I get relief from this fear?” Some are tempted to think that suicide is the only way out of this. But wait! There are better answers.

First, let’s consider that there is a sovereign God in Heaven who is all-powerful, even in bad events like this. Jeremiah 10:12 says about God, “He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.” Everywhere and every day, Creation screams out, “There is a God.” We see it in the awakening of Spring across the land. This new life does not just happen. It is not a result of some cosmic bang millions of years ago. It comes from the very hand of God!

But you say, “Where then is God in this pandemic?” Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” God’s ways are so far above our ways that we often cannot grasp what He is doing. God has not promised us only good things. In fact, the Bible tells us that as the end of time nears, there will be wars, famines, and pestilences. Read Matthew 24 and see the description. God has not lost control. He is still God. He will be God all the way to the end of time!

Second, let’s think about what we should do in times like this. Many people prepared for lockdown in this pandemic by thinking ahead about what they might need. They purchased extra food and supplies. But how should we prepare for the end of the world or for our time of death? What does lie beyond death’s door for us? Hebrews 9:27 says, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” After death we will meet our Creator God and answer to Him for our lives. This thought makes us fearful when we don’t know God.

In Philippians 1:21-24 the Apostle Paul writes, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.” He tells us that for Christians, death brings us into the very presence of God. Paul longed to go to be with the Lord, but he also felt the pull to want to stay alive for his friend’s sake. They needed him. The church needed him. But you can see that Paul was not afraid to die. He wished for it. He knew what blessings it would bring to him. He was not afraid to die.

When you think of your death, do you have that same peace that Paul had? You say, “No I am afraid to die. I’m scared” Let’s talk about how you can prepare for the day you die. Sin brings the disfavor of God on us. Sin makes God angry with us. Sin is anything that breaks the laws of God. Sin brings guilt to our hearts. Romans 6:23 states, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” You want to get rid of your guilt of sin? Then you need the gift of God, Jesus Christ. He died on the cross to save anyone who will believe in Him. The most quoted verse of Scripture says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). On the day of Pentecost, when the burden of guilt weighed upon the people who heard Peter preach, they asked what they needed to do. Acts 2:38 “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” The answer was simple. Turn away from wickedness, that’s repentance. Be baptized, that’s the seal of a commitment to God. 1John 1:9 promises, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” John 1:12 tells us, “But as many as received him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”

Let’s summarize this process. (1.) You must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as the sacrifice that will cleanse your heart from sin. (2.) You must repent of sin and confess it to God and those you sinned against. Pray to God in Heaven and tell Him your heart’s desire to have peace with Him. Tell Him your sorry for living in disobedience to Him. You will feel the peace of God flood your heart. You have just been “born again.” John 3:3 “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” If you die now, you too can go to be with Jesus in Heaven. Now you can sleep! Now you can face the future! (3.) Then if God gives you time and health, you will pursue baptism in a faithful church of believers. You will want fellowship with other born-again believers. You will want to study the Bible together and learn more about this wonderful Jesus who just saved you. You will love to obey and please Him. John 14:21 says, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”

Listen to the heart of God, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2Peter 3:9). God does not want you to perish, dear reader. He loves you and wants you to come experience salvation. Then you can know true peace, joy, and happiness in this broken world of fear, disease, and death.