Last night a terrorist murdered dozens of innocent teenagers at a pop concert. How can one not be terrified? Yet that is Jesus’s command, “Do not be terrified.”
Do Not Be Terrified
The world is fast becoming a battlefield. Islamic terrorists are savagely killing and maiming the innocent. Leftist terrorists are striking our universities to prevent free speech. Media terrorists are spewing fake news stories at an almost hourly rate. And in my opinion these are just the early ripples of a Tsunami of terror that is coming. How should someone deal with this rising tide of terror?
Is this taking Jesus by surprise? Of course not. In fact he used this very word “terror” when advising his followers how they should respond to events just prior to his return. He said, “do not be terrified.”
When you hear of wars and disturbances (chaos, riots, revolutions, etc.), do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end does not follow immediately. (Luke 21:9)
Jesus’s disciples asked Jesus what would be the sign of his return. As our Lord began his response, he gave us two commands, “Do not be misled” and “Do not be terrified.” Why? Because he expects events on the earth to be capable of misleading us and terrifying us.
These are terrifying times. Why shouldn’t a person be terrified? Jesus gave us the answer:
For these things must take place first. (Luke 21:9)
Jesus said don’t be terrified because these things MUST take place before he returns. These events are signs that Jesus and his eternal Kingdom on earth are close at hand! Plus this statement re-enforces the idea that Jesus has the world under his control. He is permitting these events because they MUST take place first so that all that is written will be fulfilled.
What Should We Do?
A terrified Christian will hide and withdraw. That is exactly what the evil one desires. It is my opinion that we are fast approaching the day when Satan will unleash “his man,” the Man of Sin upon the world to deceive it into worshiping everything that is not God. A church that hides will allow this evil man unfettered access to the souls of the unsaved.
So despite what we “see” happening, and what we see will only get exponentially worse, we are to engage the culture. God’s elect will testify. The word “testimony” appears 9 times in Revelation! It is our purpose and Satan knows it:
And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. (Rev. 12:11)
It is also our weapon; it is how we overcome Satan.
So when we see terrifying things, our instinctive response needs to be “testimony” not to hide in fear. “They did not love their life even when faced with death.”
The times ahead will be different than what we have experienced before. We need to begin to practice now to prepare our minds for them; to renew our minds to accomplish Jesus’s purposes for us. And that purpose is “testimony.”