I greet you all in the mighty Name of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Thanks for taking the time to visit our website and to follow the following inspirational word. My name is Eric Heath and I am a pastor in the service of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The past week has been a real twister of activities as the government, all companies and people across the country prepared for the lockdown. This initial phase was not a pretty picture and people’s emotions ran sky high with fear and uncertainty. When they became fearful of their immediate future, they became hostile and even fought over a bag of toilet paper. Really? According to stats our country is supposedly to be majority Christian faith based, but the recent behavior DOES NOT display the Spirit or mind of Christ that should be in all of us. The Church needs to take a very serious look inward at itself and its purpose and mission – starting with us as the leaders. Is it the prosperity teaching that is failing the people now? Maybe it is the regular “Sunday pep-talk shows”? Or is it perhaps all the false prophecies that has been given out in churches and other social media platforms on a regular basis – providing false hope without any substance and mainly to sustain the local church through their businessmen and women?
Let me be blunt about this – most leaders lost their focus and anointing and have substituted the Spirit of God with gimmicks. And this real pandemic in our faces is now revealing the goats from the sheep – the false teachings from truth – and the underlying fruit of the flesh in the lives of people who proclaim to be Christians. Any teaching without the appeal for people to be born again through water and spirit, is worthless. Any teaching that does not lead to a personal relationship with Christ or to grow in such relationship – is also not worth listening to nor following.
While preparing for the lockdown, the following scripture came to me:
Php 2:12 -15 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,
- for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
- Do all things without grumbling or disputing,
- that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
With this 21-day lockdown, the responsibility of precaution has been placed upon each individual person. Stay home and wash your hands if you really need to go out. Not everyone is heeding to these guidelines as well. But, Paul says we must “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”. Now this is something to think about. Because in 2 Ti 1:7 the same Paul stated: 2Ti 1:7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. Everyone who quoted scripture in the past few weeks said we must NOT fear – and I wholly agree. Because “FEAR” is the opposite of faith. Or is it perhaps not in the same context? Therefore, we need to look at the ground words in the Greek to better understand what Paul is trying to convey to us.
Firstly, Paul declares to the church in Philippi they should “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”. The next three verses provide a clue that he is actually speaking to people who have not yet accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. Yes, it is absolutely true! Even today you find the majority of people IN the church are not born again yet! They are church members – yes sir, no doubt about that. But they are not yet born again as children of God. Are you perhaps one of them? Why are you postponing?
God works salvation in our hearts (verse 13) through the Holy Spirit – and (verse 14) we should accept His salvation plan through grace without any delay. The end result is to be blameless and innocent again (verse 15) (my favorite topic and teaching), through the righteousness of Christ in us – and to become real born-again children of God (verse 15; John 1:12). This is such an awesome message – or rather an urging by God to be obedient to His call for salvation.
The Greek word in this scripture (Phobos (G5401) – also relates to “phobia”), and refer to the extreme levels of fear, such as; alarm/ fright/ be afraid/ exceedingly afraid/ paranoia/ horror/ irrational fear. Paul is really admonishing us all in this day to “seek God and work out your own personal salvation with fear and trembling”. You should be so afraid – exceedingly in fear – terrified about the fact that Jesus might return any day now – while you are perhaps not saved by His grace yet! Meeting God with sin in your life and being disobedient to His call for salvation, will NOT be a walk in the park. Believe me, meeting God on a personal level is a VERY fearful and trembling experience.
Please for a minute – think about the consequences here! You do not want to die without Christ! You do not want to wait until His return – because then it will be too late! There is NO second chance. Today – now at this moment – is the best of times to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Repent of each and all sins in your life and then be baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ (refer to Acts 2:38 and other related scriptures).
Only then will the following scripture of Paul (2Ti 1:7) be applicable to you. The Greek word here for “fear” refer to “timidity” – meaning; fearfulness, nervousness and faintheartedness. They all refer to emotional states produced by a lack of faith. In Matt 8:26 Jesus admonished His disciples for having little faith:
Mat 8:26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
In Rev 21:8 the fearful people (lack of faith) are thrown into the lake of fire. So, fear is good if it guides you towards salvation, but you should not remain in that fear. When you are born again, that initial fear (Phil 2:12) is then replaced by faith with the by-product of power and love and self-control (2Ti 1:7).
In summary, true relationship in Christ and to know without a shadow of doubt that you are now born again, became a son of God (John 1:12), will provide sufficient faith to produce confidence and boldness in the power God. But you will also experience a sound mind through the power of the Holy Spirit, which refer to discipline and self- control to protect yourself spiritually as well as physically according to the guidelines of the government in this pandemic.
Seek Jesus Christ our Lord with all your heart. Built up a personal relationship with Him to be strengthened in your faith. If you need help or spiritual guidance, feel free to contact me directly via the website channels or leave a response below with your contact details.