Well as the title says, there is something we need to “Be afraid, be very afraid” of. The Lord talks about it here in this section of scripture. Its more a “who” to be afraid of rather than “what” we should fear. And Jesus goes to some length to explain why people need to be afraid.
Don’t be afraid of men
Most people know of men who they are frightened of. Dictators, oppressors, bullies and so on. They are overbearing and often violent and cause great harm.
But Jesus tells us not to be afraid of men. The reason why is that the worst any man can do to another is to kill them. But death as man knows it is not the ultimate death.
The Bible speaks of two types of death, the death of the body and the death of the spirit. The death of the body is that which we all know and understand when a person comes to the end of their life on this earth. A man can take the life of another and cause this death, but that is all they can do.
We are told that the death of the body is not that important for the spirit continues to live on, and at the Lord’s return all the dead will rise again for judgement to live with God or for destruction. Which brings us to the key point in this section of scripture.
Man cannot kill the spirit of another man. But God can.
When the spirit dies, that person is truly dead and never to come back. When God judges mankind, those who are found unworthy will suffer the second death spoken of in Revelation 20:11-15. The second death is the destruction of the spirit of people who are judged as not being worthy to enter eternal life with Christ. All those whose names are not written in God’s “Book of Life” will be thrown into the lake of fire and be destroyed.
That is why the Lord tells us that we need to fear God and not men. If a person is killed by a man, they will return at the resurrection and be judged according to how they lived their life, their faith and so on. But if they fail to meet the test they will be destroyed for all eternity and there is no coming back from the second death.
Those with Christ are protected
Jesus also tells us that if you are with Christ and following God’s path, then you have a protection from the second death. There have been many Christians and God fearing people over the centuries who have died for the sake of their beliefs. But they have only gone through the first death, the death of the body. Their lives are preserved with God until the time of the resurrection when they will be revealed.
Jesus says in this section of scripture that God is watching his people. He says of the birds that five sparrows are sold for two pennies, but not one of them is forgotten before God. He provides for the sparrows as he does for his people. His level of concern for his people is so great that Jesus says even the hairs on our head are all numbered.
You must understand that Jesus and God NEVER lie. If he says the hairs on our heads are all numbered…they are all numbered. Stop and consider that for a moment. If God cares that much for you that he keeps an inventory of each individual hair on your head, how much more will he protect you from the evil of this world and preserve your life for eternity?
There is nothing that God cannot and will not do for his people when we seek him and ask him. And when we come to God through Christ with confidence that he hears our requests, there is nothing he will not do for us. Anything of an evil nature that may befall us only occurs because God allows it to occur. It may be to teach us, to strengthen us or to show his power and love by pulling us through so that we can learn and then use that experience to strengthen others.
Will evil befall us? Yes it will. We will be tempted and tested and tried just as any other person will be. But with Christ we have an advocate with God and through the Holy Spirit we have the power to go through such trials and come out stronger.
Fear God because he has all power over your eternal life, but understand that the power of the destruction of the spirit, the second death, is for those who choose to live in opposition to God’s ways. They SHOULD fear God for they may have their good things now, but this world is temporary and will fade away. A better life and a better hope awaits those who choose to follow God and obey his commands.
Just remember…God loves YOU. There may be people who love you too, but only God knows how many hairs are on your head.
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