Earlier this week, someone forwarded me an email containing an “urgent message” from a well known American evangelist. The message was sent out as a prophetic warning about an impending calamity coming to the US: an act of judgment from God against America. I am sure that many of you have also read or at least heard about this message.
Now personally, I know very little about this man other than what I remember from a book of his that I read many years ago. My purpose is not to come against him or his ministry. However, this message really got me angry. Partially because of what it said, but mostly because of the effect that I knew it would have on a lot of Christians who would read it. Here is the part that really got my blood boiling:
“AN EARTH-SHATTERING CALAMITY IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN. IT IS GOING TO BE SO FRIGHTENING, WE ARE ALL GOING TO TREMBLE – EVEN THE GODLIEST AMONG US.”
I have been feeling all week the need to comment on this, and I was actually planning to do so today. Before I got around to it though, I read an article by John Fischer that summed up everything I wanted to say much better than I ever could have. So, I’m re-posting his article here. You can also check out his website here to read the article “first hand”.
Jesus In; Fear Out by John Fischer (Wednesday, March 11, 2009)
One of our readers sent me an email today and wondered what I thought of it. You’ve no doubt seen messages like it. They are messages that are laced with words of fear and alarm. Often they are used to get you to give money or to vote a certain way or support a certain candidate. But the thing they all have in common is fear.
This particular one was not even asking for anything. It was just the person who sent it “unburdening” himself. The message said one thing and one thing alone: “Be afraid. Be very much afraid.” It was from a recognized Christian leader. So he can sleep now, I guess, because he “unburdened” himself of his fear and passed it on to the rest of us.
Now there is one thing I know I can say in full confidence: This kind of message cannot possibly be from God. God does not use fear to motivate His children. God would say, “Don’t be afraid.” In fact, that’s exactly what He said in 1 Peter 3:14-15: “‘Do not fear what they fear. Do not be frightened.’ But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord.” (That first part is a quote from Isaiah 8:12: “Do not call conspiracy everything that these people call conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it.”)
I would go as far as to say that anyone who uses fear to motivate people towards anything for the sake of the kingdom of God is a false teacher. God has never, nor will He ever use fear to motivate his children. He loves His children and moves them through love to action. These people are lining their pocketbooks and bolstering their power on the fears of those they have snared. Do not fall prey to their devices. Ask yourself, “Is fear anywhere behind this?” And if it is anywhere in the picture, reject the whole package.
Instead, set up Christ as Lord, and hail Him as the one and only matchless Ruler of your heart. Jesus and fear cannot occupy the same throne.
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” – 2 Timothy 1:7