In a day where fear abounds, and where Christians see certain persecution looming on the horizon of history, in a day where people seek manmade solutions and develop timelines and deadlines, the Lord encourages us to be steadfast and to trust Him, no matter how deceptive the narrative and how dark the winter.
There is but one man in whom we should place our ultimate trust. One man who sits on the throne. One who knows truth. One who ultimately orchestrates.
His name is Jesus, and He never fails, never disappoints, never abandons, never lies, and never surrenders. He is the only one worthy of our praise, our adoration, and our worship.
When we place our hope in human governors and governments, or in media, or in authorities, we misplace our trust. Jesus rules over all, and someday that will be evident to all, but today, on this side of eternity, that is not yet apparent. For many, all appeared lost on Jan. 20. For others, all appeared gained. Yet only the King of Kings and Lord of Lords knows the full truth, and only He can redeem humanity from the curse brought on by sinful men who do the devil’s bidding.
There are some who await President Trump’s return on a white horse to set all things right. He is not going to. Whether he reappears in the pages of our human chronicle of history remains to be seen. Whether he will rescue our Constitution or rise up as the personification of evil also remains as yet history unwritten. The point is that too many have put too much hope in this man, and those who have need to repent and let God show Himself to be our only Savior. While Trump may yet return and do great things, he is not God. He can not ultimately rescue humanity from what ails us most — sin! It is not even fair to expect the things many have expected from this man.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, I believe we are coming into a time of intense, worldwide persecution of Christians. We need to be ready. We will be cancelled, demonized, misrepresented, falsely accused, imprisoned, and perhaps even killed. The church is currently being refined and many are walking away. Perhaps you think I’m going a little overboard, but did you ever think churches would close, here in America, as a result of government orders? Did you ever think Christians and Christian textbook publishers would be blamed for a Capitol “insurrection?” Worse is coming. But ultimately, this should not worry us.
When we know our eternity is settled, and we are right with our Creator, we can experience peace that passes all understanding, and even if we are called to face a martyr’s death, we can be at perfect peace. Take courage, redemption is just around the corner!
What does liberty cost? And if you knew how to get it, what would you be willing to give for it?
Many today mistakenly put their trust in countries, governments, leaders, organizations, or other human entities. People all over the world have joined the ranks of Q-anon and other groups that believe President Trump has the solutions for the world’s problems. Many worry that if he is not in power, the whole world will cave in to the New World Order, democracy will be lost, that socialism will overtake us, and that all will be lost. I do believe we are headed for socialism, as well as the end times. I do believe that we are moving toward one world government and the rise of the antichrist and the beast system. While we are likely going to lose many freedoms, our republic, and perhaps even our lives, that doesn’t mean we will lose our liberty.
Does that sound ludicrous?
Look at it this way:
No matter who is in the White House, God is on His throne. No matter what goes on in Washington, heaven’s purposes will be fulfilled. Sometimes things seem really bad, and sometimes they truly are, but keep in mind that, for the Christ-follower, our heavenly citizenship overrides our national citizenship. Jesus is preparing a place for us that is so much better than anything here on earth. Our Savior has already come and will return one day. No mere man can save us. No mere man can save America or the world. No kingdom can rise or fall without God’s permission. If America falls, and I believe it will, it will be because God has allowed it, and perhaps even purposed it. Things are not always as they appear. If your hope has been in any man but Christ, perhaps today is the day for that to change. If you do not yet know Jesus as Lord, today could be the best day to become part of His family.
One thing 2020 did for me was to loosen my grip on this world and its grip on me. I am a patriot, but I have become deeply aware that my true citizenship is in heaven, and I have come to long for the day I arrive there.
There is much in this world to grieve us, but it’s time to let go, to go through the grief process, and to accept that no man can be our savior and that no country is invincible.
Without a personal relationship with Jesus, we have no hope. This life is but a blink of an eye compared to eternity, so we need to be sure our eternity is secure. Nothing matters otherwise.
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, yet loses his soul? Nothing — nothing is worth spending an eternity of regret.
None of us know what the future will hold or how much time we have on this earth. If you don’t know the Lord, please put your trust in Him today. If you do know Him, please spend every last breath and ounce of energy urging others to repent and put their trust in Christ. There is nothing more vital.
Persecution is coming to the church. Whether we have a week or ten years to openly worship and to share the Gospel, we need to use that time to the fullest.
And if you’re putting off a decision for Christ, you may find yourself suddenly standing before God and realizing that it’s too late. We all are sinners. Hell is real. Heaven is too. Jesus wants to forgive your sins and be in charge of your life, but you need to acknowledge your sinfulness, accept him as Lord (Master), agree that you want to change, and put all your trust in Him. Otherwise, you remain lost in your sins and on the road to hell.
True liberty comes from finding freedom in Christ. When your sins are forgiven, and you have a relationship with the living God, no matter what griefs come in this lifetime, the assurance of eternity with God in heaven is enough.
Perhaps America must fall in order for Christ to be lifted up in the world, or even in our lives. Perhaps men need to be brought down off their pedestals, that those who have put their hope in them may give up their idolatry and turn their eyes on Jesus, the author of liberty and our only true hope. If the “Land of the Free” must fall in order for us to understand true liberty, so be it.
Patrick Henry said, “Give me liberty or give me death.”
Today perhaps we should say, “Give me death (to my hopes and desires), that I may understand and enjoy true liberty.”
I recently had the opportunity to testify during a public hearing regarding Kentucky’s mask mandate (902 KAR 2:210E). There were many amazing people on the zoom call, testifying about various reasons the mask mandate is unconstitutional and sharing compelling personal stories and scholarly research to support their positions. (This is not a statement that people shouldn’t wear masks, as that should be an individual choice, but rather that the government should not regulate this decision.) This is the first time I’ve attended such a hearing, and I found it to be a worthwhile way to participate in our democratic process. Here are my comments, taken from the transcript:
“Thank you so much for this opportunity to speak, and I just want to say I appreciate everyone’s comments. I’ve been very impressed with the depth of research and experiences that you all are willing to share.
So, I’m going to start off by saying when I was seventeen years old, I took an oath to uphold the Constitution against enemies foreign and domestic. I don’t feel released from that oath, and I think that our Constitution is being trampled in all sorts of ways today. While my allegiance was specific to the U.S. Constitution and I do believe that Constitution is being trampled, I am going to argue from the Kentucky Constitution, the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, which is subordinate to our national Constitution. So, to clarify, the Constitution is the highest law of our Commonwealth and it gives all the branches of government, including the Executive Branch, its power.
And the Preamble of that Constitution says:
So, first, we are entitled to both political and religious liberty and our Constitution was founded on these liberties. The mask issue is highly political, and, for some, it may violate their religious liberty. When we’re looking at a document, an original source, we should define it in terms of the way that it would have been defined at that time. And, so, I want to go to a couple of Websters 1828 Dictionary definitions, the first one being the word political, and political means,
“pertaining to a nation or state, or to nations or states, as distinguished from civil or municipal; as in the phrase, political and civil rights, the former comprehending rights that belong to a nation, or perhaps to a citizen as an individual of a nation; and the latter comprehending the local rights of a corporation or any member of it.
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary
And the definition of liberty civil libertyis,
“the liberty of men in a state of society, or natural liberty so far only abridged and restrained, as is necessary and expedient for the safety and interest of the society, state or nation. A restraint of natural liberty not necessary or expedient for the public is tyranny or oppression. Civil liberty is an exemption from the arbitrary will of others, which exemption is secured by established laws, which restrain every man from injuring or controlling another.” Hence the restraints of law are essential to civil liberty.”
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary
So, moving on to Section 1 of the Bill of Rights of the Kentucky Constitution which addresses the “rights of life, liberty, worship, pursuit of safety and happiness, free speech and acquiring and protecting property, peaceful assembly, redress of grievances and bearing arms, all men are by nature free and equal and have certain inherent and inalienable rights, among which may be reckoned.
So, we should have the freedom to choose, and with no other infectious disease have we gone to these measures. Will we from this time forward have to mask? According to the World Economic Forum, we probably will. Infectious diseases are a part of life and people will die from them at times. The majority of those who have died, though, from Coronavirus-19 have outlived the average life expectancy and, thus, likely may have died of something else within a relatively close time line or effectively could have died of something else with COVID listed as the reason of death but it was merely a complication of the original illness. Now, I’m not minimizing the loss of anyone, but we would be presumptuous to think that we can live forever and that the measures we take will allow us to cheat the inevitable.
For many, we feel neither safe nor happy while wearing masks. Breathing our own carbon dioxide is unnatural and many people feel panicky when wearing them, and free speech is at stake because people are literally muzzled.
There are times when masks are a safety hazard and even discriminatory and I want to give you some examples of that. One example would be the hearing-impaired. So, you have an exemption if you are hearing-impaired, and I understand you have an exemption if you’re talking to someone who is hearing-impaired, but how many of us know who is hearing-impaired just by looking at them? We don’t necessarily know. And, so, that can cause a safety hazard for those who are.
What about people who have English as a second language? I have a coworker who meets that description, and it’s hard enough to understand each other without a mask on. So, if you’re in a position where there is something that really needs to be communicated thoroughly and quickly and you’ve got English-language learners, that could be a problem, a safety hazard but it’s also a social hazard for them.
And, then, children, I want to address children. I am a certified teacher in the State of Kentucky with certifications in elementary and special education. I do teach and I also currently am a daycare director which recently reopened. Now, I think this mandate is a threat to the safety, for the emotional and physical health of children, and it is creating a generation and a society of germaphobes and hypochondriacs. For example, and I am not someone who goes around wearing masks or talking much about the safety of it around my three-year old, but she recently caught a cold and she said to me, it was because she didn’t wear a mask that she has the coronavirus. Now, she does not have coronavirus. She did not have coronavirus but there is a brain-washing that’s permeating our society about this and creating just fear.
So, a year ago, we went about our business with mild symptoms if we had some place to go or something we needed to do, but now we have to over-analyze every symptom, and this is creating in some ways a lack of a work ethic, I think, because we have to forego our work or whatever if we have a sniffle.
But when it comes to religious freedom, it also can be a hindrance to worshiping God freely. And if this is simply an attempt to gain control over people, then, it is religious discrimination as well.
Section 2 of the Bill of Rights says that absolute and arbitrary power is denied. Absolute and arbitrary power over the lives, liberty and property of free men exists nowhere in a Republic and not even in the largest majority. This mandate is absolute and arbitrary because it is a unilateral dictate of the Governor and is not enforced over certain groups of people, namely protesters. The Governor himself was photographed with his mask down shaking both hands of an elderly lady at a rally.
Now, Section 5 goes on to the right of religious freedom and it talks about
So, if I’m told to mask during singing at church, to social distance during church, these things are contrary to biblical teaching. We are told to lay hands on the sick, to greet each other and touch each other with affection and to sing. And if it goes against my religious conscience and beliefs to wear a mask and I have to wear one to receive the goods and services, this is a violation of conscience and my religious freedoms.
Section 26 of the Bill of Rights says,
So, if that is true, if all of the above is true and all of the things that we’ve said today, and I believe they are, these things can’t be changed according to our Bill of Rights and it is not to be altered without abolishing the government.
I would submit to you that the true pandemic we are facing is a pandemic of fear and control.
And while COVID-19 is causing sickness and even death, the death rate is low and the fear rate is astronomical. This is not about true health. It is about control, and we need not to submit to this and we need our Governor, our lawmakers and our Judges to adhere to the Constitution. Thank you.
About 20 years ago, shortly after I became a Christian, I was participating in some job training. One day we took a lunch break at a local outdoor food court. As we ate, a bee took an interest in my food and wouldn’t leave me alone. I was terrified of insects, especially the stinging type, so I began panicking like a 3-year-old. One of my fellow trainees, a middle-aged Jewish woman, looked at me pointedly and said, “You know, I’m really surprised that someone with your great faith would be so scared of a little bee.”
At that moment, I was stung with such conviction that I determined that I would no longer fear insects, and to this day, I have succeeded. My fear had ruined my ability to enjoy lunch, but more than that, it had marred my testimony to an unbelieving friend.
A pastor told a story of a family taking a car trip in which a bee decided to ride along. One of the children was shrieking in terror, when his father decided to intervene. The father caught the bee in his hand, took the sting, and then let the bee continue to fly around the car. He assured his child that there was nothing more to fear, since he had already taken the stinger. The pastor likened this father to our Lord, who took the sting of death for those who trust in Him, that we might not fear the sting of death.
How many of us are doing just that, though? We are living in fear of so many things today:
a microscopic virus that could make us sick and has less than 1% chance of killing us
losing our livelihood
losing our savings
being shamed for wearing/not wearing a mask
losing our civil liberties
who will win the election
being forced to take a vaccine
what the next big development of 2020 will be
Add to the list any personal fears we each carry, and it can be really overwhelming.
I’ve been considering a few questions lately:
What’s more important — surviving or living?
First, what’s more important — surviving or living? If I have to live in a bubble in order to stay alive, is that really living? If I have to fear every little thing when I walk out of my house and every little thing that comes into my house, is that really living? If I am missing out on relationships, is that really living? Would I rather live long or would I rather live well?
I’ve also pondered why this particular illness is the ONE that has us all paralyzed and isolated. We’ve never done anything like this before, as far as shutting down so systematically and for so long. Other illnesses and activities have killed far more people, but went virtually unnoticed. What’s the difference?
Part of the problem today, I think, is that we are so entitled as Americans. We believe that we simply should live to be very old and that we should have our needs provided for us. We expect life to be safe and sterile, and current events don’t fit our expectations.
I look at America today and, technological advances aside, I doubt our ancestors would recognize us. Think about it: People boarded ships, risking illness, starvation, and death, to come to America. Pioneers trekked across the country on foot and in wagons, risking life and limb, to make a better life for themselves and their posterity. America has been known for its independent spirit. Americans have historically been leaders who took risks to advance and rise above circumstances. Yet, here we are, allowing our country to be brought to a screeching halt by a microscopic organism that is not nearly as likely to affect us as the dangers our patriot predecessors faced.
At the turn of the 20th century, the average life expectancy was mid-forties, meaning I personally probably would have gone onto glory by my age if I had lived during that time. Today, we expect — even demand — to live twice that long. The average coronavirus death happens to those over the average life expectancy, and though every death is sad, it seems presumptuous for us to expect to cheat death. With the exception of two people in history (Enoch and Elijah), every single person has died or will die, barring the rapture. God has determined every one of our days before even one of them came to be, so for us to think we can come up with a humanistic solution to the problem of death is utterly prideful and foolish.
We are creating a generation of germaphobes and hypochondriacs. We need to remember that we shouldn’t fear death so much as we should fear and revere the One who determines how we spend eternity.
Another area of fear relates to our liberty. There are people threatening America’s freedoms, people who violate the Constitution in the name of peace and safety and people who push a Marxist agenda. Many of us know we need to stand against this, yet we are afraid to do so. We fear legal penalties, social stigma, family safety, and more. We would do well to look at the example of our nation’s founders. They put it all on the line for their families and their descendants. They risked all of this for us, people who were not yet born, but would benefit from their willingness to sacrifice. How would they feel, knowing we have taken this freedom so for granted that we don’t mind giving it up?
Let’s take it a step further: How must God feel toward us, knowing that He created our bodies to be resilient and our brains to be wise, yet we are so fearful? How must He feel, knowing that He sent His precious Son to die for us, that we may have the abundant, eternal life, yet we are so caught up in the physical existence? How must he feel, knowing that He died to set us free, never again to be enslaved, yet we willingly submit ourselves to multiple yokes of slavery? How must He feel, seeing us shaking our fists, kicking our legs, writhing in anger and fear, and demanding long life, prosperity, and security, when He has all of those things laid up for us, just not in the form we demand?
There are at least 100 verses that tell us not to fear. Why?
God is on His throne.
He is never taken by surprise.
He has promised never to leave or forsake us.
He has our best interest in mind.
He takes care of the lilies and the birds, and will certainly take care of us.
He loves us.
He is our father and we are His children.
He determined our times and places, and knew all of our days before even one came to be.
He gave us a spirit of power and a sound mind.
He has promised us the abundant life.
Our eternal life is secure if we trust in Him.
He delights to take care of us.
He will provide for us in the midst of our enemies.
He will not allow evil to triumph.
Nothing can separate us from His love.
He is the One with the power over life and death.
Greater is He that is in us than He that is in the world.
He will uphold us with His righteous right hand.
He has already told us how it ends. Spoiler: He wins and we get the spoils.
He has prepared a place for us.
We are already seated with Him in heaven.
He has freed us from slavery.
He has taken away the sting of death.
He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear.
He is in control!
I could go on forever …
If you’re a Christ follower and you’re fearful or anxious, this is understandable, especially given the uncertainty we currently face, yet the Lord has given us the remedy:
This is the believer’s prescription for peace. It’s not necessarily easy, but it is attainable.
If you don’t yet know the Lord, then no wonder you are anxious or concerned; not only is this life precarious, but your eternity is unsettled. I have good news: That can change today!
Simply acknowledge that you are a sinner, meaning you agree with God that you’ve done bad things, and that you have offended Him with those actions. Because of this, you don’t deserve to spend eternity in His presence. However, God sent His Son, Jesus, to live as a man, to identify with our weaknesses, to live a perfect life, and to die an atoning death, not for His own sins, because He was sinless, but for our sins. Accept that payment for your sins and transfer your allegiance from this world and your flesh to Him. Commit to allowing Him to be in charge of your life from here on out. Confess Him as your Lord, knowing that He died for your sins and rose from the dead, confirming that He is God and that He has authority to forgive sins and power to give you eternal life. When you do, He will save you and begin the process of sanctifying you, which means making you a more Christlike person. Your eternity will be secure, and you will be reconciled to Him. This will give you peace, joy, and comfort, no matter what circumstances come your way. Out of response for what He has done, get plugged into a local congregation, get baptized, read the Bible, pray, and serve others, all in order to know Him better and to glorify God to others, all because you’re grateful for His free gift. We can’t earn any of this; we simply accept it and it’s ours.
A right relationship with God, one in which we believe His promises are true and that He has our best interest in mind, is the cure for the fear pandemic.