Jesus repeatedly tells us that terror and fear will increasingly grip the hearts of the people in the days that lead to the end of the world. “But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by. Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven” (Luke 21:9-11). He also said, “Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken” (Luke 21:26).
A former US President, F.D. Roosevelt, in an address to Congress in 1941, said that one of our essential human freedoms is the freedom from fear. Since then, much is said and done to get fear out of human minds. Though this is a good and just cause, it is an utter impossibility. The events of our times only aggravate the sense of fear in human hearts. Whether it be terrorism, wars, pestilences or natural calamities, people everywhere live in fear. Just as Jesus said, “Men’s hearts are failing them for fear.”
The root cause of troubles and fears is sin and rebellion against God. As long as sin increases, there is no hope for calm and tranquillity. The Lord God Almighty says, “The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked” (Isaiah 57:20-21).
No man can fully free himself from fear until he is “born again” through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is the Prince of Peace, and He alone will be responsible for peace on earth. Man is absolutely powerless to rid the world of fear, as evidenced by the long history of wars and rumours of wars that have afflicted the globe to this day. According to the unfailing Biblical prophecy, this world is not heading towards a man-made utopia but towards the Great Tribulation, the time of greatest suffering the earth has ever known (Revelation 6:15-17).
Of all the hundreds of things that men fear, the greatest is undeniably the “fear of death” (Hebrews 2:15). Anyone who has never been saved by the grace of God and washed in the blood of Christ has every reason to fear death and to die in his sins. “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31; cf. 9:27). Death is not the end for man. God’s Word says that after death, each of us will forever be either in the torment and punishment of hell, or in the joyful bliss of heaven (Luke 12:4-5; John 14:1-3). At the moment of physical death, one’s eternal destiny is forever sealed. The greatest fear anyone could ever have is an eternity in hell!
Jesus died on Calvary’s cross for our sins, bearing all the judgment that we deserve. Now He offers salvation to everyone who will confess his sins to God, and trust Christ as his Saviour, believing that He died for him. You cannot be free from fear until all your sins are forgiven. Believe on Christ “in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Ephesians 1:7).
Once we are cleansed of our sins and are delivered from eternal damnation, we can be sure that the Lord will be with us, even in death. Jesus also assures us, “Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death” (Revelation 1:17-18). If at anytime you feel afraid in the face of the encroaching and increasing terrors of the end-time, pray to the Lord for His peace. He promises, “My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).
We have desired to have a Gospel outreach ministry to students in tertiary education. Through Bro Andrew Koh, who now serves with Gethsemane Youth Fellowship, a Bible study for students in Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) has been started. Below is Bro Andrew’s brief report on the first session:
“O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens” (Psalm 8:1).
Thank God for every opportunity to speak forth His excellent name wherever He sends us. It pleases God to use even man to make His great name known. The psalmist said, “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” (Psalm 8:4).
By God’s providence, the first Bible study was conducted at NAFA on 27th August (Wednesday) evening at 7.30pm, on Campus 1 Wing B. By word of mouth, 4 people attended this Bible study to learn from God’s Word. Currently, we endeavour to do a systematic book study of 1 Thessalonians. We also took time to pray for one another. Through the sharing of prayer items and fellowship, the participants were encouraged to remain steadfast in their Christian walk and be faithful to God even amidst an ungodly environment. It was a blessed time of fellowship.
We pray that the group will “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18), and that more will come to learn God’s Word weekly. We also hope to hold evangelistic meetings to reach out to non-Christian students with the Gospel. May God open more doors for us to speak forth His excellent name!
If you know of any NAFA student who is interested to join our Bible study, please introduce him or her to me. My contact number is 9862 3403.