Summary: The Lord deals with OUR FEARS by offering us HIS FAVORS for A FORMIDABLE FUTURE! Every verse highlights OUR FEARS and stresses HIS FAVORS as it relates to the FUTURE.
I once read the account of a minister who described the most disconcerting experience of his ministry. He told how, that as he began his sermon an elderly woman, seated near the front, opened a little box, took out an elaborate hearing aid, arranged its parts, screwed them together, and adjusted the receiver to her ear. But after listening only a few minutes, she removed the receiver, took the device apart, repacked it in its box, and sat quietly in the pew during the remainder of the sermon. She had decided she didn’t want to hear anymore! Now I hope those of you who need no hearing aids will not shut out the message as effectively as did that elderly woman. I hope to bring the Text into vital contact with your minds and life experiences. I don’t want it said that the Word might have been PROCLAIMED but it wasn’t COMMUNICATED!
So, WE NEED TO TALK! I invite you to turn your Bible to ISAIAH 43:1-5, the Text I have tagged and targeted for Teaching. I want to use this Preaching Moment to highlite this headline: “FACING A FORMIDABLE FUTURE.”
The writer of this Text of Scripture has been called Deutero-Isaiah (i.e., Second Isaiah by the scholars). Being in exile with the captives in Babylon or modern day Iraq, he receives news from the Lord that as bad as their past and present has been that the Future would be Formidable yet Favorable; because, in a little while, the captives would be going home to Israel. And so, moved by the Spirit of God, commencing at Verse 1 he writes (read).
Being released from a world of bondage makes the Prospect of Facing A Formidable Future More Palatable, for one is on one’s way home!
I contend that Men and Women of God Are About to Face A Most Formidable Future. We stand in the doorway of a New Century, even a New Millennium. Perhaps, it just might be the most turbulent and troublous era in the long history of the world! Based on the testimony of Scripture, I believe you and I are about to confront challenges that shall test the very core of our character, yes even try the stuff of our souls.
Race Wars are about to erupt on a scale never before witnessed all over the world; for according to Jesus in Matthew 24:7, “Nation shall rise against nation,” and the word translated there for “nation” is the Greek word “ethnos” which means “ethnicity, a race of people.”
The Family Unit, as we know it, shall be fractured to the point of dissolution; for according to Jesus in Luke 21:16, “you shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.”
Mainline churches and denominations shall be found to be false and irrelevant because “Many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.”
There shall be major ecological and political upheavals; because there shall be “signs in the sun and in the moon and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring.”
And don’t forget, the Antichrist is already in the wings just waiting to be revealed when the economic, judicial, political and religious systems of this world are all linked up as one unit. Then shall the Men and Women of God Suffer Greatly at the Hands of the Antichrist; for according to Revelation 13:15-17, the Antichrist shall have the power to cause as many as will not worship the image of Satan to be killed. And he shall cause all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, except he that shall have the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of Satan’s name.
And with all of that and more just right around the corner, it is understandable if one’s heart should begin to Fear. In these days of catastrophic change and calamitous uncertainty, is there any person who does not experience the depression and bewilderment of crippling fear, which, like a nagging hound of hell, pursues our every footstep? Fear is an Understandable and Natural Reaction to such a Future.
We might as well be real and confess that we still have Fears! Yes, it is true that God has not given us the spirit of fear; but it is equally true that Fear is the natural heritage of all those who live in a body of flesh; for the flesh is made subject to fear. In Romans 8:20 Paul states it thusly: “For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him who has subjected the same in hope.” Like Paul we can all say: “not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect” (Philippians 3:12). The truth of the matter is, none of us have arrived at perfection; and so, WE STILL HAVE FEARS!