Summary: Do you have doubts and fears... well this sermon's just going to make you more afraid... but in a good way!
Are you scared today? What are you afraid of? Are you afraid of the future? Are you afraid of a person? Are you afraid of dying?
Whatever you are afraid of today, I intend to help you to understand your fear and how to overcome it. Chances are I won’t address your particular need as you would like, but the principles that I will bring before you should be easily moulded so as you can apply it to your own case.
I’m going to tell you a story, but I need you to try and be scared for me, you might need a little bit of imagination as my story telling skill might not be too good!
The story starts with a boy of 12 whose name was Jim. Jim was a pleasant young lad, but one day his mother became very ill, the doctor came and saw her, and he explained to Jim and his father that in all probability Jim’s mother will die. Sad right?
Well, the day came for Jim’s mother to be taken from this life, and she died. Then it dawned on Jim that maybe one day he would die too. The thought really scared him!
You can imagine the sorrow in Jim’s heart when he saw him mother placed in a coffin and put in the ground, her lifeless body never to see the light of day again! Where is she now? Jim wondered whether she was in a different world. Maybe she had gone to Heaven? Is there such a place? Or maybe when you die you just stop existing? Jim decided he was going to think that his mother was with Jesus in Heaven!
That’s great! Jim’s finally come to believe in God! Or has he?
Well, the first few nights after the burial, Jim started to have nightmares about his mother dying, he told his dad, but his dad just assured him that they will eventually go, which they did. But with the passing of the nightmares about his mother, came nightmares about his own death.
Jim had once heard a preacher mention something about a place called Hell, where there are lots of flames and bad people are tortured every day. Jim started to have nightmares about Hell now, and he wondered whether, should he die, whether he would go to Heaven or to Hell.
Jim tried to think of himself as a good person and that surely he would go to Heaven. But the nightmares kept on coming.
The nightmares had a terrible effect on Jim, he began to have lots of other little fears, he began to be afraid of spiders, and afraid of heights, and he developed claustrophobia. Jim gradually began to lose friends because they thought he was a freak, no-one wanted to know him!
Jim’s in quite a state right?
So it’s time to play doctor! So Jim’s come to my little doctor’s surgery and asked for my help. I’m going to diagnose him as having multiple fear disorders. Do you agree with my diagnosis?
If yes, then please help me now to find a cure!
If you went to any normal doctor, I’m sure they would send you to a psychiatrist, and the psychiatrist would prescribe you some kind of anti-depressants, and they’ll probably do you no ounce of good, or even worse make the nightmares go away, so that Jim can live his life again just as he wanted, fulfilling all his selfish desires.
So here’s my perfect cure for Jim’s sickness, I give him a Bible, and I instruct him to read a few chapters a day.
Do you agree with my clinical judgement? Am I right to prescribe the Bible? I’m sure most of my hearers are Christian, and so you’ll probably be pleased to hear of my answer to Jim’s condition. But let’s see what actually happened when Jim started to read his Bible!
So, Jim leaves the doctor’s surgery thinking that the doctor is a complete idiot, and that any sensible doctor would have given some sort of tablet to remove the nightmares. But Jim was quite desperate, and he really wanted to be normal again and not be afraid of dying all the time.
Well, Jim opens up his Bible randomly and his eye fall on the passage in Hebrews 2 “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage”
That’s last bit really describes Jim doesn’t it? That’s what he thought too. And it was quite a relief to feel that he was not the only one like this. But he thought it quite weird that someone dies and that stops people being afraid of dying... shouldn’t that make them more afraid?