Terrified Or Trusting?
By W. C. Moore
Jesus said, “Ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled...” (Matt. 24:6). “When ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified...” (Luke 21:9).
Our Lord warns us concerning fearful things such as now threaten us. We are not to permit these things to upset us. “See” that you are not troubled, Jesus says. The rumble of rumors is almost as damaging as war itself if we are not trusting and obeying God. We listen to the radio, watch TV newscasts, see headlines in the daily papers, and read reports of the frightful moral condition of our nation. We hear of aggressive, cruel plans of enemies – enemies of all that is good in the world today.
These things have a tendency to instill fear and anxiety and dread into us, if we are not putting our trust in God. Our Lord has specifically foretold us of coming horrible events and He has warned us – yes, commanded us – to SEE that we are not troubled in the very midst of things calculated to cause an unsaved person to be filled with fear and dread.
God loves His people, and has made ample provision for our journey through life – through this pilgrim land, until we are at last safe with Him. Notice that these commands to “be not terrified” and to “see that ye be not troubled,” are to saved people, to born-again children of God and not to unsaved people.
Focus on God
“As he thinketh in his heart, so is he...” (Prov. 23:7). Let not your thoughts dwell too much on rumors or realities of disasters, but think of God and meditate on what His Word has to say.
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful: but his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night” (Psa. 1:1-2).
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength” (Isa. 26:3-4).
So the first thing about these end-of-the-age terrors is that we are to look to God, and see to it that we keep our eyes on Him, and that we do not become engulfed in the terror that unsaved people may feel and express. This is the first testimony our life and our speech should give to unbelievers, and to other and perhaps weaker Christians.
Time for Wholehearted Effort in the Harvest!
The fact that we are not to be terrified by no means implies that we are not to be alerted! We are indeed to be stirred by present-day events, and roused to the very depths of our souls. This climactic hour – this end-of-the-age harvest season is a time for all true followers of the Lamb of God to roll up their sleeves like men do in harvest time, and go all-out for God, and seek first the advancement of God’s cause on earth, and the presentation of His righteousness, and His mercy to sinners bound for hell! (Matt. 6:33).
“...Awake thou that sleepest…Arise...” (Eph. 5:14). “...He that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame” (Prov. 10:5). How many children of God today are sleeping away the golden days of earth’s harvest season! They think primarily of themselves, and how they are going to come out in the midst of changing events in a changing world – with no real concern, no sacrifice that costs them something, no wholehearted effort to do all they can to get souls saved – before the harvest season is over and gone for ever!
They go to meetings and enjoy the sermons. Yet they avoid the prayer room and never really get under the burden of God’s work in any way. Some people have such a tendency to pick the pleasant jobs, that the heavy, disagreeable, humbling work of the Gospel must plead and beg for those who are willing to do the work that apparently brings no honor and no recognition to the one who does it.
What army would make any progress if all the soldiers were forever striving to get the “soft” jobs, the easy assignments? Oh, for an army of soldier saints with a spirit like the Scotch company we have read about: as the men stood lined up before him, the commanding officer spread before them the facts and the dangers of a very difficult and desperate detail, and called for volunteers.
“I will turn my back,” he said, “and any who desire to volunteer for this dangerous detail, step forward one pace while my face is turned.” The officer turned, and then faced about to see who had volunteered – and to his amazement, the line was unbroken.
“What!” he shouted, “the Scotch Volunteers – and no volunteers!” A soldier stepped forward immediately, and saluting the commanding officer, said, “Sir, the whole line stepped forward!”
Are there not those who will do away with finery that they may furnish the sinews for spreading the Gospel around the world? Are there not those who will forget themselves in an all-out effort for Christ’s Gospel to go forth to the ends of the earth? Surely there must be in God’s army volunteers who are not so much as considering themselves, but whose hearts burn with a flaming desire to fit in wherever there is a need!
Watchfulness and Prayer
Our precious Lord, foreseeing the terrible time of the end, warns His followers not to be carried away by fear and dread. That is His first warning. Then He follows this up with further commands to watchfulness and to prayer. He says: “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matt. 24:44). Are YOU ready for the Coming of the Lord?
“...Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man” (Luke 21:34-36).
Read the entire 24th chapter of Matthew, and the entire 21st chapter of Luke, and notice how our Lord Jesus, the Head of the church – after first telling us to see that we be not troubled – goes on to command urgent watchfulness, prayer, preparation and readiness for His Coming! “...Occupy” – keep busy in My service – “till I come” (Luke 19:13).