Have Faith Ministries, Inc.

Developing Boldness for Christ
& Dealing with the Fear of men!

Charles Sawyer, former US Secretary of Commerce, tells the story of a plane load of people flying across the Atlantic Ocean.

A voice suddenly comes over the intercom:

We now flying at 35,000 ft. You'll notice out the right window, the 2 engines on the right wing are on fire, and the engines on the left had to be stopped. If you look directly below, you'll see a small yellow spot in the ocean with six small spots within the yellow. The yellow spot is the emergency life raft, and the six small spots within are: the pilot, co-pilot, flight engineer, navigator, and the 2 hostesses. This is a Recording!

Would this make you Afraid?

Now I'm not excited about flying anyway, but that story would feed my fear.

What are you afraid of? What strikes Fear into your heart?

Scientist tell us that man is born with only 2 natural fears. Anyone that's ever observed a Baby knows that babies Jump at loud noises. They throw their arms to the sides. Babies are also fearful of falling! I think most adults have a healthy fear of falling.

As we go through life we LEARN TO FEAR a number of other things:

Acrophobia, Fear of heights
Claustrophobia, fear of closed places
pathophobia, fear of diseases
ergophobia, fear of work
Chaetophobia: fear of hairy people
Thalassophobia: fear of being seated. I think children invented this one!!! (humor)

Fear is nothing more than being insecure, or unsettled in any given situation.

Nothing will motivate us to Run or Standstill faster than Fear. Business men for years have learned to take advantage of people during times of Fear, even if it1s just something that's anticipated. The recent Y2K fear is an example of this. Nothing actually happened, but business men made Millions of dollars off people's fear. After Jan. 1, 2000, many families had enough canned goods and dried foods to last for months. They wouldn't normally stock pile food in this fashion. What caused many to react to the Y2K date? Fear!

The Saints are not Exempt from struggling with Fear!

In the Bible we find:

"fear Not" - 63 times
"do Not be afraid" - 48 times
"be not dismayed" - 14 times

And we're just getting warmed up!

Fear has STOPPED and CONTROLLED some of the Saints for Centuries. And I FEAR, that it's still that way today.

Today I want to talk with you about Overcoming the Fear of Publicaly Identifying yourself with Christ.

In John 19, we find 2 men that struggled with this issue in their life. Fear of man, Fear of Public opposition had caused 2 men to maintain a Secret relationship with Christ.

Turn in your Bibles to Jn. 19: 38, read 38-42

Taking a stand for God in society has always been a struggle for many. Joseph of Arimathea & Nicodemus Struggled with this FEAR.

Fear of being identified with Christ!
Fear of society because they identified with Christ!

Yet, these men and all believers through the Centuries have been able to conquer this kind of Fear.

Fear of being labeled a "Fanatic..."
Fear of being called "One of those Born again people..."
Fear of being referred to as "A Jesus Freak..."
Fear of Standing out in Society and Ultimately being Rejected by Society.

Today, I want to tell you HOW to deal with this Fear!

How to get over it!
How to put Things in perspective - So the Fear of letting others know that You're a Christian will not control you.

The first thing you need to do is "STEP OUT"

John 19:38, After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews,

Now Joseph was a Jew himself and he had a very high position...

Look at, Mark 15: 43, Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent council member, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, coming and taking courage, went in to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.

He may have been a member of the Sanhedrin, or perhaps a priest... certainly, Joseph was a Known figure in society.

But with all his boldness as a Jewish leader, with all of Joseph's clout in society... he had secretly been believing in Jesus as the Messiah.

Nicodemus has the same kind of relationship with the Lord, because of his fear, no one else knew that he was a Christian.

John 19:39, And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. 40, Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury.

I don't think Nicodemus came by night just because he was off work by then. Most commentators believe Nicodemus came to see Jesus at night, because he feared the Jews, just like Joseph of Arimathea. There's an interesting Paradox here. The two men that were afraid to let others know they were trusting in Christ, came to take the Lord's body while the disciples that were trained by Christ for 3 years and were given Power to preach the Gospel... went into hiding.

Fear of men, is THE reason why we as Christians become, Secret Agent Christians.

We may go under cover!

Like an under cover police officer, we want :

to blend in

not be noticed

go completely UnDetected.

Joseph and Nicodemus struggled with this. The Disciples that Jesus had trained struggled with this. And we all sometimes struggle with this.

Fear of Identifying with Christ.
Fear of losing Friends.
Fear of loosing business
Fear of loosing our social standing

How do we get over the fear of letting society know "WE Stand for Christ?"

How do we gain Courage, Boldness ?

First we need to acknowledge the truth found in Prob. 29:25

Pr 29:25, The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.

The saints have always been encouraged NOT to fear men, but what happens when we do fear men?

Trapped Snared You can't move

Fear can paralyze you: Snakes, Spiders and bugs can cause some to Freeze or Run!

Fear of man's ridicule, fear of Rejection can also paralyze the Christian in his witness of Christ.

Isaiah said in Is. 51:7, "Do not fear the reproach of men, Nor be afraid of their insults."

Jesus told His disciples in Mt. 10:28, "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."

Jesus gives this VERY STRONG comparison of what man can do and what God can Do. Jesus point is this: We serve the Almighty God who can destroy BOTH Body and Soul. So who should you trust?

Psalm 56:4 "In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?"

Heb 13:6 "So we may boldly say: 'The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?' "

What characterized the Prophets of the OT and the Apostles in the NT?

BOLDNESS!

They Trusted in God's protection.

They Trusted in God's Plan, no matter What!

What's the Key word HERE? TRUST! Trust in God's Power & Plan.

Prov. 28:1, "But the righteous are bold as a lion." Why? TRUST!

Phil. 1:14 "and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear... 20, according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. 21, For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Why wasn't Paul concerned about being ashamed?

Because he wasn't concerned about his own Glory, but Rather God's Glory!

Sometimes Self-glory and Self-Preservation is what keeps us from stepping out in Public and letting folks know about Jesus Christ and our relationship with Him.

Paul had learned WHAT every Christian needs to learn.

Our lives are all about Magnifying Christ, even if it means being insulted, lossing our social standing or even loosing our lives.

Complete Trust - Turns into incredible Boldness in God's hands.

Acts 17, in Thessalonica, the unbeliever said of the Christians... "they... have turned the world upside down." Why aren't we turning our World upside down with the Gospel today? Perhaps we need to honestly asked our selves...

Are we Afraid of men, their threats, their opinions?

Are we Fearful of what men will do if we step out boldly?

Let's put things into perspective!

You're a Christian, right! Are you trusting God to get you to heaven? Are you trusting Him to forgive you of your sins? Have you been trusting Him to provide for your needs?

We can have the same confidence in God to Step out in Public and proclaim Christ and let others know of our relationship with Christ.

Here's a self test to determine if you're fearful of men or bold in Christ!

How long does it take you to tell new people you meet, that you're a Christian?

an hour?
a day?
a week?
a month?
a year?
or years?

How long do you live as an Under Cover Christian because of Fear?

Imagine with me that you're driving down the road to your home and you see one of your neighbor's homes on fire. You don't really know that neighbor and perhaps they're unpleasant to deal with. What would you do? Would you set aside your anxiety and fear about not knowing them that well? Would you ignore for the moment that they've acted unpleasant towards you in the past? Would you be seized by the urgency to tell them that their house is on Fire and they need to get out? I believe most Christians would be so concerned about the safety of their neighbors that they wouldn't be thinking about themselves. Being consumed with the Safety of their neighbors they would Run to the Door and Knock LOUDLY and Yell "Your house is on FIRE! Your house is on FIRE!" What makes the difference in this scenario? You're not thinking about yourself, but rather you're thinking about others. If you really want to be used by God in your community, you need to put God and others before your own concerns and needs. Trust the Lord and Care for others. Be a Bold witness for Jesus Christ!

If you have questions please email us.

Pastor@Have-Faith.org 

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