Y2K+5: Love Vs. Fear
Y2K+5: Love Vs. Fear
A New Year's Message
By Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor
1 January 2005
1 John 4:16-18
Approximately six years ago we began to hear many purveyors of fear telling people of all the horrible things that were going to happen when the calendar turned 1 January 2000.
And what is even more tragic, is that much of this fear was generated within the Christian community.
Those of you who knew Mary and me remember that we spoke against this fear from both scientific and spiritual points of view, yet our words seemed to be lost in the waves of fear.
Fear was winning over love.
Many Christians seemed to lose their faith and trust in the Lord our God, and trusted the ways of mankind.
We personally saw many Christian families arming themselves against the imagined hordes that were going to ascend upon them and take their homes and possessions.
We saw these and other families spending thousands of dollars on vast quantities of food, mostly grains and beans, that they could store away in large plastic containers for the years of famine that were predicted to descend upon this world when Y2K arrived.
And as we know, nothing happened.
Because the whole premise of Y2K was built upon a lie.
Listen to what Jesus was telling the religious leaders when they were attacking Him (John 8:42-45):
42 Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me; for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me.
43 "Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word.
44 "You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies.
45 "But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me.
If Jesus Christ represents the truth, and the devil represents the lie, then all these purveyors of fear were not coming forth in the spirit of Christ as they claimed to be doing.
They were coming forth in the spirit of the antichrist.
We have discussed this issue with hundreds, if not thousands, of people since January 2000, and have heard only one family admit that they were caught up in these lies and should have trusted in God.
All the others seem to try to ignore what they got caught up in, even though much of their stored food developed worms and spoiled.
The same thing happened when the people tried to hoard the manna that God had sent them from heaven (Exodus 16:20):
20 But they did not listen to Moses, and some left part of it until morning, and it bred worms and became foul; and Moses was angry with them.
While we seem to be talking about people trusting in lies rather than in the truths of God, we are really talking about fear.
And since 11 September 2001, we have seen this same kind of fear engulf many people in the United States and elsewhere.
Furthermore, we have seen many political leaders seize upon the opportunity and promote these fears among the people in order to maintain or gather support.
We need to wake up to the truth and think about what John tells us in 1 John 4:16-18:
16 And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
17 By this, love is perfected with us, that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.
18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.
Why do so many Christians live in fear?
It's because they are not perfected in love, and have set aside their first love and trust of God.
They dwell upon the lies emanating from the purveyors of fear; they worry about anything and everything instead of focusing upon the things of God.
Every one of us who has this problem should print out 1 John 4:18 and paste it up on their refrigerator door and on their bathroom mirror, where they are sure to see it several times a day.
Every one of us needs to remember that anything that is not based upon love in not of God.
Likewise, we need to constantly remember that the purveyors of fear are coming forth in the spirit of antichrist and not in the spirit of the Lord.
We need to constantly remind ourselves that "God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him."
If we are truly children of God, we will be loving peacemakers to the world around us.
We will never end the violence in our world that is committed again billions of humans and animals every year, if we try to solve these problem with more violence, for violence is based in fear and not love.
We don't have to be historical scholars to understand that violence only creates more violence.
We need to believe in the Lord our God and go forth in love and peace, sharing God's perfect love.
We need to remember that people respond positively to love and negatively to fear.
We need to discard our garments of timidity and go forth in the boldness of Jesus and the prophets, spreading the truth and loving people into the kingdom.
If we need a New Year's Resolution, let it be that we begin to take those first steps today.
Your Comments are welcome
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