Perfect Love Casts Out Fear

Fearsome times lie ahead of us: inflation, economic depression, shortages, famine, pestilence, cyberattacks, violence, earthquakes, volcanoes, extreme weather and war. We must learn to conquer fear in order to be the person God wants and needs us to be during this perilous time.

Oh, but we’ll be raptured out before it gets too bad, right? Wrong. This is what Scripture says will happen to the saints:

  • “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.Thenmany false prophets will rise up anddeceive many.And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will growcold.(Matthew 24:9-12)
  • It was granted to him [i.e., the beast, the anti-Christ] to make war with the saints and to overcome them. (Revelation 13:7]

Regardless of when exactly the rapture occurs, Christians will experience difficult, trying times before God graciously removes us from the true horrors to come (i.e., the trumpet and bowl plagues).

  • “And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.” (Matthew 24:22)

The key verse for this time period we are entering is in Matthew 24:13: “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.”

  • This clearly states that to be saved we need to endure to the end (i.e., to when we are taken out of the world by death or by rapture)

The notion that “once saved, always saved” is just not true. Nothing and no one can take it away from us, but we can give it away or walk away from it, hence the great falling away:

  • Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons. (Timothy 4:1)

In order to endure, we must first conquer our fears, because fear leads to torment and torment leads to giving up, running away, hiding instead of basking in Jesus’ perfect love:

  • Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. (1John 4:17-18)

The key here is understanding what “perfect love” is and how to manifest it:

  • The Greek word for ‘love ‘in the original text is ‘agapē’ which means ‘unconditional love’. This pure and holy love does not come naturally but only through God’s Holy Spirit.
  • The Greek word for ‘perfect’ is ‘teleios’ which means ‘complete.’ In being complete, perfect agapē’ love includes everyone, excluding no one.

Yes, that means true born-again Christians must love their enemies (Matthew 5:44) as well as those they disapprove of, including progressive liberals and those of the LGBTQ+ community. (Mark 12:29-31)

  • Of course, we don’t condone unrighteous behavior, but we are to always to “speak the truth in [agapē] love” (Ephesians 4:15). We must love first and point to sin second, because we are all sinners (Romans 3:23) saved only by God’s grace (Ephesians 2:8).

When we are filled with ‘perfect love’ there is no room for fear, because “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear.” (1John 4:18a)

  • Since this perfect love does not come naturally, we must first receive it from God through the Holy Spirit within us.
  • However, we cannot just bottle it up and keep it for ourselves, because love must be expressed, it cannot exist in a vacuum. Nor can it be directed just to family and friends; it must include everyone.

Any time you find yourself thinking angrily about someone, turn it into a loving prayer for salvation.

  • Otherwise, your anger will open a door for Satan to torment you: “Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath,nor give place to the devil.” (Ephesians 4:26)

And any time you are fearful, remember: “But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” (1John 4:18b)

  • Instead of trying to fight fear, turn instead to Jesus and cast your cares (fears) on Him: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1Peter 5:7, NIV)
  • And then ask Him to fill you with His perfect agapē love and let it flow into you and out of you to everyone you meet or think about.
  • Only then will you be living in this world fear-free.

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