“The Only Thing to Fear . . .”

fearTITLE: “The Only Thing to Fear . . .”


PROPOSITION: Fear comes from 1) Lack of Knowledge, 2) Lack of Love, and 3) Lack of Faith.

OBJECTIVE: That we may be able to overcome our fears and live in love, peace, and fellowship with one another.

AIM: To not allow our fears to control us.


1. Read: 2 Timothy 1:7

2. About the Topic:

1) In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave his first inaugural address.

2) In this address he said, “So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”

3) As Christians, we let fear do the same thing to us.

a. Fear of failure.

b. Fear of offending others.

c. Fear of rejection.

d. Fear of death.

e. There are many fears that keep us from doing what God wants us to do.

4) There are a lot of people living in fear in our world today.

a. While doing some door knocking, I came across a woman who was deadly afraid to leave her home.

b. She said, “I scared, and I’m alone.”

5) Fear is “a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid” (dictionary.com).

3. About the text.

1) The Bible has some things to say about fear.

2) Aren’t we supposed to fear God?

a. Not in the sense that we are talking about.

b. Ecclesiastes 12:13 is talking about having a healthy respect and reverence for God that is spiritual in nature.

c. The fear we are talking about today is produced by the desires of the flesh and is about protecting self instead of reverencing God.

3) Fear is an emotion that is crippling and debilitating.

4) It is something that we have to fight on a daily basis because of our desire for self preservation.

5) When we let fear lead us, it usually results in damaged and broken relationships.

6) This is because fear causes us to either fight or flee.

a. When we fight with people, we damage that relationship.

b. When we flee from people, we break that relationship.

7) As Christians, we have not been given a spirit of fear.

8) Paul wrote, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).

9) Let’s look at where our fears come from and how they prevent us from doing God’s will.

4. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.

DISCUSSION: The only thing to fear is fear because fear comes from . . .

I.   Lack of Knowledge of God and His will.

1. It has been said that “we fear what we don’t know.”

1) Sometimes people take advantage of that fear.

a. Politicians prey upon our fears.

b. The insurance industry operates based upon our fears of catastrophe.

c. We even create our own fears and anxiety by worrying about things that don’t exist – Josie and Ellie illustration over imaginary gum.

2) False teachers can take advantage of our fear if we don’t know the Bible.

3) 1 John 4:1 says, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

2. In order to avoid fearing what we don’t know, we need to educate ourselves.

1) Fear of flying illustration.

2) The same is true about the questions we have about life.

3) God’s word gives us everything that we need for life and godliness.

4) 2 Peter 1:3 says, “as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.”

3. We need to know God’s word so that we don’t have to live in fear.

1) The Christian need not fear relationships or commitment.

a. Psalm 37:5 states, “Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.”

2) The Christian need not be in dread of God.

a. We are supposed to fear—reverence, honor, and be in awe of—God (Eccl.12:13).

b. God doesn’t want us to be in dread of Him if we are living faithfully to Him.

c. Paul wrote, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Phil.4:6).

3) The Christian need not fear death.

a. The Bible informs us about death and gives us instructions to prepare.

b. We prepare by . . .

a) Hearing the word of God. Isaiah 55:3 says, “Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you—The sure mercies of David.”

b) Believing that Jesus is the Son of God. John 8:24 says, “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”

c) Repent – “‘For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,’ says the Lord God. ‘Therefore turn and live!’” (Ezekiel 18:32).

d) Confess Christ – “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32).

e) Be Baptized – “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).

f) Live faithfully – “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Rev.2:10c).

II.  Lack of Love for God and One Another.

1. Illustration: Steve Irwin – The Crocodile Hunter – his love for critters overpowered his fears.

2. How are we going to pursue our relationships?

1) Out of fear?

2) Out of love?

3) God desires us to pursue relationships out of love, not fear.

3. When we don’t love God and one another like we should, then fear steps in.

1) Fear is an easy emotion to just let happen – the default emotion.

2) Fear creates distrust and paranoia about others.

3) Fear distances us from other people instead of bringing us together.

4) Fear produces enmity, hatred, strife, and malice.

5) Maybe we will not be hurt as much by others, but we are hurting ourselves more.

4. Relationships that are characterized by love are superior.

1) When we really love someone, we are not going to be afraid of them because we will trust them – Love believes all things.

2) Love brings people together since love pursues relationships.

3) Love produces unity since it is the bond of unity – Colossians 3:14.

4) Love produces peace and harmony.

5) Love facilitates friendship, closeness, and good will.

5. Love is something that we must constantly and actively practice – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.

6. 1 John 4:17-19 “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. We love Him because He first loved us.”

III. Lack of Faith in God.

1. David vs. Goliath.

2. We show lack of faith in God when we worry, a form of fear – “Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” (Matthew 6:20).

3. We show lack of faith in God when we fear sudden disaster — “But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm” (Matthew 8:26).

4. We show lack of faith in God’s protection when we are fearful – Psalm 91:5-9 – “You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look, And see the reward of the wicked. Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place.”

5. Fear produces lack of faith in God because it substitutes trust in self for trust in God.


1. The only thing to fear is fear because fear comes from . . .

1) Lack of Knowledge of God and His will.

2) Lack of Love for God and one another.

3) Lack of Faith in God and His word.

2. When fear goes unchecked in our lives….

1) It destroys our relationship with others and God.

2) It makes us trust in ourselves instead of God.

3) It turns us into anxious and isolated individuals.

4) The fearful will be lost – Revelation 21:8.

3. “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 118:6).

4. Invitation