Author Stephen King once said, “I like to scare people, and people like to be scared.” Whether or not he is right, fear is everywhere. Only some people may like scary books and movies, but fear motivates many of our choices in life. Cable news stations know that they will keep us listening longer to tales of ISIS beheadings and ebola spreading than to stories that don’t frighten us. We might choose to do one thing rather than another out of a fear of what other people might think. We might stay in the comfort and safety of our own homes rather than to venture out into the dangers and risks involved elsewhere. These and many other common fears point us to the most common fear of humanity, which is death. The author of Hebrews says, “it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.” Our fear of death really is a fear of judgment day. It might not surprise you to know that you are wrong to fear what others thing, or to fear that ISIS beheadings will soon become commonplace in America, or to live life hiding in our homes. But more than this, God does not want us to live afraid of death and then judgment. Instead, we will be reminded by some familiar verses that He wants to move us from fear of judgment to what we might call the right kind of fear. I encourage you to listen to this message with your Bible open to Luke 1 and 2 and to follow along with the verse numbers announced as the message progresses. If you want to use an online Bible the references are listed below for an easy link to be able to do it that way.
References: Luke 1:29, 1:6, 1:12, 2:8-9, 1:13, 1:30, 2:10, (John 3:17), Luke 1:50, 1:20, 1:57ff, 1:64, 1:65, 1:74, 2:20