Humanity Refuses to Believe God
In the book of Numbers, chapter 13, God instructs Moses to select a leader from each of the tribes of Israel to send them into the land of Canaan for the purpose of gathering intelligence. When they returned from the intelligence gathering mission, they briefed Moses and the people. The briefing was a true disaster.
The land was indeed a land that was flowing with milk and honey. It was a prosperous region. It held all that anyone living in this era could ever want for a healthy and prosperous life. However, the land also had serious warriors. The Nephilim mentioned in Genesis 6 were there.
As a side note, this offers a serious challenge who believe that the Nephilim were the product of angel-human copulation. The flood would have wiped them out. Instead, it is better to understand the Nephilim as a type of gifted warrior.
They occupied the land of Canaan. The spies were clearly afraid and convinced that Israel could not subdue the inhabitants of the land. They recommended to Moses and the people not to continue with the plan to invade Canaan.
The dispute became so intense between the three leaders (Joshua, Moses, and Aaron) and the people of Israel that the people decided to stone them. It seems that the people would have stoned these leaders had God not supernaturally intervened. God not only intervened; he would have killed the people had Moses not interceded for them. Fear led to disobedience and disobedience to divine wrath. God did not wink at these people for being afraid. He brought them out of Egypt and performed many miracles in front of them. And they still refused to believe in him. They refused to take him at his word just like Adam and Eve did in the garden. Humanity continues to refuse to take God at his word despite the disastrous consequences such behavior produces.
Fear is a Lack of Belief
Fear is an obvious lack of belief in God’s promises. It is a palpable chariness in God’s ability to do what he says he can and will do. It seems that the young pastor Timothy at one point grappled with trust issues of his own. Paul wrote to this young pastor and reminded him that God did not give him a spirit of timidity, but of power, love, and discipline.
Timidity is from the Greek word
Fear Dominating the Leadership of the Church
Like Timothy, there is no room in the Christian life for fear. In other words, Christians cannot allow the emotion of fear to dominate them in such a way that it causes them to distrust God. When our fear dominates us, we, like the children of Israel, rebel against God, distrust his word, refuse to take the land he gave us, and turn against God’s appointed leaders. The same is true when leaders give in to their fears.
What does this have to do with what is going on in evangelicalism today? I think it has quite a bit to do with what is going on. It’s understandable why semi-Pelagians and Arminians would worry about the credibility of the church. It’s also understandable why such theological convictions would create concern over how the world perceives the gospel.
See also: The SBC and Their Mostly False Gospel
I readily admit that I am struggling with Albert Mohler’s comment in the Q&A session at the Shepherd’s Conference of his fear that a mass exodus of evangelicals from an evangelical gospel to a social gospel. As Phil Johnson pressed Mohler for answers, Mohler responded,
I am afraid we are going to lose an enormous number of evangelicals to various kinds of a social gospel because that’s a lot easier to find satisfaction in than evangelism.
Why should Mohler allow that kind of fear serve as a critical element in how he decides to best respond to these recent attacks on the gospel coming from the social justice movement? Is this not to side with the elders that came back from the reconnaissance missions into Canaan? Is it not exactly like saying “these people are too great for us?” Is it different from grumbling against and not trusting God?
God Calls Christian Leaders to Exemplify Trust in Him
In Matthew 16:18 Jesus said this:
I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this
rockI will build My church ; andthe gates of Hades will not overpower it.
Nothing can stand against the church of Jesus Christ! Nothing can destroy! It will endure under the sovereign control and preservation of our God.
In Romans 1:16, the Apostle Paul said this:
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
We need not fear competitors to the gospel or the false preachers and converts they produce. We can rest assured with the greatest degree of confidence that Christ will continue to call his sheep to Himself and that he will continue to use the ancient gospel once for all delivered to the saints to do it.
In 1 Peter 3:14-15, the Apostle Peter said the following:
But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.
Who is there to harm us if we are seeking the good? Peter takes us all the way back to Isaiah 8:12 when he tells us not to fear their intimidation.
Paul told Timothy, “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.” God has not called his leaders nor his church into a spirit of timidity. Instead, God has given us a spirit of power, of love, and of sensibleness. The enemies of God are always going to be the enemies of the church. How could it be any other way?
At this very moment, the political pagans in Washington D.C. are circulating the “Equity Act.” Democrats are pushing this as their top priority. If it passes and enters law, it will demonize and outlaw biblical Christianity as we know it today. Seminaries will lose accreditation and businesses will be in a legal position to fire Christians who say things that outsiders consider hate speech — even outside the workplace and on social media platforms.
Men like Russell Moore, Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan, Thabiti Anyabwile have aggressively moved evangelicals to vote for this party over the conservative party for the last few years. They are asking the churches to vote for the party that will outlaw their churches and the churches’ seminaries. Do not ask me to explain it. I cannot. The churches must purge the social justice proponents from its midst. Many of them are enemies of the faith and those who are not must be brought to repentance.