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The Fear of Death

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A Sermon on Luke 12:4-5

Have No Fear

“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! (ESV)

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In his sermon, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones orients his message around an essential and crucial topic: how the Christian is supposed to live in the world. He reads from Luke 12:4-5, where Christ warns His disciples to not fear death, but to fear He who can punish the soul. This fear of death, Dr. Lloyd-Jones says, is how most of the world chooses to live. It is this fear that causes people to tremble at war, weather, and decline. For the Christian, this fear might tempt a person to deny Christ as Peter did. However, Dr. Lloyd-Jones says this fear has no grounds. The evil of man can only do so much to the body, but they cannot touch the soul. God is the only one with that power. And Dr. Lloyd-Jones points out that Jesus also acknowledges the pain in the world, the fact that there will always be tribulation. But this pain has no real power because it can do nothing to change a person’s eternal standing with God. In closing, he reminds us of the liberating hope that is found within Jesus and how it is through Him that fear is replaced with security – the promise of eternity with God.

Additional Scripture Translations

Luke 12:4-5, New American Standard Bible

4“Now I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. 5But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed someone, has the power to throw that person into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him!

Luke 12:4-5, King James Version

4And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.

About Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.