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Sermon #SD07

Fear of the Future

A Sermon on 2 Timothy 1:7

Scripture

2 Timothy 1:7 ESV NASB KJV
for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. (ESV)

Sermon Description

It is possible to be so gripped by fears of the future that the Christian becomes ineffective in the present. In this sermon on 2 Timothy 1:7, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones addresses fear of the future as a contributor to depression. Satan’s primary goal is to discredit Christ, and therefore, he attacks Christians. To do so, he tempts us to dwell on the future and then fear of the unknown becomes paralyzing and the result is depression in the present time. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains that one’s natural temperament, characteristics, and make up can contribute to depression as inclinations do not disappear once a person becomes a Christian. Therefore, the Christian must recognize personal fears and tendencies, and strive to deal with them. For all who are gripped by this fear of the future, they must fight as a new creature, filled with new life. God has not given a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. The future may indeed be filled with sorrow, challenges, and suffering, yet the Christian should trust the Lord and boldly step into the unknown with confidence placed in Christ.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon examines spiritual depression caused by fear of the future. This is a common condition.
  2. The causes of fear of the future include temperament, high view of the Christian life, fear of failure, and general anxiety.
  3. It is important to distinguish between legitimate forethought and paralyzing worry. Thinking about the future is good but being controlled by the future is wrong.
  4. Live in the present and don't let the future paralyze you. This is a biblical and common-sense principle.
  5. Paul reprimands Timothy for having a spirit of fear. God has given us a spirit of power, love, and sound mind, not fear.
  6. Our failure to realize what God has given us in the Holy Spirit leads to this fear. We must stir up the gift of God within us.
  7. We must think of ourselves as Christians with the Holy Spirit, not as ordinary people. The Holy Spirit changes our outlook.
  8. The Holy Spirit gives us power for any situation, even dying for Christ. Look at the martyrs for examples.
  9. The Holy Spirit also gives us love - for God, for Christ, for others. This delivers us from self-concern.
  10. The Holy Spirit gives us sound mind - self-control, discipline, wisdom. Christ promised to give us words to speak in difficult times.
  11. An anecdote of a girl who was given wisdom in a difficult situation illustrates this.
  12. We have the Holy Spirit, so we should not think like ordinary people or be paralyzed by fear of the future. Stir up the Spirit within.

Spiritual Depression

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.