What is Revelation 21:8 talking about when it says the fearful will not inherit the kingdom? Does this mean I have to ride the roller coaster that I am afraid of? Rather it is referring to a characteristic that is dominant in a person’s life. The Christian is one who seeks to be courageous and pushes past fears to obey God.
Question: In Revelation, it talks about the effeminate, the ungodly, the fearful won’t inherit the Kingdom of God, and hopefully this isn’t inappropriate, but I have this fear of riding roller coasters, and some summers, my wife’s family, they like to go ride roller coasters and I feel like sometimes I get convincted because I’m scared to ride them, and I won’t ride them, and so I guess my question is, one, is this the kind of fearfulness that the Scripture is talking about? Because, for instance, I think sometimes I want to be an example to my younger nephews and other people, and they see me scared and I think that it’s not a good example of Christ. I guess the question is, do I need to go get on the roller coaster? Or it’s something that I’ve been dealing with for a couple of years now, so do I need to get on the roller coaster? Or is that talking about a different kind of fearfulness?
Mack: Well, wouldn’t there be a difference between struggling with fears over specific things and your life being completely dominated by fear – you’re in bondage to fear. It dominates everything. You know the fear of man’s a snare, etc. So, the fearful that Revelation would be talking about, that won’t inherit the Kingdom, that’s a characteristic of their life that dominates them just like the adulterous, the drunkard, the unbelieving… where fear rules a person’s life.
Charles: You have the case of Moses. It says that by faith, he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king. For he endured as seeing him who is invisible. So, it says not fearing the wrath of the king. Well, it doesn’t mean he didn’t feel any fear in the sense of fear. But he pressed past that. He did not let his fear stop him from obeying God. And that’s a characteristic of a Christian. He feels all the same fears in many cases as anyone feels, but for the Christian, the desire to obey God, overcomes those things and he presses through. So you might have somebody that’s scared to death to speak up, but they press through it and they speak up. That’s the difference between a Christian and a non-Christian.
Tim: Yeah, I can remember when I was first saved, the truth is, that as a lost person I was just absolutely wicked, a thief, a liar, my sins were many, and I can remember being convicted that you know what? I need to go back and return and make restitution for all the things that I had stolen, things I had vandalized, things I had destroyed. And I basically made a list. And I was utterly terrified. I’d go through my possessions and I’d find something, and I’d look at it and the thought of even having to go back and talk to the people and I made an entire list and absolutely terrified. I can remember the first one on my list, was I bailed out on rent when I was in college and I owed the landlord $300. And I can remember I sat down the street, I’m just new in the Lord, and absolutely terrified. But I knew, I’d come across a text in Ezekiel about returning the things stolen. And I just knew it was what the Lord wanted me to do. I just sat in my car and pleaded and I prayed. And I walked up to his house and I knocked on his door. I’ll tell you, I actually was hoping he was dead. Because it had been several years and he was old. And sure enough, the guy comes to the door. And I told him I used to live next door here in your house and I bailed out. And just absolutely terrified. And he said, oh, that’s alright. And I had this $300 and I kind of flashed it after he said that, and he snagged it and he took it. It turned out to not be so hard. But that’s it, when you become convinced by the Word, I need to do it. I think that’s really the heart of boldness, right? It doesn’t mean you don’t have fear; it just means you press past that, because your fear of the Lord is greater. Your desire to please Him is greater.
Bob: By ladder, you mean a stool? I think we tend to forget just what a courageous thing it is to become a Christian. I mean, it is the most courageous thing that anybody can do. And that’s why folks don’t become Christians is cowardice. And it’s just a different way of saying it, the next word in the list there in Revelation 21:8 is unbelieving. In a way, the reason people don’t become Christians is because they don’t believe. But you could put it another way, it’s because they are cowards and they are afraid of man, they’re afraid. So it is the most courageous thing that anybody can do is become a follower of Christ.