Pastor Jimmy Evans, the lead apostolic pastor at Gateway Church in Texas, preached a guest sermon at Ed Young’s Fellowship Church in Texas, in which he discussed why Christians face fear and how to overcome fear. anxiety in their life.
Evans, who is an elder apostolic at Trinity Fellowship Church in Amarillo, Texas, where he previously served as senior pastor for 30 years, told the congregation that fear is something everyone experiences because Jesus said that “the hearts of men would fail them for fear in the end times and the expectation of things to come upon the earth.”
“The world we live in today is just weird, and a lot of people are anxious and fearful,” the 66-year-old pastor said in a sermon delivered at the church’s Grapevine campus on April 10.
Evans read Luke 22:39-46, which recounts when Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane leading up to the next series of events in his life on the cross.
Evans said that Jesus went to the Mount of Olives, as he usually did, and met his disciples. Jesus was in such “agony” because He knew what was going to happen at the cross of Calvary. Jesus said, “Father, if you will, take this cup away from me, but not my will, but yours.”
“Jesus had more fear on his way to the cross than any human being has ever experienced,” explained Evans, the founder and president of XO Marriage. “If you’ve ever been afraid of anything, Jesus understands that.”
Jesus was in such a terrible state, Evans said, that in the garden his sweat became drops of blood, which in medical terminology is known as hematohidrosis.
“This is the only place in the Bible where we are told that Jesus feared. And that’s the interesting thing. Why was Jesus afraid here and why was he so afraid? Evans asked the audience.
Evans said there were many reasons why Jesus allowed his fear to come out in the text, the first reason being that he identified himself as a human being.
“If you’ve ever been afraid and if you’ve ever gone to the Lord and prayed for your fears, Jesus fully understands everything we’re going through,” Evans said, citing Hebrews 4:15-16.
“If you ever go to Jesus in prayer and say, ‘Lord, I feel this,’ Jesus will say, ‘I completely understand.’ He is not self-righteous. He is not outraged. He is not holier than you, even though He is holy. Jesus was tempted in every way we are tempted, but He did not sin.”
Evans said Christians have a throne they can go to called “the throne of grace.” He asked his audience if they were “glad it wasn’t the throne of merit or a throne of holiness.”
“You see, when we need God the most, we deserve it the least, and the only way to reach it is through grace,” he said.
Grace is unmerited favor, Evans said, from God through his throne, which can be available to Christians when they are at their lowest.
“When you ascend this throne, you have no class. You don’t get put down. You get mercy and grace to help you in times of need,” Evans said. “We have a good God.”
The concept of God that Christians have is very important in their prayer lives, Evans said, because if a Christian believes God is angry with them, they are less likely to want to spend time with Him.
“If you think he’s disgusted with you, if you think God is somehow put off by you, God loves you. He adores you. This is why Jesus died on the cross,” Evans said, citing Psalm 103:8-14, which says the Lord is “slow to anger and abundant in mercy.”
When Christians pray to God, Evans said, they don’t “need to be religious” and they “don’t need to make things pretty,” because “you have a daddy in heaven, who wants you talk to him frankly, respectfully, but frankly.
“So when you’re going through something and you go to the Lord and you say, ‘Lord, that’s how I feel. That’s exactly how I feel and that’s what I’m going through right now , ‘God wants you to come to his throne boldly and tell him exactly what you’re going through,’ Evans continued.
When Christians approach God boldly in prayer, Evans said, “He will always receive you, He will always accept you, and He will always show you mercy, for Jesus Christ is also the Son of man.”
Another reason Jesus allowed his fear to manifest in the Garden of Gethsemane, Evans said, was that he had full knowledge of all he was about to endure.
“Most of us are afraid of the unknown. There is nothing unknown to Jesus. He is the Son of God. … No one was ever tortured and no one ever died the death that Jesus was about to die and He knew exactly every blow He was going to receive,” Evans said.
Jesus pleaded with God three times, Evans pointed out, to take away his fate on the cross. Yet three times God the Father refused to do so.
“That ‘no’ answer is very important because Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven,” Evans said. “If there was another way to heaven, God the Father would not have sent Jesus to die on the cross.”
The third reason Jesus was very afraid, according to Evans, was because Jesus “was under the full-scale assault of Satan” and the “spirit of fear” before going to the cross.
“‘God hath not given us a spirit of fear,'” Evans told the crowd, quoting 2nd Timothy 1:7. “You have no fear. When God created you in your mother’s womb, He gave you no fear. You are fearless in your natural state.”
Evans said “fear is a spirit”, with Satan being “the ultimate spirit of fear”. He postulated that Satan attacked Jesus in fear and continues to attack people in the same way today.
“Most fears are the fear of death. If you have vertigo, you don’t actually have vertigo. You are afraid of splashing,” he said.
“[The Bible] says that Jesus defeated Satan and took away the fear of death. But, many people and many Christians are still afraid of death.”
Evans said the next time the devil tries to make a Christian fear death, they should remember that they will never be dead in spirit, but only carnally dead.
“Christians cannot die. We cannot be killed, we cannot die. Our bodies will one day die. But do you understand this: as a Christian, when you close your eyes here for the last time, you immediately open your eyes to Heaven? said Evans.
“When you take your last breath here, you take your first breath in heaven immediately after that. When your senses dull here, they come alive there,” he added.
When Satan tries to give a Christian fear of death or some other type of fear, it is a form of control to keep him from doing what God has called him to do.
“Fear is a prophet spirit from hell sent to upset you and get you to do something based on that fear that God won’t honor and it will hurt you,” Evans said.
“Fear is a prophetic spirit that comes to give us a bad report about the future: ‘You are going to die. No one will ever love you. … It’s a premonition. It is a spirit prophet.
God never honors fear because He only honors faith, according to Evans, who told those gathered that “you will always regret every fear-based decision you make.”
“The worst decisions I’ve ever made in my life were based on fear. You’ll never regret a decision based on faith,” Evans said.