Spread the Good Word: 1 Nephi 22:17
Good Word Friday Theme: Fear Not
We've been hearing this verse a lot lately in these troubled times. This chapter in 1 Nephi refers to the last days when God will bare His arm in the sight of nations and fulfill His covenant to Israel. Anyone who fights against it will be destroyed. The righteous will be spared and preserved.
So, does this mean that the righteous won't experience any of the unpleasantness that occurs in the end times?
Some Christians say yes, that God will rapture His followers prior to any tribulation (pre-trib rapture). We believe differently, that scripture doesn't support this (as nice as it would be). We will be here for the tribulation.
Yet, this passage encourages the righteous not to fear. It says they'll be saved. What does that mean?
It may mean physical protection from danger just as the Israelites living in Goshen were spared from the plagues of Egypt. It may mean that we will be miraculously sustained, just as the manna fell in the wilderness and the widow's oil and flour never ran out. It may mean that there will be places of refuge where the righteous can hide, just as Noah's ark preserved life in the midst of destruction.
God is powerful to do all of these mighty miracles today just as He did in the past. But, if things don't shake out this way for every believer, let's not let it shake our faith in Christ.
This verse most surely promises spiritual protection — eternal salvation in the kingdom of God.
Isn't the whole aim of our earthly existence to repent and accept the gift of Christ's atonement so that we can be reunited with our Heavenly Father in the next life?
Let's not put too high a premium on earthly protection. Let's not make earthly safety and security our first priority to the point that we'd be willing to deny Christ or set aside our faith to preserve this life, which is only a breath compared to eternity.
Instead, let's make it our No. 1 goal to stay faithful to Jesus to the end no matter what. Let's stay close to God and willingly submit to whatever He asks of us. If we must suffer, then let's endure as a good soldier of the cross. If we must die, then let's die clean before God.
Whatever we must face in the flesh, we don't need to fear if our place in eternity is secure.
"Wherefore, the righteous need not fear; for thus saith the prophet, they shall be saved." (1 Nephi 22:17)
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.