Session 7, Michael Horton — 2012 National Conference
In the seventh session of the 2012 Ligonier National Conference, Dr. Michael Horton addressed “The Fear Factor.” Instead of entirely focusing on what Christians fear, Dr. Horton spent the substance of his session particularly expounding four reasons why we shouldn’t be afraid in today’s world.
Here are a several highlights from his message.
We shouldn’t be afraid because:
This is our Father’s world
This world is our Father’s world, and as such it makes for a great time to recover our nerve as we give a defense of the hope that is within us. Our agnostic, atheistic, and pantheistic friends share this world with us, and they cannot escape that it is indeed our Father’s world, not theirs. And in this world God is not speaking through the tongues of angels, instead, He speaks through the tongues of men and women like you and me.
This is our Father’s story
The story we are to proclaim, the good news of the gospel, is not our own—it is our Father’s. We must not be telling people about ourselves. It is when we’re talking about Jesus and what He has done that we’re talking about the good news that saves.
The only way we can know God is if God decides to stoop to our level. —Michael Horton #lmnc— Ligonier Ministries (@Ligonier) March 16, 2012
Dr. Horton walked through Romans 1:1-6, but gave pointed attention to the fact that this is “…the gospel of God.” It’s not about our achievements or what we have done. It is all about God and what He has done for us. Sinful men and women do not have ears to hear or eyes to see until God gives them.
This is our Father’s work
Dr. Horton reminded us that it is the Father that promises, the Son who is the promise, and the Spirit who is the one who brings about the intended effect of this promise in history and in us.
Sadly, unlike the Apostles who offered arguments based on their eye witness accounts of real, historial events, most Christians today offer a reasoned defense of their faith by simply singing, “You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart!”
This is our Father’s kingdom
Christians should not be afraid as it is not our job to build a kingdom. It is our Father’s kingdom, and it is a kingdom we are receiving:
Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe… — Hebrews 12:28
This is our Father’s Kingdom. This Kingdom will last because we didn’t build it. —Michael Horton #lmnc— Ligonier Ministries (@Ligonier) March 16, 2012
Dr. Michael Horton is a scholar, pastor, professor of systematic theology and apologetics, and president of White Horse Media where he co-hosts the weekly radio program. He is also the author of many books including For Calvinism.