Did you know among Americans the fear of death is only #2 on the list? Yep, 68% of people list this as their top fear. What could be more fearful than death?! Believe it or not, the #1 fear—listed by 74% of people—is public speaking! (Followed in a distant third place by the fear of spiders by only 30% of people).
Why would people fear speaking more than death? Maybe because they don’t think they have anything to say.
But if you almost died, or had a near-death experience, or even temporarily crossed over to the other side, don’t you think you’d have a story to tell? And don’t you think lots of people would want to hear your story? And wouldn’t you want to tell it to as many people as you could?
In other words, if you could stare down death and come back from the brink, you would not only overcome your fear of death, but your fear of public speaking too!
In John 11 there is the story of a man who not only had a near-death experience, but he actually died. In fact, he was dead for over four days! Lazarus was a part of a family that loved Jesus, and the Bible says that Jesus loved them dearly too.
Prior to this account of Lazarus’ death, there is no mention in Scripture of him speaking at all. He was clearly one who suffered from the fear of public speaking, and quite possibly the fear of death too. But after Jesus raised him from the dead, the Bible says large crowds came to Lazarus’ hometown of Bethany to hear his amazing back-from-the-dead story. And not only that, they began to put their faith in Jesus because of his story! (see John 12:9-11).
We have a back-from-the-dead story to tell too. All of us have sinned against God (Romans 3:23), and because of that we are under a death sentence for our sins (Romans 6:23). But when we put our faith in what Jesus did on the Cross for us, and we ask God to forgive us of our sins, we have been brought back to life!
We have looked death square in the eyes and laughed!
Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? (1 Corinthians 15:54-55)
Now our darkest valleys—even our valleys of death—have no fear for us. The Lord is our Shepherd … His goodness and mercy follow us all the days of our lives AND we shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever!
Not only should you not fear death, you shouldn’t fear public speaking. If you have been forgiven of your sins, you have a back-from-the-dead story to tell.
People need to hear your story! Why? Because they’re scared of death! So tell them about the love of a Savior that rescued you from death.
I invite you to join me next Sunday as we continue to celebrate Jesus Christ’s victory over death!