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‘Fear Not’—Greg Laurie Responds to Report That Fear Is on the Rise Among Evangelicals

Greg Laurie
Screengrab via X / @greglaurie

On Monday (Aug. 14), pastor and evangelist Greg Laurie took to social media to encourage Christians not to be afraid. Laurie’s remarks came in response to a recent Lifeway Research survey that found that 69% of American protestant pastors believe there is a growing sense of fear within their churches about the future of the nation and world.

According to Lifeway, this sense of fear is most pronounced among white evangelical pastors. 

Laurie is the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship, a multisite megachurch headquartered in Riverside, California. He is also the leader of Harvest Crusades, an organization that holds large evangelistic events. 

In a video, Laurie opined that the growing sense of fear among Christians “is probably because of the way things are in the world right now. There’s so much bad news, so many scary things happening.”

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“And when we talk about the end times, the last days, some people say, ‘Oh, I don’t want to hear about all that doom and gloom,’” Laurie said. “But the reality is, when we understand the teaching of the Bible on the end times, it should not fill us with fear but fill us with hope.” 

Laurie continued, “In fact, the Bible refers to the return of Christ as ‘the blessed hope.’ And speaking on the rapture of the church, Paul said, ‘Comfort one another with these words.’”

While rapture theology, which posits that Christ will return secretly to take Christians out of the world just prior to a “great tribulation,” has long been a prominent feature of American evangelical theology, the doctrine has recently been called into question by evangelical theologians, as well rank and file churchgoers. 

Some who were raised in evangelical homes have expressed that fear of being “left behind” during the rapture caused them to experience “rapture anxiety,” also contributing to a generalized sense of anxiety. Premillennial dispensationalism, the theological system of which rapture doctrine is a part, has also been disputed among theologians who have presented alternative interpretations of biblical passages relating to end times theology. 

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Nevertheless, regardless of theological differences, evangelical theologians and pastors would agree that the tenor of biblical end times teaching is one of hope rather than fear.