2020-04-08 This Is Good News, Right?

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,”
Matthew 28:19a

There is no doubt in my mind that COVID-19 is from God. He has shut the entire world down. Everybody is hiding in their home. To my knowledge, he has never done anything like this before. Sure, he has done it with different nations from time to time, but not on a global scale.

If you have read the bible from cover to cover, you will see that God does this sort of thing. Why? “So that they may know that I am God.” Seriously. Over and over, you see this throughout the pages of scripture. This is a call to repentance.

Ezekiel 18:23 Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord God, and not rather he should turn from his way and live?

We can be positive that this is THE reason we are experiencing COVID-19. It is not from random chance. It’s not even solely because of Satan. Even if the devil is administering it, he does so ONLY with God’s permission. That’s right. There is NOTHING Satan does without God allowing him.

Isaiah 45:7 I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things.

It’s always about worshiping God and giving him glory. His blessings and his curses, all are intended to turn our focus from whatever holds our attention and turn it to him. Plain and simple. And, why wouldn’t we? Afterall, he created us.

Here’s an interesting part. Humans won’t listen. We won’t obey. Now, I could spend time explaining all that, but suffice it to say that we are so ingrained with sin that he must do a miracle and permanently change our hearts. We are nonetheless guilty as charged and condemned to eternal damnation – apart from that miracle.

For those of us who have been granted mercy through this miracle, we are ALL assigned a task: to go and make disciples. There is no getting around this commandment. We are all required to do this. The Creator of the entire universe has commanded each of us to share the gospel, not just once, but as a lifestyle.

But we don’t do that.

That’s a problem. So, you see, COVID-19 isn’t a call to repentance for those who are damned and unsaved, it is a call to those who are saved as well. A friend of mine asked why only 3% of believers share the gospel. This post is to answer that. This is my reading on scripture.

First, I would say that the denominator in this fraction is way too high. Wikipedia claims there are 2.1 billion Christians in the world, 26 percent. Perhaps so, if all you are concerned with are labels, but if you are looking for those who demonstrate actual allegiance, then the numbers fall off fast. Let’s look at some qualifiers:

Romans 9:8 This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.

Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

Is 1 in 4, globally, the “few” Jesus was talking about? Probably not, since he was talking to a Jewish crowd when he said this. Few of the chosen race would find the narrow gate. We see this also when Jesus fed the 5,000 men (plus how many more women and children?). These were all Jews, yet in the end, all left except the twelve. That math went from 100% down to 0.1% with just one simple conversation.

Who, then, is saved? Let’s put out a couple verses:

John 3:3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come.”

Simply claiming to be a Christian doesn’t make you one. Here are a couple of passages that should frighten everyone.

Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

John 10:1 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber.”

With the stakes so high, and indeed they are, we would be wise to make sure where we stand.

2 Peter 1:10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fail.

Colossians 1:23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

Notice Matthew 7:21-23. See how Jesus says the one who enters the kingdom is the one who does the will of the Father? So, if COVID-19 is God’s call to repentance, wouldn’t it make perfect sense for his children to do the same thing, especially now that God’s presence is so intense? Of course, it would.

That’s why he warns us to stay awake.

Luke 12:41-48 Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for all?” And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and put him with the unfaithful. And that servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating. But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.

Folks, I strongly urge you, no, I beg of you, if you are a Christian, please get a sense of urgency and share the gospel openly and often. Be bold. Do not be afraid. The kingdom of God is nearer now than it ever has been. If you are indeed saved, act like it.

After all, the gospel is GOOD news, isn’t it?

Father, rouse your church! Amen.

Copyright © 2020 Scott Powers

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