“…that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life…”
1 Timothy 2:2
I’m going to keep this one short today, if that’s possible. I wanted to add one more thing to what I think may happen to the church as a result of COVID-19. I don’t have a prophetic message because I don’t know with an absolute, certain conviction that my predictions will happen. It’s simply an educated guess. I could certainly be proven wrong.
I do think the church will be stronger as a result of this pandemic but likely not in ways that we might think. The numbers of people attending church services may actually go down and many churches may close. Certainly, we believe Jesus when he says not everyone who says, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of God. We also believe him when he says God prunes the vine. So, it stands to reason that a little heat may scorch some of the seed sown.
That’s not prophetic. That’s simply reading, understanding, and seeing the world and events through the lens of scripture.
There is something else I think the church should be thinking about. It’s no secret that the church is becoming less and less of an influence upon society while simultaneously coming under increasing criticism and limitations. The day is near when open scorn will start becoming common and, along with it, encouragement from those otherwise silent. It’ll be like the crowd who cheers on a fight in the school yard.
Why do I say that? Well, let’s look at it from the world’s perspective. First, they see that God isn’t as important to us as we claim. Huh? Look at it from their perspective. We simply stopped going to church. Just like that. Prior to COVID-19, there was NOTHING that would keep us from church. Now, suddenly, nobody goes. If corporate worship was that important, wouldn’t we go anyway?
But, there are orders against public gatherings, you say. So what? Could an order prohibit us from gathering? Hardly, unless we allow it to. Who could stop us from gathering? Nobody. Yes, they could arrest pastors, but that wouldn’t stop us from going, if we actually insisted on it.
But, we could get COVID-19 and all of us would die! Then we really aren’t believing God’s promises, are we? We may as well tear Psalm 91 right out of our bibles. Go ahead, do it now. Why wait? If you won’t believe what God says, then don’t.
But, we can still meet with online services! Yes, and all the more reason that unbelievers will say that we don’t need to gather.
Do you see what I mean? I know one thing, the OLD me would have criticized the church up one side and down the other over this. “If you believe in miracles, ask God to save you from COVID-19! Why won’t he protect you? You KNOW he won’t. You KNOW he can’t!”
The fact of the matter is that the church is just as terrified of plague as the rest of the world, and we are now proving it.
So, don’t be surprised if they suddenly take away our religious tax shelters and loopholes. Don’t be surprised if they take away even more of our religious liberties. Don’t be surprised if Jesus is finally and permanently eradicated from our schools and government.
Did you ever stop to think that this might be what God is INTENDING to have happen? To sift the church like wheat and blow away the chaff? To drive the church that remains underground? To scatter it to the far corners of the earth?
Doesn’t that sound like what he did with the first century church?
I don’t know, that’s just some of the things going through my head.
Father, I watch with amazement at your hand at work! Amen.
Copyright © 2020 Scott Powers