We’re in for another round of COVID lockdowns in Minnesota starting Friday night. It seems more people are taking this round more seriously since word is that hospitals are close to capacity AND there is a significant number of health care workers out because they have contracted the disease.
What’s the Christian response now? In my humble opinion, we should think about the bigger purpose behind the calamity. I went through this exercise this past spring, but I need to remind myself. Perhaps it’s a good reminder for us all.
First, let’s consider who sent the virus. Was it a random chance of nature? How about the Chinese? Satan? In any case, nothing happens without God allowing it. Absolutely nothing. And, yes, sometimes the things he allows fits into the category of plague. Like it or not, God has authorized it.
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.
Why? God is perfect so anything he does is good. We see all sorts of judgments throughout the bible, including plagues. All came with a warning from prophets. Perhaps COVID-19 didn’t have a warning, but we have more than enough in the bible that we don’t need a specific one this time. That warning: Repent and be reconciled to God.
Simple as that.
Is this a message we can deliver to a lost and dying world? I should hope so.
- Do people complain about restrictions? Image what it would be like to have no freedom whatsoever while in eternal torment. Recall Jesus telling us of the rich man and Lazarus? See Luke 16:19-31 or Revelation 20:10, 14-15.
- Are people scared? They should be. The day of judgment is coming when we all must give account. See Matthew 12:36-37.
- Do people need hope? God desires all people to be saved. See 1 Timothy 2:5.
- Do people need direction? Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. See John 14:6.
We should be thankful that God has sent this plague, not that people die but that God is merciful. Whaaat? Yes, merciful. This is a mild plague in the grand scheme of things. We know what is killing us, where in times past it was a mystery. Besides, it could be way, way worse. Look how God wiped out entire armies overnight! Yes, there have been a lot of deaths, but if God wanted to let ‘er rip, watch out! So, yes, he is merciful. This is a call for our attention. Consider this a light knuckle-tap against the window pane.
Let’s remember, God does’t owe us anything. We’re the ones who deliberately sin. Besides, we’ve already gotten more second-chances than we can possibly count. The fact that God is merciful does not give us any reason to think he owes us anything. See Psalm 116:12 and Job 41:11.
But, you, Christian, owe God a great deal. Your life is not your own; you were bought with a price. See 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 7:23. Jesus died for you and gave you eternal life. You are his. Let’s not forget our marching orders:
2 Corinthians 5:17-21 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
This is a good thing, this being ransomed business.
Isaiah 35:10 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return
and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
they shall obtain gladness and joy,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
It’s far better than the fate of those who refuse to listen.
Isaiah 25:33b they shall be dung on the surface of the ground.
This COVID stuff should really engage us Christians, not to complain that we have to wear masks or miss out on fun activities or lose our religious freedoms. No, we should be engaged because 1) we are horrified at the thought of eternal damnation for the lost and 2) we worship our Lord and Savior for his mercies.
Church, it’s time to mobilize!
Father, I pray that you send out your ambassadors. Let the reconciliation begin! I pray that seed be scattered on fertile soil. Lord, we pray for revival! Amen.
Copyright © 2020 Scott Powers