Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers,[a] you have no need to have anything written to you. 2 For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4 But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-4
We’ve all seen the info-graphics online. X number of people have died since the outbreak. X number of people have recovered since the outbreak. X disease has killed more or less than the virus. X number of unborn babies have died since the outbreak. Cancer takes x number of lives every year. Influenza kills x number of people every year. There’s a graphic out there to compare a million facts about death lately.
Death is on our minds and we can’t stop thinking about it.
But people have always been dying, haven’t they? Death is the inevitable finish to life. And right now a lot of people are shaken to their core by the contemplation of a pandemic so powerful that it has shut down the world in order to save lives.
Here in America, there’s been talk that it’s a political ploy to steal our freedom. We have certainly lost a lot of freedom. And if you’ve invested all your hopes and dreams on the freedom of America, then of course you’re going to be shaken.
In our Western Church we’ve put a lot of emphasis on our freedom to freely worship God. We are allowed to congregate and propagate and investigate without fear. We have incredible access to resources and teachings. We can talk to strangers in coffee shops about our faith or share the Good News on the internet. Nothing has stopped us. Until now.
Undaunted, we push forward with our freedom of religion. We get on Zoom calls. We have live gatherings on YouTube or Facebook. We call people to repent and to pray and to trust and have faith. We are all about keeping up the freedom in our meetings. And maybe people who would never walk into a church building might actually get to hear what it’s all about for the first time in their lives.
What are we going to do about it?
Our president asked for prayer that the virus would pass over us on Passover. Wouldn’t that be something? And all the world will see how blessed we are as Christians that God will protect us from this “China Virus”. We are proud to be Americans where we have God on our side! Dang straight! God will protect us! God will protect our people. God will destroy our enemies and we will walk across safely on dry land, just like the Isrealites. God will have the virus pass over us just like the Angel of Death passed over them in the final plague of the first born sons.
Except our first born son was slain. Our salvation from our slavery happened on the cross 2000 years ago, when our First Born Son, our One and Only Son, endured death for our sake. The dry land we walk across it the dry land of Jesus Christ.
Our faith is not in worldly protection anymore. Our triumph is no longer freedom as man understands freedom. Instead we stare with bold defiance at the face of our enemy and proclaim the victory won for us through Christ Jesus.
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12
We can triumphantly say our “Passover” has already happened! Let’s not cheapen it with miracles meant to make us feel better.
Our lives are so free that we have lost sight of the freedom we have found in Christ. No matter what we must endure, no matter what affliction looms over us, we can claim our freedom and trust in our Savior, not our country or our healing or our protection.
Our King, King Jesus will remain. Nothing can steal His victory and the freedom He won back for us on the cross.
38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
So, it’s time to stop talking about death as it relates to death. No more infographics. No more statistics. No more comparisons. No more compromise! We are all going to die, my friends. Stop trying to beg God to save you from this inevitability of physical death. Ask for your life in only so much as it would please Our Master. Stop mocking the healing God gave us that day on a cross on Golgotha and that bright and beautiful morning of His resurrection, by demanding something else!
There is an eternal death, my friends, and Covid-19 can bring it the same way cancer does, the same way war does, the same way starvation does. And Jesus Christ has already answered that death with life. No new salvation will ever be offered. No cure, no peace, no abortion law, no food for the hungry can replace the salvation of our One True King.
When you die–and you will die–will you die to yourself, considering your own needs worthless compared to what the Lord has called us to in order to glorify the King? Or will you cry for peace and security and watch the world fall back into death once again?
For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Matthew 16:25