I usually don’t do this, but I’m going to get a little personal in this post. I’m going to do so because as a Christian, I believe a personal testimony can be one of the greatest witnesses to the gospel of Jesus Christ that we have at our disposal when fulfilling the Great Commission. Further, despite the fact that we’re currently on lockdown — many of us confined to our homes — the gospel must still go forth.
I’ll admit up front, I’ve guilty of worry and a lack of faith during the current coronavirus pandemic that’s plaguing the entire world right now. While I’d be lying if I said the loss of my own life wasn’t a concern to me — it is, and I certainly don’t feel like a spring chicken ready to take on a disease of this stature — my bigger concern is for my family. I worry that if I were to die, my children wouldn’t have a father to raise them up in the knowledge of God and to train them in righteousness. But I have to repent of that.
It is good to take the precautions that the medical experts and our civil government — which is ordained by God — has asked us to take. And it is good to obey the law of the land (Romans 13) so long as it does not cause us to sin. After all, we should obey God rather than man (Acts 5:29). But it is not good to live in fear.
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” — 2 Timothy 1:7
As we watch the world as it deals with the news of the COVID-19 virus taking life after life, it’s easy to get caught up in fear. But God is sovereign over this disease and, if we’re honest with ourselves, we have to admit that an all-powerful sovereign God is not only in control of it, but has ordained this thing to pass. We must trust that He is in charge and that He will work this out for the good of those who are called according to His purpose. It may very well be the case that His purpose is to take some of our lives and leave others behind.
Things to remember:
- As Christians, we are called to obey the Scriptures — even when it doesn’t seem feasible or even logical to do so. Jesus said we would be blessed (Luke 11:28).
- We are told to trust in God alone, not the schemes of men, the laws of the land, science or medical innovations, and especially ourselves. These things are gifts from God, not replacements for His sovereignty (Proverbs 3:5-6).
- We should be prepared to die and live as though it is our last day. What we do on Earth should be focused on Heaven and seek to do things that will have eternal consequences. As Christians, our hearts and treasures should be in Heaven (Matthew 6:19-21).
Every moment we have in this life should be focused on the glory of God. This means being obedient, exercising faith, and seeing that the gospel goes forth. It’s easy to get caught up in the whims of culture — the Church may start to focus on cultural trends such as racism and social justice at the expense of the gospel. But we must turn our focus away from these things as they do not build up our Heavenly treasury.
2 Corinthians 8:9 draws a beautiful picture of what it means to store up treasures in Heaven,
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.
This is the gospel of Jesus Christ, that Jesus laid down His life so that we could live. That beautiful truth, that Christ came to Earth as God, in the form of a man and lived a perfect life — a life that we could not live. He fulfilled the requirement of God’s law completely, never once sinned. Yet, He died in our place according to the Scriptures, took the punishment that we deserved on the cross bearing the full wrath of God the Father, was buried, and rose again three days later, defeating sin and death, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father forever making intercession for those who would repent and believe on Him.
This is the only treasure we need to worry about storing up. I am a sinner like no one else. Though it can be tempting to sometimes, I honestly can’t point to anyone and say that person is a worse sinner than I am. I’ve been addicted to drugs. I’ve been to prison in a foreign country. And yet, somehow, God chose me out of the muck and mire of a life that I was in — and He used the death of my own father to start that process.
Make sure you pass that good news on to as many people as possible before you leave this world, whether it be tomorrow, or 80 years from now. Do not fear, cast your anxieties on Him (1 Peter 5:7), repent of your sin, and trust in Him alone. I hope you’re ready to die.