The Current Crisis

March 17, 2020

Since this crisis began and more and more people are realizing the seriousness and extent of the situation we are in, I have heard many questions. Times like these cause people to think and have conversations about God and spiritual things.

Perhaps some of these questions have come to your mind:

Did God cause this virus? I don’t believe God has caused coronavirus. It goes against His character as we see it revealed through Jesus. But ever since the Garden of Eden the world has been broken and it gets more so as time passes. Because He knew that, Jesus stated, “In this world you will have trouble (all kinds of trials and tribulation), but be of good cheer—I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Does this mean Jesus is coming soon? We know for sure that His coming is closer than it has ever been. Every day brings it closer. As I understand prophecy, I believe there are other things that need to happen before Jesus returns. But many prophecies do tell us that we can expect the world to be shaken as His coming draws near. Look at what the prophet Haggai has to say:

Every level of society will be shaken. As the Lord speaks through the prophet Haggai,
For thus says the LORD of hosts, “Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land. I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory,” says the LORD of hosts” (Haggai 2:6-7). And again the LORD says, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain (Hebrews 12:26-27).

God’s purpose in this shaking is to establish His rule on the earth and to shake out of His kingdom on earth every offensive thing as the Lord Jesus Himself affirmed when He said, “As the weeds are collected and burned in the fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will weed out of His kingdom every cause of sin and all who practice lawlessness. And they will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:40-42).

I don’t have an entirely definitive answer for those two questions. But there are a couple of questions I can answer with great confidence.

Are you afraid? Absolutely not. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27). I consistently find this to be true in my life no matter what the challenge. NewPointe is not responding in fear. The reason we are not holding services is out of social responsibility to our community, in respect for those in authority who are leading us, and because we believe caution is one of the best ways to show love for the world at large at this time. But fear? No. I trust God, and He is always in control.

What do you think Christians can and should do now? The Chinese character for crisis is a combination of the words for great danger and great opportunity. I believe that is absolutely true right now. This crisis does present great danger, but the church and followers of Jesus have a great opportunity in the middle of it. People everywhere are thinking and experiencing anxiety and fear. They have questions and doubts, and are more willing now to talk about spiritual things than any other time. If we ask God to make us sensitive and aware, we will see opportunity after opportunity to share the difference Jesus makes. People will even ask!

“Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it” (1 Peter 3:15).

“But in your hearts set Christ apart [as holy—acknowledging Him, giving Him first place in your lives] as Lord. Always be ready to give a [logical] defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope and confident assurance [elicited by faith] that is within you, yet [do it] with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15 AMP).

We can not only share our faith we can share our resources. Remember, in the first century the Christians were known for their generosity in a time when there was a famine. Why? Because they trusted the One who defeated death. Let’s follow their example and do whatever we can to encourage the lonely, cheer up the discouraged, and provide for the elderly and needy.

The darker the world becomes, the brighter we can shine.

“Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people” (Philippians 2:14-15).

The people who are quarantined, the elderly, the sick. Call them. Send notes. If you know of anyone with a need you can’t meet, call the church. We can together supply all kinds of resources.

God IS in control. Let’s share it.

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