It is the third week of quarantine, I think. I say “I think” because all of the days have blurred into one. Thankfully, no one in our household has the Coronavirus. We wake up, do school work, eat, exercise, eat, repeat. Meanwhile, Facebook and Twitter ask whether this whole Coronavirus situation is some kind of punishment from God because of our sin (plural). My question is: where to begin? the rubble or our sins?
Where to begin: our sins
I’m reminded of the song Pompeii by Bastille. The lyrics famously read, “where do we begin: the rubble of our sins”? I guess it’s a reasonable question to ask, but I doubt it’s a question for the Believer. As Believers we are not counted among the “judged”, we are counted among the redeemed.
As Christians we are steadfast in the belief that “all things work together for good for those who fear Him and are called according to His Purpose”. Furthermore, the Apostle Paul reassures us that “to live is Christ, and to die is gain”. So, whether we live through it or at some point succumb to it, we as Christians find ourselves in a Win-Win situation.
Now, I know that it’s trendy, at times, to take advantage of opportunities such as the one we’re in to tell people that this is all because of their sin. Sometimes many brethren are hoping to scare them into the Kingdom: as I’m sure many of us can attest to, it wasn’t fear that led us to Christ but conviction from the Holy Spirit. Fear, as we can attest from recent events, does not produce acolytes; it only produces submission and, over time, rebellion. In fact, I don’t remember Jesus scaring anyone into the Kingdom…not even those who had good reason to fear: Pharisees, Scribes, prostitutes, thieves, Judas Iscariot and so many others.
Where to begin: the rubble
I can still remember the weeks and months after the 9/11 attacks: churches, mosques and synagogues were bursting at the seams full of people that were literally running to God after the satanic events of those days. Here is the facts: the life of every human being is underpinned by one constant and one constant only: the search for meaning. Most people are dead to their innate need for a connection to their Creator. Most of their lives are spent in the mundane and they try their hardest to keep life simple and mundane. We can see this from their wholesale avoidance of spiritual topics, discussion of sin, judging their own or the sin of others, including their refusal of life insurance: life insurance reminds them of one thing and one thing only: death.
When the walls fell
As the months passed, and the months turned to years, church attendance settled to its historic numbers. The committed stayed and the comical returned to their standard operating procedures. Of course, some had true life-changing experiences with the Lord Jesus Christ and remained in the flock but the vast majority were just looking for shelter for their heads like ostriches: their bodies fully in the secular and their heads in the churches just for the time being, waiting for the “all clear” sign to go back to their regularly scheduled programming.
Huff, and puff, and blow your house down
What am I saying? Well, just like the song, some will chose to begin with the rubble and others will address the sin. But, as Christians, it is not our place to scare them into the Kingdom but to love them into the Kingdom of God. Telling people that #Coronavirus is a judgement from God is a half-truth. These half-truths will not hold up under scrutiny. Ultimately, people remain broken disillusioned by scriptural checks Christians wrote that God never had intention of funding. We know that God’s judgement will come, and may be here sooner than we think, but His judgement will not be a trickling but a total overwhelming of humanity; it will not be because of homosexuality or abortion only, but for both and for much more.
The City that we love
Finally, when God comes to settle accounts, Scripture teaches us, it won’t be with just a 2% mortality rate. The death toll in the billions. This is not because He’s sadistic. Rather, it is because He is Just. I write to Christians that know this to be true. Calamities is not God telling us to preach fire and brimstone (John 3:17). We need to preach forgiveness and Sonship through our Lord Jesus Christ. Why else do we tell new believers to start reading the Bible with the Gospel of John and not Lamentations? We want to show them the Love of God through Jesus not what awaits the unbelievers in a lost eternity! Where to begin? Let us begin with our sins.
Again, God is not a God of calamity (2 Peter 3:9). He does not want death not does He delight in suffering. However, the devil is a big fan and a proponent of both. Brothers, sisters, we preach Christ and Christ crucified; we preach the Hope of Glory not the despair of the second death; we preach Life and life more abundant! In Jesus’ name, Amen!