The people of the United States are in an uproar as we approach the first full week of self-quarantined madness caused by COVID-19. Many of our brothers and sisters in countries across the globe are days or even weeks ahead of us as they battle the same crisis.
In days such as these, fear is as widespread and contagious as the virus itself. Whether it’s COVID-19, potential government lockdown, the multitude of conspiracies floating around, or simply the shortage of Charmin Ultra, most people find themselves fearful of the days ahead.
Many Christians are fearful too – not for ourselves but for others, and not about COVID-19 but about the knowledge that one day (whether it be in the year 2020 or 2999) this earth will pass away and with it, all of those who died not knowing The Lord.
No one wants to panic anyone by saying that this could be the end of the world as we know it, that Jesus might return tomorrow on His cloud of glory, that this could be the beginning of the Great Tribulation, that you should be judgment ready, or that this could be the last day to repent of your sins and give your heart to God…
But, friends, maybe that’s exactly the message that Christians everywhere should be spreading… Not because of COVID-19, a potential economic collapse caused by weeks/months of quarantined employees missing work, or the unthinkable consequences of going without toilet paper, but because we should have already been spreading that news far and wide.
So, there are three things I think we should all take the time to consider.
First… What is your relationship with The Lord?
If you already have a relationship with Jesus, COVID-19 shouldn’t scare you nor should wars and rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, illnesses, nation rising against nation, or kingdom rising against kingdom… because we know these things must happen before the end comes. And, make no mistake, the end (well, the beginning of something greater) is coming.
If you do not have a relationship with Jesus, now is the time to confess that Jesus is The Lord, ask God to forgive you of your sin, and have your name written forever in the Lamb’s Book of Life. You might not ever catch the coronavirus, but you could die tomorrow from the flu, cancer, car accident, bicycle wreck, heart-attack, spider bite, or a Hilary Clinton scandal. None of which is a joking matter, and all of which could truly happen to you tomorrow, which is why you need to claim your salvation today.
If you aren’t really sure if you’re saved or not, now is the time to learn a few harsh truths…
- Being a good person doesn’t get you to Heaven. I can promise you, Hell will be full of good people. (“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14)
- Simply believing in God isn’t enough either. (“You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder!” James 2:19)
- Even claiming to be a Christian isn’t enough! (“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” Matthew 7:21-23)
Yet, becoming saved is SO simple.
“Because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
So, why did Jesus say that many who prophesied in His name, drove out demons in His name, and even performed many miracles in His name wouldn’t necessarily be saved? The verse before tells us it’s because they didn’t do the will of His Father.
And what is the will of God? Well, I feel like that’s basically what was asked in Matthew 22:34-40.
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?” Jesus replied: “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
When you are that full of love for God, you have no doubt where you’re spending eternity! It’s God’s will for us to love Him and each other like that.
Second… Are you committed?
Like many in the blessed, free country of the United States of America, I was introduced to The Lord as a baby and have believed in Him my whole life. As great of a blessing as that is, it prompts a popular problem among Christians. When you have had a relationship with someone for a long, long time, it’s easy to lose that “in love” feeling unless you work to keep it. Due to that, many Christians have become lukewarm. Friends, this is a major problem.
“So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:16
Let me tell you… if you are a true believer in God and follower of Jesus, forgiven from your sins and gifted with eternal life, saved by grace and filled with the Holy Spirit, YOU SHOULD NOT BE LUKEWARM!
Now is the time to give yourself to The Lord and genuinely, fully, whole-heartedly dedicate yourself to Him if you didn’t know Him or have a relationship with Him before today. And, just as importantly, if you did but your love is waxing cold and you find yourself lukewarm, now is the time to take advice from the Prodigal Son and return to your Father. I promise, He will throw His arms around you in a loving embrace. (Read about it in Luke 15:11-32)
Let go of whatever sin is holding you back. A relationship with God is so much more pleasurable than the temptations of earthly desires which lead to death.
Third… Are you ready for His return?
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” Matthew 24:42-44
Whether Jesus returns tomorrow, next week, next month, or in fifty years, let’s not be caught sleeping. We don’t know what hour to expect Him, so let’s be ready at all times. And, what’s more, let’s spend this time productively by spreading the good news of Christ’s upcoming return across the globe. Not because of COVID-19, but because any moment could be the last for someone we love and their salvation is too important for us to drag our feet on.
Dear friend, I want you to know that you can always call, text, email, message or meet with me if you want to know more about salvation. I won’t judge you for your sin, because we all struggle. I won’t pressure you to repent if you aren’t ready, because that isn’t my place. You can trust me to keep your call confidential, because your relationship with God is your business and I would just be happy to be here for you.
But, please don’t hesitate to call and please, please don’t wait until tomorrow.