COVID 19 WILL BE GOOD FOR THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST

God’s word reminds believers that “for those who love God all things work together for good” (Romans 8:28, ESV). Meaning, ultimately, COVID-19 will be good for the church of Jesus Christ. Of all the things believers are promised in scripture, bodily safety is not one of them. In fact, it says the opposite!

We are told by the Apostle Paul that “all who desire to live godly lives shall suffer” (2 Timothy 3:12).

Aside from whatever physical and emotional scars the coronavirus might leave upon the body of Christ, we can be sure that, in time, this event will produce wonderful fruit. As backwards as it may sound, Let’s welcome this reality. It is as Charles Spurgeon once said, “I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages”.

Remember most viruses play a useful role in the design of God’s universe

The ugly idol of personal safety has plunged its jagged thorns deep inside the hearts of not only American Christians bot those in most affluent nations. Decades of excessive comforts and conveniences have created lazy, self-serving, inward-looking Christians. Many have forgotten how to trust God for provision. Instead, we have looked to ourselves, our stocked supermarkets, our full refrigerators, and our 401ks (pension plan) to provide the assurance that our future’s are secure. Throughout history, God has often allowed outside forces and tragedies to remind His people to look only to Him for comfort and assurance. We should remember this as we wander into the unknown of the Coronavirus pandemic. Lest we forget, the Israelites wandered the desert 40 years as they learned to trust God for daily provisions.

Whatever trials the days ahead may bring, it seems certain our faith will be tested. How will you choose to respond?

Extracted from a great article Christians, COVID-19, and the Dangerous Idol of Personal Safety by Jack Wells, www. patheos .com

CHURCH IS NOT OPTIONAL

Why is it important to get back in the habit of regular and faithful attendance? Why should those connected to a local congregation make a new commitment to attend as regularly as possible? Here are five reasons:

1. The Bible mandates we gather for worship. The writer of Hebrews is unequivocal:

“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near” Hebrews 10:25, NLT

Gathering for worship is not an optional activity. It is not an occasional activity. It is an ongoing and regular commitment.

2. The Bible emphasises the importance of the local church. Think about it. After the four Gospels, almost all of the New Testament is about the local church or directed to the local church. Throughout the New Testament, different local congregations met together and worshipped together. It is simply what believers do.

3. When we gather together, we encourage each other. Look at Hebrews 10:25 again. “not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” What Day? The Day of Jesus return. Therefore, this will be increasingly important as persecution escalates.

4. When we gather together, we encourage our leaders. The encouragement of one another includes the encouragement of our leaders. They desperately need it. I pray that many people will return to the in-person gatherings with new levels of commitment. Our leaders will be greatly encouraged.

5. We grow spiritually when we commit to faithful attendance. We grow as a believer in Christ when we have a committed prayer life. We grow when we are committed to read Scripture daily. We grow when we share our faith regularly. We grow when we serve in ministry. And we grow when we commit to attend worship services faithfully. That attendance is a spiritual discipline. It is a vital and necessary act toward greater spiritual maturity.

The pandemic and quarantine have been transformational moments for our world and our churches. We now have the incredible opportunity to hit the reset button in our own lives. Church is about relationships and therefore small groups. It is not about meeting once a week on Sunday. God has reminded us, perhaps even given us a major wake-up call, first about what church really is and how really important it is.