To my fellow christians: to the ones who understand this faith-driven life and to the ones who haven't seen it quite clearly yet.
LIFE IS GOOD
I want to start off by saying that life is pretty good. For the past 30 or so years, this North American life as a society has been pretty good. I'm not negating the fact that many of us have had some real tough personal moments that have changed our life completely....but considering society alone, we've had a rather few bumps and tense moments along the way, but it's been generally comfortable.
Over the past few months we've been hearing about this “Coronavirus” and how it had been spreading quickly throughout China. It was concerning news for sure, but China's far away... it doesn't really affect us. Right? Boom. All of a sudden two weeks ago. Our news stations blew up with the new phrases that we've come to get quite annoyed hearing lately: “COVID 19”... “Social Distancing”.... “Quarantine”, etc.
It seems like this 'far away China issue' has just become our new reality and now it affects us. Not only does it affect us here in Canada & North America, but it is widespread amongst the whole world! Everything is being shut down! People are cleaning out grocery stores! People are losing their jobs! The amount of infections keep rising and the death toll keeps increasing.
What is going on? Why is this happening? How could this be happening? When will this stop? “I am scared!”. These are questions & feelings that many of us have and you are not alone! To be honest, I do not have those answers for you today, but I have an answer and call to response that will guide you to a firm foundation & a peace that surpasses any understanding level-of-comfort during these uncertain times.
“I believe that this current situation will either expose or awaken those affected by this church going pandemic.”
This is a crucial moment in the life of the church. The institutional church, as we know it has been temporarily shut down. The fear of this virus is crippling many. We have plenty of Christians who have built their foundation upon the rock of Christ and they will ultimately be fine with any outcome that results from this ordeal. But there's far too plenty more self-proclaimed Christians that have built their foundations on the ever-so-weak sand that's crumbling day by day. I believe that this current situation will either expose or awaken those affected by this church going pandemic. God is faithful.
You see the reason many Christians are being controlled by fear is because there has been a Pandemic within the North American Church for quite some time now. We have thousands of self-proclaimed Christians that continue to live in habitual sin. We know what the Word of God says, but it isn't a priority. We are not focused on the Gospel. We are not evangelizing. We are not striving for righteousness. We come to church week after week, but inside many of us are dead when it comes to truly living for Christ. Our faith is non-existent and it is nothing more than a get-out-of-hell gift card. What many of us tend to forget (and maybe this virus is finally giving us a sobering glimpse) is that life is short, and may be potentially shorter for some. In the past 30 years, things have been so good that we might have just fallen into the lie that life is full of time and we have much to look forward to. My friends, although this is something we would like to be true, this is purely contradicting to what scripture teaches us.
Take a look at James 4:13-15 for an instance:
“Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
My purpose behind this brief post is that I want the Christians who are living on the fence between faith & things of this world to pick a side. I don't want you to just pick any side. I want you to pick the right side. And not only do I want you to pick the right side, I also want you to live on the right side. I want you to experience the everlasting joy and comfort that is only found within Jesus Christ. When everything around us fails, we have Christ to cling to. When the Coronavirus cripples our society, and we lose our jobs, and everything around us changes for the worse – we have Christ & His promises to cling to. Our confidence is His faithfulness! What are those promises? Jesus Christ died for our sins! As believers no matter what happens, we are bought by the blood of Christ! We are forever redeemed! The power of death has no power over us anymore! We can cast our anxiety upon the Lord because he cares for us! (John 3:16, Romans 6:23). Christians that know the Word of God, know that this life is only, but temporary, and that our ultimate citizenship is not of this world, but instead heaven! (Philippians 3:20)
You see like I mentioned before, life is short, and many things that the Bible says will happen in the last days are happening. I am not here to condemn you and scare you by telling you that you're not living up to the Christian standard, but instead I am here to reason with you to take your faith seriously as we are not guaranteed another moment in life. As 2nd Corinthians 6 says: “Today is the day of salvation”. Not tomorrow.
In conclusion, this is to you: To the Christian out there who has not been so focused on the things of Christ. To the Christian who has been putting their identity in their career. To the Christian who's sense of stability comes from their finances. To the Christian who needs to be in control of everything to be calm, and to the Christian that makes their faith second to every other thing in this world; I hope this is a time of reflection on what truly matters most, which is your eternal Salvation with Christ. A virus may take away your job, it may mess with your finances, it may instill fear – but it will never take away your identity in Christ. If you are not solid in that fact alone... you will be tossed amongst the waves of troubles in this life.
It is time to examine everything. Where does your trust lie? In whom does your trust lie? Are you living for Christ?
Do you truly have a relationship with the Saviour of the World?
I could write more, but the Word of God speaks for itself, so I will leave you with a scripture to guide your heart. I deeply care about you and your faith. Feel free to message me at Matthew@ThisIsSalvation.com if you want to talk more.
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[g] 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.