Statement about COVID-19 and other like current-day phenomenon April 2020-04-13
Compiled by Elders at Ministry Meetings through prayer and contemplation
The Nature of COVID-19 from a Biblical perspective
- Is a natural result of the fallen world (Mat 5:45),
- God is in control of all physical events universally (Pro 16:33, Luke 8:22-25),
- Normal and natural ‘trials’ are for the building of character, they show the world who we are (1 Pet 1:6-7, Jam 1:2-4, 2 Ch 7:13-14),
- God promises to work ‘all things’ out for the benefit of the Church (Eph 1:11, Rom 8:28, Ecc 3:11, Ps 46),
- Is a ‘small sign’ to communicate to the Church,
- The suddenness of Christ’s return and judgement upon to world (1 Thes 5:1-3);
- Not explicitly in the Bible, but is a ‘small sign’, like ‘early birth contractions which points to something yet to come (Luke 21:25-32, 1 Thes 5:3, Mat 24:8);
- ‘Small signs’ like COVID-19 point to grand scale events (Rev 6:15-16, Isa 2:17-22);
- For right living (Luke 21:34-35) and evangelism (Mat 24:14, Exo 12:38, see ‘the rabble’ below);
- Other worldview fails to account for suffering. Atheistic, naturalistic and humanistic accounts do not explain why these things happen, they are just unfortunate crude realities.
- Parallel to plagues in the Exodus account,
- God used various plagues to communicate with Pharaoh (Exo 6:1);
- For the deliverance of God’s people, to make a way for their exit from a corrupt and broken ‘world’;
- ‘The Rabble’ (Exo 12:38) are non-repentant, but curious people of the world that ask us questions about what is going on;
- Be ready and have an answer!
- This is not the end,
- It is a different way of life – game-changer, paradigm shift,
- There is no need for fear.
The Nature of End Time events, per the Bible
- COVID-19 is not an explicit end-time event, but a ‘small’ sign of the times (1 Pet 4:7), to make people sensitive and aware of their need of God,
- There are notable behaviour between how people are reacting to COVID-19 and other end-time events (Is 2:17-22, Rev 6:15-17),
- God is patient (2 Peter 3:9),
- Events will continue to unfold and become more intense as we draw closer to Christ coming back (Luke 21:9)
- Other signs point to explicit end-time events that we need to see more of.
- Cosmic and global events (Mat 24:25-28)
- Events relating to Israel (Zec 14:1-21, Dan 11, Eze 19)
- Anti-Christ (Dan 8:22-26, Mat 24:15-21)
- Falling away and lawlessness (Mat 24:9-13).
- Universal wickedness (2 Ti 3:1-5, Luke 17:26, Gen 6:5-8),
- An odd event will take place as the world tries to operate as ‘normal’ (Mat 24:36-44) – a ‘takening away’ (also see 1 Corn 15:50-52)
- End times ‘troubles’ directly relate to the wrath of God (Rev 6:16-17, 15:1, etc.)
- The wrath of God is not for the Church (John 3:36, Rom 1:18, Rom 5:9, Rom 2:5, 1 Thes 5:9*, Eph 5:6, etc.)
- The Church must be relocated or protected from God’s wrath which will take place upon the world universally (1 Thes 4:17, Mat 24:29-31, Dan 12:1, see also the ‘takening away’ verses above)
- Before the great tribulation of God’s wrath, a departure for the Church
- or some kind of Passover type protection is necessary.
*1 Thessalonians 5:9 for God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
Revelation 1: 7 Look! He comes with the clouds of heaven. And everyone will see him–even those who pierced him. And all the nations of the world will mourn for him. Yes! Amen!
What is our Response?
- The Church should maintain an attitude of hope, not a poor me attitude
- The knowledge that Christ Himself is the anchor of our souls (Hebrews 6:19-20),
- The Lord is close to us, even during dark times (Psalm 34:18),
- These are uncertain times, but our faith in Christ will be our strength (Hebrews 11:1),
- The Holy Spirit of God is with us during challenging times which produces hope (Romans 5:3-5).
- Evangelistic Church. We should look for innovative ways to share the Gospel. End times events will come. We need to make sure that we and others are ready.
- People need to look at the cross and see their need and the provision of Christ (Nub 21:9, John 3:14). The promises of God are not for the world, but for His Church (e.g. Eph 1:11, Rom 8:28 and 1 Peter 1:6-7).
- To caringly reach out for the benefit for society.
- Other opportunities, like the Easter egg drop off and other like activities that will keep us connected to the community.
- Do not be ‘prophets of doom’ – we want to share the hope of knowing God, and not to scare folk away.
- In reach, we need to care for each other
- Phone calls and texts to inquire about the well-being of others
- Media devices like Facebook and Zoom
- Check on the children, and teach the children how to look out for each other.
- Get real at home – when the ‘ugly’ comes out – deal with it!
- Creative Outreach
- Prayerfully consider how you can make a difference by blessing others,
- Examples of creative outreach opportunities include Grocery voucher gifts for families, fruit deliveries, etc.
- Disciplined Church. In light of scriptures which claim that things will get worse, it is important to keep our focus on His return and use this time to draw closer to Him (individually and collectively).
- Mental Health Package
- Taking communion together over Zoom at least 1 Sunday per month (Mark 14:22-25, Luke 22:18-20, 1 Corinthians 11:23-25)
- Regular worship
- Do not forsake fellowship (Hebrew 10:25).
- Be reassured (Phil 4:6-7, James 1:2-6)
- Do not get down, do not overindulge (Mat 24:34-35)