So much about the way we live has changed in the past two weeks.
In a remarkably short period of time, the COVID-19 virus has flipped the entire world upside down. Any time the entire society is gripped by panic and anxiety, the unique nature of the Gospel message stands as a light in the midst of the darkness.
Here are 5 ways COVID-19 points us to the Gospel.
1. It demonstrates the effects of sin.
It is not a sin to get sick.
Getting sick is NOT a sin. Nor is getting sick, necessarily related to some sin you committed. Sickness is a direct result of Adam’s sin at the Fall and these kinds of widespread pandemics remind us of that reality.
Romans 5:12 12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—
The Apostle Paul is clear here: Sin opened the door for sickness and death to enter creation. In some ways, our bodily sickness is meant to point us to a much greater issue which is the soul-sickness of sin.
2. It reveals the source of our security.
Anytime a tragedy or crisis grips the global population the lack of security people feel about their well-being and future is revealed.
If you are ultimately trusting in your sense of physical wellness, the capabilities of modern medicine or the economy’s stability to provide the security you are looking for in times such as these, chances are you are struggling in a serious way right now.
While the rest of the world looks for answers. While the rest of the world asks: “Who is really in control the Christian already knows the biblical answer.
Psalm 115:2-3 2 Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?”3 Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.
COVID-19 did not surprise God. This virus is unknown to us. It is completely known by God.
Not only that, but this virus is also being and will continue to be used by the Sovereign Hand of God for the good of His people and the glory of His Son’s Name. Who or what is the source of your security today? Let this crisis point you to the only source of true peace and security: God Himself.
3. It provides an opportunity to be a Gospel-witness and a Good Neighbor
Anytime the fears of the world rise the opportunity for Gospel-impact increases. Put simply: God uses a Suffering Savior to reach suffering people.
A global pandemic like this creates a once in a life-time opportunity for the global church to point the entire world to the “reason for the hope that is in us”.
This pandemic also creates opportunities to show compassion and concern for the weak and vulnerable among us. For the church, there will be many other opportunities to be “the light of the world” in the coming days.
4. It reminds us that life is short and fragile.
Anytime, the entire world becomes concerned about their health we are reminded that life is fleeting. So often we “feel” in control and then suddenly a microscopic virus reminds us just how out of control we really are.
Few people ever encountered the fragility of life as close as Job.
Job 14:1-2 “Man who is born of a woman
is few of days and full of trouble.
2 He comes out like a flower and withers;
he flees like a shadow and continues not.
Let this health crisis point you toward this inescapable truth: Your time is short. You do not have forever to get serious about following Jesus. Let the short and fragile nature of life in this fallen world create an urgency in you to follow Jesus.
5. It points us to our hope of resurrection.
In His resurrection, Jesus has defeated disease and death itself. This means that we are quickly approaching a time when there will be no sickness, no pain, and no death. THIS is a hope nothing can take away from us.
Let me close with the words of a 19th century pastor named JC Ryle.
Ryle: “Sickness is meant to make us look at our past lives honestly, fairly, and conscientiously. Am I ready for my great change if I should not get better? Do I repent truly of my sins? Are my sins forgiven and washed away in Christ’s blood? Am I prepared to meet God? Sickness is meant to To draw us to Christ. Naturally we do not see the full value of that blessed Savior. We secretly imagine that our prayers, good deeds, and sacrament-receiving will save our souls. But when flesh begins to fail, the absolute necessity of a Redeemer, a Mediator, and an Advocate with the Father, stands out before men’s eyes like fire, and makes them understand those words, “Simply to Your cross I cling,” as they never did before. Sickness has done this for many – they have found Christ in the sick room.”