Romans 8:35-39 – “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness or peril, or sword? Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
While there is so much panic, fear and uncertainty in the world because of the coronavirus, how should our church—as children of God who are elected by Him by grace through faith in Jesus Christ—respond?
Thankfully, the Bible helps us understand the world we live in. We learn in Genesis that God created the world and placed mankind as his vice-regents to rule and subdue creation (Gen. 1:28-30). Creation was without sickness or death, and man enjoyed fellowship with God. But when Adam and Eve sinned, the same thing which happened to mankind, happened to creation. Creation was subjected to futility by God in hope, and this is why the world has pollution, calamities, sickness, decay, and death (Gen. 3:14-19; Rom. 8:18-21). While these are all tragic, we can have peace because we are not surprised by them. Sickness and death have been realities ever since the fall.
Instead of panicking, we can draw comfort from God’s great love revealed to us in the gospel. God has loved those whom he chose to be saved from before the world was created. And God demonstrated his love for us through the life, death and resurrection of His only Son Jesus Christ our Lord when we were still sinners, ungodly and enemies of God (Rom. 5:6-10). This love extends into eternity future, which is why Paul says in Romans 8:18, that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Because of God’s love, we will not merely be spectators of this glory, but partakers in it! These truths give us confidence even during a pandemic because nothing can come between the Elect and God’s purpose in salvation. How blessed we are to take comfort in the assurance that God loves us while the world is gripped by fear!
And while we experience God’s peace and love in the midst of chaos, God has given us the task of proclaiming the gospel in the world. Salvation is a work of God which he accomplishes in the lives of people as they hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. There are countless people around us who need to hear the good news of the gospel, and we as a local church, need to be more urgent and bolder in our efforts. After all, how can the lost be called out and respond, if they don’t hear the gospel? It is amazing that God has given us the privilege of being co-workers with him in this work. Would it not be a shame if we neglect this privilege and responsibility of gospel proclamation?
And so, let us, as members of Grace Fellowship family, remain committed to the work of the gospel as long as we are alive on this earth. We don’t need to lose hope, but we can find joy in joining God’s eternal purposes. Instead of fearing death, we wait eagerly for the redemption of our body. Our excitement towards the new life after death does not mean we want to escape the troubles and pain of this world. Instead, it makes us more passionate and determined to live our lives centered around the good news of the gospel.
And so, even in the current situation, let us stay committed to live the gospel, sing the gospel, fellowship in the gospel, pray the gospel and preach the gospel.
*This article was sent out to the members of Grace Fellowship Church, Lucknow by their pastor during the early days of lockdown.