CORONAVIRUS. BLESSING OR CURSE?

„I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster: I the Lord do all these things.“ 

Isaiah 45:6b-7

„When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their            wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

2 Chron. 7:13-14

„I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you ere either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‚I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.‘ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 

I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich, and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock…“

Rev. 3:15-20a

A  CALL TO PURITY AND NOT ONLY TO HYGIENE 

In Psalm 24:3-4 King David asks, „Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false.“

The prophet Joel commands, „Blow the shofar in Zion…Let all who live in the land tremble…Who knows but that he may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing“  (Joel 2:1+14

We should all see the coronavirus as a heavenly shofar calling us to seek God and examine our hearts. Let us heed James’ advice, „Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded“ (James 4:8). 

Jesus himself teaches that a pure heart is more important than physical hygiene and hand washing. It is our heart which makes us impure and deceives us (Matt. 15:16-20).

Of course this does not mean that we should ignore all advice or hygiene and legal instructions regarding this virus. But it means that with the same and even greater determination we should purify our hearts because this will influence our spiritual life today and in eternity. In a way, God pulled out the plug so that we finally wake up. We – first we as Christians and the church – then of course non-Christians and unbelievers as well. We must all come to our senses. Our God,  Lord and King Jesus Christ is once again cleansing HIS temple. That is you and I who are the temple of the Holy Spirit. And that is HIS whole church, the temple of living stones. God will no longer let himself be mocked when we desecrate HIS name, dishonor it and drag it through the dirt.

TIMES  OF  SHAKING      

The prophet Haggai proclaims, „This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‚In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all nations.‘“   (Haggai 2:6-7)

The corona crisis makes very clear how fragile our whole world economic system, our society, ultimately our whole life is. We really have little to nothing under control. Fear and the state control us increasingly. May we realize that there is only one in total control: God, the creator of heaven and earth, the father of our lord Jesus Christ. And HE has good, eternal, wonderful plans and goals! And he who sits on the throne says, „I am making everything new. Then he said, ‚Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true’“ (Rev. 21:5).

Hopefully these shakings will release a hunger for God – and the church of Jesus must be prepared for it. What these verses in Haggai make clear is put in a different way in Hebrews 12, where the reasons for the coming shakings are named. Everything will be shaken so that what cannot be shaken will be revealed (Hebr. 12:27ff).

Jesus already spoke of secure building in the parable of the house on the rock.  

Luke 6:48 (The person who hears the word and does it) „is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When the flood (e.g. in the form of a virus) came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it because it was well built.“

Several more things which cannot be shaken:

° God’s Word: „Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away“ (Mark 13:31).

° Jesus himself: „See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame“ (1 Peter 2:6).

   „Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever“ (Hebr. 13:8).

   „Everyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame“ (Rom. 10:11).

° In fact, everything which belongs to God’s kingdom cannot be shaken. That includes what we do for the Lord.

Motivation: „Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing shake you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain“ (1 Cor. 15:58).

THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING OF THE BIRTH PANGS

If we really take God’s word seriously when we read it, we will realize that this is only a small shadow of what will come. The Hebrew prophets and the New Testament speak of a time when God will severely judge the world for its injustice and rebellion against Him. And that this process will begin wit the house of God. I don’t think that the coronavirus pandemie is the actual judgment of God but only a preview of what will come in greater measure if the world does not repent. In this sense, the

coronavirus is a sign of future things when certain plagues will destroy the earth and mankind still  does not repent (Rev. 9:18-21). But it is also a warning that this is still a time of mercy in which „everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved“ (Joel 2:32 and Acts 2:21). It is a wake-up call to the church to know the time in which we live and to act accordingly. As Abraham Ministry we have been calling for 25 years, primarily to the church in Switzerland, but world-wide as well, to wake up and repent. Especially now through „The letter to the church of Jesus.“ 

URGENT CALL TO PRAYER. NOT TO FEARFULNESS!

All of this should and must finally drive us to prayer, into the arms of the Father! Not with fear and despondence seeking protection there. We know that HE is our protection and shield. What shall we then fear? No, from there we will stand in the gap and urgently pray that people will turn to God and be saved. That the Name of Jesus Christ will be sanctified and glorified and that His kingly rule will spread! Now we have time for this, let us make use of it! In addition we have the unique opportunity as marriage partners, as a family to come together and realize what we have with each other. Family will really become family again, just as it was originally intended. We should and we will be different from those who do not know God because we are full of love and this love of God drives away all fear. We are full of hope and peace in every situation because our hope and our peace are a person – the prince of peace Jesus Christ. We will be ready at all times to help wherever help is needed. We will be and are genuine ambassadors for Christ! Thank you Father for these possibilities. Please, please do not allow us to let them pass by without making use of them.

W.W.

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