CHURCH IN THE MIDST OF COVID-19
By: Pastor Ebenezer O. Adeyinka - TACGV Vice-Chairman
The world is currently suffering from the cruel and devastating hand of coronavirus - an outbreak that started like a child's play in Wuhan, the sprawling capital of Central China's Hubei Province and gradually developed to a full-blown epidemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11, 2020 declared COVID-19 a pandemic when it spread like a wildfire through the nations. Thanks to all categories of medical experts and a host of others working hard to combat this worldwide deadly disease.
Many health experts believe that the disease likely originated in bats or pangolins. Some people, either for political or economic reasons speculated that coronavirus is the birth child of Generation (5G) while others have concluded that it was a deliberate attempt by some unscrupulous organizations or individuals to reduce the world population. Whatever theory being propounded whether right or wrong; one thing that cannot be wrong is what the Father of Spirits, God himself has to say "If a trumpet is blown in a city, will not the people be afraid? If there is calamity in a city, will not the LORD have done it?" Amos 3:6 In other words, nothing happens outside God's knowledge and nothing happens that he has not permitted.
Right from the beginning, life itself has proved to be spiritual; our existence and all that are happening around us can safely be considered to be spiritual. Unfortunately, not everybody believes this; but the Alpha and the Omega said to John on the Island of Patmos "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." Revelation 3:22
In a situation like this, there are two simple messages God is trying to send to both the Body of Christ and the world generally; and that is (1) I AM COMING BACK and (ii) REPENT AND RETRACE YOUR STEPS.
The Book of Revelation is the only New Testament example of apocalyptic writing which attempts to bring to fore divine mysteries that would have otherwise been hidden. Other Old Testament examples can be found in some part of the Books of Daniel, Isaiah, Ezekiel and Zechariah. The spiritual decipher of messages to the seven churches in the Asian Minor in the Book of Revelation can hardly be disputed as messages to the Church of Christ in this end time. "The revelation of Jesus Christ, which god gave Him to show His servants, the things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angle to His servant John. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, says the Lord, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty." Revelation 1:2,3,8
Using the Asian Minor churches as our litmus test of the Body of Christ today, God is saying to about 71% of us as believers worldwide that it is time for us to REPENT AND RETRACE OUR STEPS and bring the church of Christ to where Christ wants it to be. What are some of those things the Body of Christ is to repent of? We can take these from the 71% of the Asian Minor churches.
1. Loss of Spiritual Vitality - lack of love for God and one another. "Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love." Revelations 2:4
2. Compromise - Love of money, position, sexual immorality, seduction and idolatry.
"But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth." Revelation 2:14-16
3. Corruption - Seduction, sexual immorality and idolatry. "Nevertheless, I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols." Revelation 2:20
4. Spiritual Limbo - Dead while still alive “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments, and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy." Revelation 3:2,4
5. Lukewarmness - Complacent, deceit of money, title and position. "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. Because you say, I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing - and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see." Revelation 3:15,17,18
Also, in situation like this, God is calling on the world to REPENT of two attitudes that are common in the world today.
According to Jeremiah 2:13, "For my people have committed two evils:
(i) Forsaken God the source of life in the pursuit of Life, Liberty and Happiness.
(ii) Created gods that are not God.
"Turn at my rebuke; surely I will pour out my spirit on you, I will make my words known to you." Proverbs 1:23
HOPE FOR THE CHURCH
The 29% faithful churches in the Asian Minor were not forgotten in spite of persecution, ridicule, poverty, tribulation and seemingly helpless.
situation. The Churches of Smyrna and Philadelphia stood their ground for the Master and God proved himself as the rewarder of them that
diligently seek him.
(i) God Promised Revival Fire
"Indeed, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and
are not, but lie - indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet , and to know that I have loved you." Revelation 3:9
There is assurance that after the coronavirus crisis the true and faithful church of God should expect great wave of revival
that will bring in the unbelievers, pretenders and persecutors to come and worship the Living God.
(ii) God Guarantees Church's Deliverance
"Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon
the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth." Revelation 3:1
Jesus said to his disciples, and the same thing he is saying to his church today that when all these things begin to happen,
it is not time to lose our focus, not time to fear. Rather it is time to wake up in self-examination and in faith for now our salvation.
is nearer than when we first believed.
"Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near." Luke 21:28