Longview Baptist Church in Franklin, NC (828) 524-6836 Sec@LongviewBC.org

The spread of the Coronavirus has taken center stage before the entire world over the last few weeks.  We are hearing hourly updates from government and medical sources keeping us abreast as to the threats and dangers of this deadly disease.  It can be so overwhelming to be bombarded by such a vast amount of information that even Christians can begin to lose focus of who we are in Christ and to whom we belong.  The best news we can remember is that we, as Christians, are eternally secure in the hands of our Creator!  The great evangelist George Whitefield once said, “We are immortal until our work on earth is done.”  In addition to this comforting thought I would like each of you to consider some basic truths to encourage you during this pandemic that is plaguing the world.

First of all remember that our God is sovereign.  He is in control of all things.  Nothing is outside the realm of His knowledge, power, or control and nothing occurs in all of His creation without first passing through His permissive hand.  The Scriptures are full of examples of sicknesses, diseases, natural disasters, etc. that all yield to the sovereign authority of Almighty God.  In fact, the Bible often points out that God uses such disasters to fulfill His divine purposes.  While we may not always understand the “whys” of the tragedies we face, we can rest assured that it all comes under the sovereign hand of the One who created and saved us.

This sovereign God who controls all things loves us so much that He sent His Son to die for us.  He who did not spare His own Son, “but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32).  In other words, since the Lord has already given us eternal life through His Son, we know that He will not withhold anything from us which we need.  He is so sovereign that we can take comfort in knowing that He is in control of every detail of every event in the world.  Be comforted by the fact that God rules over all of creation.  Even over diseases that plague the world.

Secondly, don’t panic.  Because we belong to a sovereign God we don’t have to panic and become overwhelmed as those who have no hope.  As Christians we have all the hope in the world because of the promises God has made to us as His children.  While our circumstances may seem hopeless our hope is in Christ, not our circumstances.  Throughout history God’s people have faced what seemed like hopeless situations.  When the Israelites stood at the edge of the Red Sea with the Egyptian army closing in from behind, they probably felt as though it was the end.  But God proved otherwise.

I want to encourage all Christians everywhere that as we face this Coronavirus (or any other Red Sea moment) that God is just as alive and active in our lives today as He has been since the beginning of creation.  He has shown Himself to be true and faithful throughout history.  And this is what we are promised from our sovereign God: “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” (Romans 8:38-39).  We don’t have to panic because our sovereign God has promised to love and protect us through all things, including viruses and diseases.  Nothing can snatch a Christian from our Father’s hand (John 10:29).

Finally, let me remind us all to use common sense.  When facing plagues, pestilences, diseases, etc. we must use the good sense that God has given us.  In times like these that means:

– Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently.  Use sanitizer as much as possible.

– Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.

– If you are feeling sick and have a fever, stay at home.  If necessary, seek professional medical advice.

– Forgo handshakes and hugs.  An elbow bump or a humble bow will do just as well.

– Avoid large gatherings of people, especially indoors.

– Stay abreast of the latest updates about the spread of this virus from trustworthy medical experts and others who can guide us in how to respond.

These are practical things to consider that are not only for your own personal benefit but for the health and well being of others as well.

Much more could be said but I think we would all benefit most from spending more time in God’s Word.  Prayerfully studying the Bible is the most practical and beneficial thing we can all do at this time.  Please don’t let the temporary cancelled services at church or the postponed Bible studies cause you to neglect time alone with God and His Word.  It’s in His Word that we will find the strength and endurance we need to face this “Red Sea moment” in the history of world events.  May God be with us and help us all.

By His Grace,

Pastor Johnny