Corona & Grace
This week, we’re going to go through a biblical commentary on modern events this morning called “Corona & Grace.” The virus called COVID-19 is causing hysteria and panic. Many restrictions have been put in place to stop the spread of the virus. It’s an interesting time to watch the response of the church to this situation. Situations like the one we are in are intended by God to bring out the “best” in us and to return us to the true nature of the faith and the primacy of our calling. You see, a virus far worse than Corona infested the church several years ago.
Grace is amazing and we survive on it, so let’s define it again. Grace is God “leaning” towards us. It means He inclines Himself to us to bless us; it is an endowment of God and impartation of His nature to those upon whom He has shown mercy and to those who have accepted this gift by faith. Grace changes people! Sin and the acceptance of sin in our culture has caused great damage, and because of the increase of sin and ultimate rejection of God, people have become insecure, not knowing who they are, feeling shallow and intensely alone. The church of Jesus saw who they were dealing with and began to give them the message of grace. We as a church are all a product of grace, and we shouldn’t be able to function without it. But the grace we gave our culture has left them in a perpetual state of sin, selfishness, and insecurity. They took the message that God would love them in spite of their weaknesses and sins to mean that God would tolerate those weaknesses and sins and forgive the products of them even if they were unrepentant. This leads us to our main scripture reference for today.
I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
So I want to remind you, though you already know these things, that Jesus[a] first rescued the nation of Israel from Egypt, but later he destroyed those who did not remain faithful. And I remind you of the angels who did not stay within the limits of authority God gave them but left the place where they belonged. God has kept them securely chained in prisons of darkness, waiting for the great day of judgment. And don’t forget Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns, which were filled with immorality and every kind of sexual perversion. Those cities were destroyed by fire and serve as a warning of the eternal fire of God’s judgment. /// Jude 1:4-7 (NLT)
So we have to ask, why would God allow something like COVID-19 to happen now? Well it’s pretty easy to see that it is at least in part to shake our belief in everything but Him! To stop our focus upon man and return it to God, and to get shaken loose from the doctrine of “greasy” grace so that we don’t have to be purified through the fire of tribulation. We have to be careful not to become a lukewarm church who believes it’s okay spiritually but that actually makes God sick!
The purpose for Corona for the world is to get them to recognize their need for God. The purpose for Corona for the church is to get us to return to God. This is all part of God’s mercy. What discipline we undergo now keeps us from judgment in the future. It’s time for the church to return to the root of total dependence on God in holiness, purity, and obedience. This is designed to be a purifying agent for us, not one that kills us, but we mustn’t kid ourselves. We love to quote this scripture of victory from Revelation 12: “And they overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…”. However, we always seem to leave out the last part which is a key component: “… and they did not love their lives unto the death.”
This is our finest hour! Will we rise to the occasion or pass away? This will probably be over at some point. It just doesn’t follow the lines of a true biblical plague. So we need to ask what will follow and examine how we can respond when the situation is truly dire. God intends a gathering of disciples that are powerful in Spirit, ready to do their Father’s will at all costs! A spotless church adorned for the return of her Savior! The church has always shone under fire, because it purifies us to the extent that we look like Jesus and begin to love the things He loves and do the things He does!
Grace doesn’t excuse sin—it destroys it! Grace doesn’t glorify weakness—it strengthens it! Grace isn’t a crutch for people who are insecure and without purpose—it is a resurrection into newness of life!
- Jude 1:4-7 (NLT)
- Revelation 12:11 (NKJV)
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