Covid-19: What Should be our Focus?
Where should our focus be during the Covid-19 pandemic? Before answering that question, let me ask you another one. How seriously do we believe in eternity?
We have heard it stated that with Jesus Christ every person faces an endless hope – an eternity in the presence of God Himself. Without Christ, every person faces a hopeless end – an eternity separated from God. If we really believe that I would argue that the people who need us the most are those who are most susceptible to the disease. That would of course, be the elderly and especially those with underlying health issues.
What greater favor could you do such a person than to share with them the life-giving message of Jesus Christ? It does not matter what you made available to them – even a vaccine, if there were one. There would be no guarantee that they would survive the disease. But should they receive the message of Jesus Christ and trust Him to save them, even if death comes, there is only a “so long” since it will only be so long till you see them again. There is no good-bye.
Does that mean we rush up to all those most susceptible to the virus and exclaim, “You are dying. Let me tell you about Jesus.”? Of course not. It does mean talking to them in a tactful way should be a priority with us. Our major concern with the Covid-19, especially those most vulnerable to its effect, should be that they have the certainty that their last breath here is followed their first breath in His presence.
That means we begin by asking God for a door of opportunity to speak to them. He has to open doors for people to be interested in hearing the gospel. But since the salvation of the lost is more important to God than to us, He will open them. So, as Paul the apostle did, ask God for doors of opportunity. (Colossians 4:3)
In talking to them assure them your greatest desire is that they not be afflicted with the disease. But assure them as well that if something were to happen, your even greater desire is to know you would see them again in the presence of God. That then allows you to ask a very simple question. “Has anyone ever taken a Bible and shown you how you can be 100 % certain that you are going to heaven?”
Bear in mind most people come to Christ in the midst of a crisis – loss of a job, health, mate, friend. When people sense they are out of control is when they are often most open to listening you talk about the One who is in control.
It’s with that door that you can explain the four things every person must understand which we often refer to as the Bad News Good News plan of salvation. We are sinners (Romans 3:23), the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), Christ died for our sin (Romans 5:8), and we can be saved through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). Remember that as a non-Christian, they are probably thinking they must work their way to heaven by doing good, being baptized, going to church, keeping the commandments, or taking the sacraments. It is your privilege to explain to them that eternal life is a free gift because Christ already paid the price when He died for us. They have to simply receive that free gift by trusting Christ alone as their only way to heaven.
Should they want to settle their eternal destiny right there and then, you might lead them in a prayer as they tell God that as a sinner, they recognize that Christ died for them and are trusting Him as their only way to heaven. Share with them the promise of John 5:24 that, having trusted Christ, eternal life is guaranteed – by God!
NOW more than ever as we are faced with Covid-19 our major concern should be those most vulnerable to the disease. What greater thing to offer them than the message of the life-giving gospel.
But wait a minute. Remember EVERONE is vulnerable. My son in New Jersey told me last week of a man in his 30’s in perfect health who died of the disease. That is why this needs to be a time of reaching out to anybody and everybody with the great news of Jesus Christ. Covid-19 ought to remind every believer that there is nothing his contacts need to hear more in light of the uncertainty of life than those ten beautiful words that compose the gospel- Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead. Let’s tell everybody!
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