HEALING FROM THE CORONAVIRUS PLAGUE
Whatever the source, the coronavirus crisis is a plague allowed by God. Christians, as well as sinners may be affected by this plague, just as Israel was affected somewhat by some of the plagues upon Egypt. Israel was brought to repentance and readiness to leave Egypt, Egypt was plagued to encourage them to repent. In our day, God is wanting to get the church awakened and ready for the rapture, and He is wanting to save repentant sinners so they may be raptured also.
There have been plagues down throughout history. Millions have died from plagues over the centuries. None of us would want to live in an area, during a time of a plague. Finding the cure for this corona virus, takes time, and many die before that can be done.
The church often thinks that there is no plague that could come to the church, God is love, the church is pure, and no punishment ever comes to Christians. That assumption that there is no plague, is not Scriptural.
There are many examples in the Bible of plagues being sent upon people in the Bible. We read these and yet, there is little awareness of the fact that plagues still afflict people today. Most realize that the tribulation period is abundant with plagues on the sinners. Why are Christians not aware of the plagues that are for the church age, and in fact, are for those in the congregations of our own time.
There are spiritual laws, and the law of sowing and reaping are still in effect today. The Bible makes it plain, and our ‘dogma’ may try to erase many verses from the Bible, but God keeps re-inserting them. His Word is eternal, and we cannot change it, we need to change.
Galatians 6:7 (KJV)
"Be not deceived, God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."
There are many who are deceived. They think that they can sow bitterness, spiritual abuse against others, lies, anger, gossip, strife, etc. in the church, and God will look the other way. God takes sin very seriously. What Christians sow, they will reap. The law of sowing and reaping is just as true for the church, as for the world.
The Bible is full of warnings:
Revelation 22:18-19 (NKJV)
"For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the Holy City, and from the things which are written in this book."
This prophecy is written for the church age, and shows that God still uses plagues on people in this age. We would like to delegate plagues to the Old Testament, to the tribulation, or to just the non-religious. It makes us uncomfortable to think of plagues on the Christian church, the ones in our own midst. However, we must rightly divide the Word of God, and honestly look at what the Scriptures say.
The Greek word for "plague" is the word - "plege". This word means "wound", "stripe", "stroke", and "calamity". The Lord does chasten those that He loves with "stripes." To the church at Laodicea, which represents the predominant church of the last days, the Lord Jesus says:
Revelation 3:19 (NKJV)
"As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous therefore and repent."
This shows that the purpose of plagues is the chastening of the people. The Lord sends plagues to make some lethargic, apathetic, rebellious ones to become more zealous of repentance and to change from their sinful ways. The Lord sends plagues to make them realize God's displeasure, and lack of blessing. When plagues are sent by God, some will repent. Therefore the purpose of God in plaguing His people is to bring them back to Him in repentance.
Hosea 5:15 (KJV)
"...in their affliction, they will seek Me early (first)..."
One of the reasons for this plague affecting the church as well as the sinners is the church’s LACK OF REPENTANCE, and the CONDONING OF SINS IN THIS WORLD.
Revelation 2:22 (NKJV)
"Indeed, I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds."
In the congregations of these last days, there, regrettably, are many who sin. I have witnessed some who teach false doctrines, spread heresy, split congregations, chase out pastors, lie about others, gossip, abuse physically and spiritually, and then will not repent of these sins.
In most of these same congregations, there are some who will condone SINS IN THIS WORLD. Sexual sins, lying, killing of the unborn, etc. Are often condoned by some in the church. They may think they are exercising love and acceptance, but they are in actuality becoming partakers of the sins of these others. These enablers are likewise to be judged by the Lord. Much sin is condoned by the enablers. The sin is horrible enough, but the refusal to exhort, and correct these unrepentant, hard-hearted, self-willed sinners - is appalling to God. God will judge.
The Lord says the ones who are unrepentant sinners will face a plague of sickness. Plagues will become more and more evident as we approach the rapture time.
Some who do not brazenly go back to sin, sit in comfortable pews and "vegetate." They do not serve God ardently, and they do not serve the devil with any great zeal either. The Lord is tiring of such pew fillers. He sends a warning to such.
Revelation 3:16 (NKJV)
"So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth."
The language is blunt, and the reality is frightening. Yet, the Word clearly states that God will not tolerate lukewarmness in these last days. He wants to return and rapture a church that is without spot or wrinkle, but the church is too much filled with sinners, abusers, enablers, and lukewarm people.
God must judge, condemn, and plague the church to effect a change in time for the rapture. It is a dangerous time to be a pew-filler Christian. God is going to stir up those in the congregations to being "hot" for Him, or cool them off to "cold" for the enemy. He will force the pew-fillers to make a choice!
The language is strong and descriptive. It sounds horrible, but what is saying is that He wants us to be ‘hot’ for Him, and will force us, in these last days to make a choice, so He can come back for a church without spot or wrinkle. Many will choose to be hot for the Lord, some will allow the coldness to continue, I fear. Let’s pray for them. This plague is but one attempt of God to awaken the church to repentance.
HEALING FOR THE PLAGUE OF CORONAVIRUS
We need to live the way the Lord has commanded. If we do or have failed in any way, we must REPENT. That is not an ugly word, it is a word of ‘restoration’. It is not fearful to repent, for we repent to a loving, restorative Lord Who has been interceding for us to repent.
REPENTANCE IS CONTINUED RECONCILIATION WITH GOD.
II Corinthians 5:17-21
"Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation, old things are passed away; behold all things are become new. And all things are of God, Who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them, and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For He hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him."
Repentance is the method we continue to ‘reconcile’ ourselves with God. We do not lose our salvation for failure, weakness, sin. We did not reject the Lord when we failed, but we did lose a bit of the righteousness in which He clothed us, we are not ‘holy’. God reconciled us to Himself, by Jesus’ work on the cross, and yet, we are told in the passage above, to ‘be ye reconciled’ for the process of spiritual battle goes on between our wretched man, and our spiritual man.
When we are saved, we become "new creations". The literal Greek words for that phrase means "a new species which never existed before, completely re-created.” In other words, we are completely reborn, and we are to appropriate the benefits of this rebirth.
"Ye have put off the old man, and put on the new man."
The process of ‘putting on the new man’ is a continual process, and we put him on, via repentance for our failures. This new person that we have become is clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. We do not wear the old unrighteousness that we once wore. Refusal to repent is choosing to wear the sinful garment we put on with our sin.
REPENTANCE IS HUMBLE ADMISSION OF OUR FAILURES. We all have sinned, and continue to fail. None of us are perfect. There is in I John a verse that like the rest of the book is written to Christians.
I John 1:8
"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us."
The battle with sin continues in this life till we are called home to heaven. Some want to claim a sinless perfection, but they cannot truthfully say that they do not occasionally sin. The Christian will sometimes still "fall short of the glory of God."
Yet, we can still be righteous. Righteousness is not a goody-goody way of acting. It is not something we have to strive to get our works perfect enough to obtain. The Bible says that "all our righteousness is as filthy rags." (Isaiah 64:6) The righteousness of God is given to us as a free gift. (II Corinthians 5:21).
The word translated righteousness means "in right standing." When a person accepts Jesus, the person is moved into a place of right standing with God. We don't get righteous by our works, but by relationship with Jesus. He gives us righteousness in the process of reconciling us to God, and bringing us into a place of right standing with God.
II Corinthians 5:19
"...not imputing their trespasses unto them."
We want, throughout our lives here, to keep that ‘righteousness of Jesus’ on our person. Sin puts on the ‘unrighteous spiritual rags’, and repentance removes them.
When we become saved, God no longer holds our former trespasses against us. Because we have no sins being held against us - we have a position of right standing, i.e. righteousness with God. With this new nature that we have been given there are many benefits. We need to realize that righteousness is a free gift of God. He chooses to make us righteous, and all we have to do is accept this gift.
"Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."
Are you righteous? ? ? The answer should be "YES". The blood of Jesus did not simply cover your sin over when you were saved. No! Rather, the blood of Jesus remitted your sin. It did away with your sin completely. You, as a saved person, are RIGHTEOUS:
"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus."
REPENTANCE IS AWAKENING THE NEW MAN:
I Corinthians 15:34
"Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame."
"Awake" means to become alert to this "righteousness". The lack of being aware of this RIGHTEOUSNESS does become sinful to many Christians. It keeps them from victory. It leaves them unshielded from the "fiery darts" of the enemy. It allows the devil to make you feel defeated and worthless. It makes the devil a victor over you. Repentance is not something horrible, it is an awakening to the glory of the righteousness of Jesus, with which we can be clothed, and protected.
REPENTANCE IS MORTIFYING THE DEEDS OF THE BODY:
"For they that are after the flesh, do mind the things of the flesh... to be carnally minded is death... the carnal mind is enmity with God... if ye shall live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live."
REPENTANCE IS ACCESSING THE MINISTRY OF JESUS:
As RIGHTEOUS PERSONS IN CHRIST, we have complete and total access to the ministry of Jesus. Since we have His righteousness, we can do the works of His ministry. We need to personally repent, and cease condoning sins of the world:
"He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also."
"...let this same mind be in you, which was in Christ Jesus."
We need to have this same humble, but righteous mind in us. We can therefore go forth with a ministry for God, and show the world the loving Savior Who desires to save them from their sinful ways. We need to repent and then claim the righteousness of the Lord to replace the filthy rags our sins re-applied to our lives. Then we can have confidence to cast out devils, lay hands on the sick, speak forth a brave witness for our Lord.
I Peter 1:14-16
"As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as He Who has called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy, for I am holy."
To be holy, we need to flee from all things and thoughts that would defile us. We need to set ourselves apart from those deeds of sinfulness for which we repented at salvation. We repent of those failures, so that we can be ‘holy’, i.e. set apart to Him. To be near to God, we must set ourselves apart from sin:
"...our old man is crucified in Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin."
Since we were freed from the guilt of sin at salvation, we were holy that moment of salvation. That type of holiness was instantaneous with salvation. Our sinful lusts, passions, evil conduct, deceit, covetousness, wrath, blasphemy, etc. all died with the "old man" at the moment of salvation. We became dead to sin, and alive with Christ. We were holy, sanctified. The blood of Jesus had completely cleansed us from all sin.
We are to progress in that sanctification as we continue in our Christian life: Romans 6:13, 19
"Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin, but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God... even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness."
I John 1:7
"If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth (literally -keeps on cleansing) us from all sin."
Holiness is the maintenance of the relationship with Jesus. Holiness is letting the Lord to continuously cleanse us from sin, and repentance is the blessed way in which we have the privilege to come to Jesus, have all sins removed, and then walk in the light with Him, in all holiness. This ‘repentance’ that John kept reminding us of, in the discussion of the plagues, is the healing catharsis agent of restoration.
The coronavirus plague is to bring the church to repent of its sin of condoning the sins of this day, and to bring the world to repent of their sins and to accept Jesus as their Savior.