The ongoing hoopla about closed churches during a national pandemic is, ironically, nearly ungodly. Protesting government officials, threatening lawsuits, and wasting money and energy point to a self serving faith, not selfless faith. Is it really God’s call to rebel when our resources should go to serve? Many churches, run on a business model, have their own bottom line motivation. Closed churches though, can serve to refine and grow our faith more than ever.
Firstly, separating ourselves from the social gathering of others, the planned format of worship and social chatter can clarify our foundation of faith. Do we find our spiritual fulfillment in our social gathering, singing, and sermons or does church serve to embellish the intimacy we have already with the Lord? Do we have intimacy with our Savior, as a Bride to her Bridegroom?
Intimacy is measured in private, not corporate settings. Closed churches should lead to open prayer closets – that’s where our true spiritual life and growth take place.
Secondly, our gatherings are not squelched due to oppression or persecution but for a global health crisis. When life drastically changes, shouldn’t we then beseech God for His change in agenda? If sovereign God shuts down normalcy, shouldn’t our hearts be shaken toward Him and His word? God is speaking into hearts during this pandemic with a call to press into His word. We need to hear Him speak to us without a choir, pulpit, coffee hour or book table because thirdly….
all those things may be gone. One day we may have to stand alone and know what we stand for. Pandemics, crisis, wars, calamities…birth pains…do we know the scriptures well enough and understand eschatology – the study of the end times – to gauge our life in this crucial ticking clock?
The Apostles’ message of salvation did not go forth without proclaiming the truth of Christ’s return. That anticipation is the framework from which Christian life was grounded. Today, however, everyone wants to ‘be saved’ by ‘praying a prayer’ but few understand the deep reality from what they are saved! We are saved from the coming wrath of God, an unpopular and nearly forgotten truth.
The Body of Christ has a joy not found in happy-clappy songs, motivational sermons, or social group activities. Perhaps there’s a place for them but our joy must transcend anything and any relationship in this temporal world. If the Bible is true and it is, worse days are coming. Covid-19 is merely a test run for what the word of God proclaims prior to Christ’s return.
With the pandemic of apostasy, closed churches may be God’s hand in drawing us alone to Him for His counsel, His healing, His leadership and His revelation of where we stand as His Bride. After the Lord’s sacrifice for our sin, His call for His people is to be ready, be alert, and be watchful, with lamps filled with oil, anticipating the Bridegroom…
“Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory unto Him! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready…” (Rev 19:7)
The world may shut down but heaven will not. I pray that we as a people press in, find our sanctuary at home with the Holy Spirit, and hear what the scriptures proclaim about our day, our calamity, and His return and His call upon us.
“He who endures to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 24:13)