April 23, 2020by Reverend Dan on April 23, 2020
“I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.”
Tsunami. Hurricane. Tornado. Nuclear war. Terrorists. Mass shootings. Coronavirus. All impotent against the church. Nothing will defeat, crush, overthrow, conquer, or eliminate the church. Nothing. Not even the gates of hell. When everything else is gone and made new, the only things that will remain will be love and the bride of Christ, the church.
It’s good to be reminded of that every once in a while, especially during times like these. But do we really understand the depth of this promise? You see, the church . . . is you and me. Not a building. Not a campus. Not a TV show. The church is simply people redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. The body of believers who face life and all its challenges together as one. We need to remember that whether we are sitting in the plushest of sanctuaries, or in our worn and beaten recliners, we are held together and connected by the blood of Jesus. All congregations, all over the world.
Sometimes I think we forget that as a people of faith, we need to live by faith. And that means not by sight. Right now, it is hard to see past what’s right in front of our eyes. The virus, the suffering, the death, the uncertainty. As Christians, however, it is faith in these uncertain times that defines us. Faith. Hope and trust and belief in the promise of a new and better tomorrow and in the God who holds all of it in the palm of His hand.
That means we need to do more than just sit and worry. As prayer warriors, we are called to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. Assault the throne of God with prayer and storm the gates of hell with shouts of victory. (And quit fighting folks in the grocery store for toilet paper. There’s enough to go around and doing that makes Christians look hypocritical.)
“So, do not fear for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous hand.” Isaiah heard this from God and brought that message to all of us. To the church. A message from a sovereign God reminding us that He is over everything; always has been and always will be. This virus does not diminish the sovereignty of God, it doesn’t “prove” that He’s not in charge. Living in a fallen, sinful world is why things like this happen. It is God’s sovereignty in redeeming us from our sin that will be our victory and His Glory.
Today, claim your place in the body of Christ. Loudly and boldly pronounce, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ”. As brothers and sisters of a sovereign God, we must link our hearts and face this enemy like we do all others: together. Jesus said, “a house divided cannot stand” (that’s right, Abraham Lincoln was just borrowing the phrase). Conversely, a house built upon the foundation of the blood of Calvary cannot be defeated. It is eternal.
“Father, Be with us this day and every day as we continue to be Your church. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.”