We’re all aware of the current pandemic affecting the globe. COVID-19 has taken over all of our lives, affecting businesses, relationships, church, recreation, and more. We’ve entered a reality that we never imagined and yet it feels…biblical.
People who haven’t touched a Bible in a decade are searching scriptures for answers. Are we experiencing a plague? Are we in the midst of “end times”? Where is Jesus in all of this?
When looking solely at sadness and symptoms, our focus strays from living and lingers too long on dying.
I finally stopped checking the county, state, and national stats for COVID-19, but for the first two weeks of this self-isolation period, I obsessed over it. I scrolled down to see the total cases and deaths. I frequently Googled symptoms in hopes that I wouldn’t become one of those numbers. I stressed over it, shared it, and let the fear of those numbers keep me home.
Once the fear is gone, all that we have left is death.
There are many big headlines from big media outlets saying things about padded COVID-19 death numbers. They’re saying that anyone who dies for whatever cause is classified as a COVID-19 death during this current pandemic. They’re saying that hospitals and doctors have been instructed to do so. They’re saying that it’s about money (and isn’t everything?).
There are still more posts and articles about how ridiculous this COVID-19 scare is when compared with other killers like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Why are we giving the pandemic so much attention and restriction when automobiles and swingsets kill people too?
After nearly four full weeks of living this way, with lots of time to think and read (while I’m not playing Mario and homeschooling my kids), I’ve come to the conclusion that every death is a pandemic death.
Scarier than COVID-19, and spreading faster and wreaking more havoc is the pandemic of sin.
There is a theory that everyone has already had the COVID-19 virus. This would mean we had it without knowing it, without serious symptoms, and possibly gave it to someone. This is not unlike another global destroyer, a debilitating disease called sin.
We have all heard Romans 3:23. It’s basically a foundation of any soul-winning Bible study. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” It’s true. All have sinned and fall short of His glory. It’s a pandemic.
Many of us might not have heard the previous verse and the one that follows, that says “even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” I urge you to finish this passage. Study it with Romans 6 where you’ll discover new truth to the old fear you hold so deep. The real fear we feel during this pandemic is death. It’s the death of our loved ones, our way of life, and our own physical life that we fear.
The cause of our death will not be COVID-19. The cause of our death is and will be sin.
The Bible says so. The Bible says that all have sinned, that the wages of sin are death, and that we have a gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. If you die, you will die because of sin. You may fight your own sin. You may go above and beyond to be better than everyone you know. You may shun sins and the people who commit them, but you will die because of sin. But, friend, if you live again it will not be because of life-sustaining measures. If you live again it won’t be due to the use of epinephrine or ventilators. It won’t be a resurrection through seance or traveling evangelist. If you live again, it will because of the Promise of God, should you accept it.
If you haven’t picked up your Bible in days or months, even years, I challenge you to now. I dare you to read Romans. If you don’t read it all, start with Romans 3 and move on to Romans 6. See if you can stop yourself from becoming folded into the promise of life even amid all this talk of fear and death.
After the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be something else to fear. There is still mental illness that steals our joy. There is still addiction, disease, and injury. There are car accidents and terrorism. There is the end of the world as we know it and as our worst fears imagine it. Then there is the inevitable death that sin promises.
But the Promise of God means life after death. How sweet and beautiful is that?
I will still stay home to protect myself and others. It is my right to do so. But, I will stop letting the anxiety of current events steal my joy. I hope you do too.
Off-topic note from the author: I’m really hoping this is my last COVID-19 post, but this was on my heart today. Happy Tuesday!