Sermons

Calm for Today’s world

Scripture: Luke 21:26, 1 Peter 5:7, 2 Timothy 1:7, Luke 4:12, Isaiah 26:3-4, 2 Chronicles 7:13-15, Philippians 4:6-7, Amos 4:6-12, Psalm 20:7, Psalm 27:1-5, 2 Timothy 3:1-5, John 8:59, 2 Corinthians 11:33, Proverbs 16:18, Numbers 14:8, Mark 8:36, Genesis 50:20, Psalms 91:3-12

Guidance in these crazy times for the whole world

INTRODUCTION

The coronavirus now dominates the news. It has now been classified as a pandemic. Extreme actions are being taken by governments to contain the spread of this disease. It is driving the stock market down. Unfortunately, it is part of the political dialogue. It is affecting commerce, travel, entertainment, and sports. You know that it is serious when Americans will close sports events. Friday, President Trump declared this crisis a national emergency.

The primary concern is not the current sickness and death count; it is the potential devastation this disease could cause. The influenza pandemic that struck in 1918 affected one-third of the world’s population. That would be 2 ½ billion people in today’s population. It is estimated to have killed 50 million people when the population was much less than it is today.i Some estimates are as high as 100 million.ii To put that in perspective, the total fatalities in World War II are estimated at 70-85 million.iii One source said, “This flu killed more people in 24 weeks than the HIV/Aids killed in 24 years.”iv These statistics explain why governmental responses to the current pandemic are so dramatic.

The Bible has a lot to say about plagues, and we can draw counsel from the word of God as to how we should respond to the current situation. As Christians, what should we personally do about the current crisis?

The COVID-19 has resulted in worldwide turmoil and panic. It is hard to imagine that a microscopic virus has turned the world upside down. The Coronavirus is spreading rapidly, and the severity of this virus is still uncertain. To be sure, there have been other pandemics and natural disasters that were more devastating, but this one seems to have resulted in a ripple effect that has virtually shut down the entire world. Keep in mind that a “pandemic” is an epidemic that has spread worldwide. Thus, the word pandemic is used because the Coronavirus has now spread across the world. This does not necessarily mean the virus is deadly, although some have died and others will probably continue to die.

These pandemics normally run their course in a number of months. However, the devastation to the world’s economy from the Coronavirus will take much longer to recover, and the cost will be enormous. This is just part of the death and destruction that the Bible warns us about when it says that the wages of sin is death. This death includes much more than just the physical death from the Coronavirus. Death involves loss, which comes in many forms: financial, mental, emotional, etc. Jesus predicted such horrific events would come upon the world. “People will faint from fear and expectation of the things that are coming on the world, because the powers of the heavens will be shaken” (Luke 21:26).

I. EXERCISE PRUDENCE AND COMMON SENSE

When Satan tempted Jesus to jump off the temple, Jesus countered the suggestion by quoting Deut. 6:16. Jesus said, “You shall not tempt the Lord your God” (Luke 4:12).v To force God’s hand by doing something so foolish is to tempt or test God. G. Campbell Morgan wrote, “The moment we do something to prove God, we are proving that we are not sure of God. Trust never employs tricks to find out whether the one trusted is trustworthy.”vi It is one thing to take a bold step of faith in obedience to God; it is another to initiate the same action for our own purposes as Satan suggested.

The COVID -19 has caused people to become fearful and panic-stricken. Therefore, many people are losing control, running scared and becoming very confused. Far more people have been stricken with panic than have actually contracted the virus. More and more people worldwide have become panic-stricken. They are very frightened and worried about the present situation. As a result, many are unable to think clearly or act reasonably. In fact, a growing number of people are too frightened to think or act normally. They have been overcome with panic. As a result, irrational thinking, erratic behavior, and bizarre actions are escalating. This is a recipe for disaster.

Here are some recent examples. A young mother reported the following that occurred on 3/13/2020. “A woman in the grocery store just pushed me and sent my cart rolling away with my young child in it, as she shouted, “DO YOU MIND?!” To further illustrate this bizarre behavior, many stores are selling out of even the most basic products. People are stockpiling everything they can get their hands on. And of course, price gouging is on the rise. A friend shared this from 3/10/2020 “This photo below is from the toilet paper aisle in our local Walmart. The bleach aisle looked just the same. I don’t get it! Why a run on toilet tissue? This is not doomsday! Good grief!”

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