Christianity has historically been seen for its GREATNESS in times similar to the 2020 Novel Corona Virus pandemic.
Although the world enemy was different than a microscopic virus and the war against that enemy required, Sir. Winston Churchill beautifully reframed the war. In four weeks, we will celebrate the 80th anniversary of his prolific words (June 18, 1940).
We are on history’s stage at the precise time when a very real and dangerous disease has become both a physical AND spiritual war.
Even more than we need the world’s greatest minds to find a vaccine and cure, our planet needs every Christian to war against the spirit, processes and powers of anti-Christ perspectives.
The spirit of anti-Christ is seeking to reframe his diabolical agenda in positive terms of human sustainability, health and wellness.
On the surface the issues are framed, “This is for personal and global good.” Anti-Christ spirit however is working behind the scenes not for personal or global good, but for the overthrow of the kingdom of God on the earth.
The spirit of anti-Christ is actively pursuing the end-time agenda of darkness by manipulating mental models, fear and issues of power and control throughout the whole world.
The spirit of anti-Christ is well served should Christians be turned against each other over non-eternal issues such as mask or no mask, gather or don’t gather, isolate or quarantine, constitutional rights or moral responsibility?
The Spirit of Christ, on the other hand, is identifying fully committed disciples from the partially committed and is birthing a gigantic global move of people to God.
Issues have been framed as, “Democrats put lives before the economy and Republicans put the economy before lives.”
Neither of these adequately addresses the Spirit’s priority of saving the human soul for eternal life with God.
Whether we live or die (priority upon lives) is far less important than if we are eternally saved or lost.
Whether we have a booming economy or a busted economy is far less important than being eternally saved or lost.
28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28
It is my guess that more money has been spent or lost or not created in the war against this virus than all the money ever spent on missions endeavors throughout Christian history.
While we make a great fight for our economy, which is urgently needed, and while we unflinchingly fight for the saving of the physical lives of the world, we keep our primary focus on the saving of souls unto eternal life in Christ.
Below the surface of pandemic jargon and vernacular the Spirit of God is at work for the saving of souls and the advancement of God’s kingdom on earth.
The chief weapon in our battle for souls is God given love.
35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35
The glue that holds Christ’s team together in this war is love.
8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:8-11
To avoid cooperation with the spirit of anti-Christ, we trust the Spirit of Christ to empower us to excel in Christian love.
We excel in Christian love because Jesus reveals that loving God and neighbor is required to inherit eternal life.
25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” Luke 10:25-28
The question is very clear, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”
The answer is equally clear, “Love God and neighbor.”
Our eternal inheritance requires us to excel in love. Thanks be to God; He gives us the ability to excel in love through His Spirit.
Walking in freedom, we excel in Christian love by limiting our rights for the sake of love.
In Romans 14 the Apostle Paul highlights two matters of conscience that were hindering the Roman church from excelling in love.
First, they were not excelling in love because of heated debate between eating meat or vegetables.
Second, they were not excelling in love because of disagreement about “holy” days.
Maybe Paul would say to us today, “Excel in loving even in the deeply held beliefs of mask or no mask? Gather or don’t gather?”
Paul reveals that excelling in love on matters of conscience requires:
- Do not despise the person who differs from you. Vs. 3
- Do not pass judgement. Vs. 3
- Be fully convinced in your own mind. Vs. 5
- And be faithful to that of which you are convinced.
- Because we won’t stand in front of each other for judgement, but before God. Vs. 10
- “So then each of us will give an account of himself before God.” Vs. 12
We excel in Christian love when walking in freedom, we limit our rights for the sake of love.
We excel in Christian love because it is our most powerful testimony to the very souls we are commissioned to reach.
The need of the hour is for the world to be convinced that Jesus is God’s Son and eternal life is found only in Him.
We love one another deeply through the power of the Holy Spirit “so that the world may know” the truth about Jesus and come to know Him personally.
23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. John 17:23
When we excel in Christian love we proclaim that the Christian’s primary ministry during the global pandemic isn’t masks or no masks, distancing or no distancing, gathering or not gathering, but loving one another deeply from the heart.
Knowing Christian love is required….
Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties,
And so bear ourselves,
That if the history of our church lasts for a thousand years,
People will say,
“This was their finest hour.”
Online Bible Fellowship Homework
Listen – My Story
- Do you have a story of receiving God’s love?
- Do you have a favorite experience of giving God’s love?
Learn – Digging Deeper
Read 1 Corinthians 13
- The word “If” is highlighted in verses 1-3. Why? What is Paul’s point?
- The word “is” is highlighted in verses 4-7. What is love?
- Verses 8-13 highlight the eternality of love. What ends and what lasts? Why?
Life – Taking it Home
- What is the Holy Spirit saying to you through this lesson?
- How can your Online Bible Fellowship help you excel in Christian love?
Lift – Prayer
- Is there an area of life in which you hope to love more like Christ?
- Pray for those who placed their trust in Jesus for salvation this past week.
- Receive prayer requests and pray one for the other.
- Please pray for the MCA congregations both at home and around the world, especially for their finances.