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March 26, 2020

 

A Sure Cure

My Dear Friend,

     For weeks our government has instructed us how to respond to the Coronavirus pandemic: hand-washing, arm-coughing, social distancing. And we should follow their instructions.

     But that’s not the answer. We need more. It’s time we listen to God’s pandemic instructions. Why? Our situation runs deeper than germs. It's rooted in sin. So, for a sure cure we must identify a sure cause and heed God’s pandemic instructions.

     Wise King Solomon requested pandemic instructions and assistance from God: “If there be …pestilence [lit. ‘any epidemic disease with a high death rate’] then hear thou from heaven … and forgive” (2 Chr. 6:28, 30). The Bible reveals three vital facts: who sends pandemics, why they come, and how they cease.


WHO SENDS PANDEMICS

      God responded to Solomon’s prayer by revealing He personally controls if and when pandemics touch His covenant people: “If I send pestilence among my people…” (2 Chr. 7:13; cf. Jn. 19:11). So, God sometimes sends pandemics. To harm us? No, just the opposite. He yearns to bless us. But we must learn this message: our holy God won’t tolerate sin among His people! So, if He sends pandemics it is only to teach us this vital lesson and turn us back to Him so He may restore His presence and blessings among us.


WHY PANDEMICS COME

      The Bible reveals seven causes of pandemics (“plagues” or “pestilence”). They are: (1) Rebellion against authority, especially God’s appointed leaders (Num. 16:41-50); (2) Idolatry and immorality (Num. 25:1-9); (3) Disobedience to God’s Word (Deut. 28:58-61); (4) Pride, especially in leaders (2 Sam. 24:1-25); (5) Child sacrifice, today abortion (Jer. 19:1-8); (6) Persistently rejecting Jesus as Savior and Lord (Rev. 6:8; Matt. 24:7); and (7) Food lust (gluttony) (Num. 11:33-34).

     No small matter, pestilence is one of God’s four signature judgments (Ezek. 14:21). And this Coronavirus is no accident that aimlessly drifted our way from Wuhan, China. It is a divine judgment. Its cause is our stubborn sins, those above and many others (homosexuality, invalid divorce, occultism, and so forth). And not just unbelievers but Christians have practiced these sins deliberately and impenitently. So, as one Christian leader put it, a “day of reckoning” has now befallen us with this inescapable pandemic. Has God acted hastily? Has He forgotten to be gracious?

     Just the opposite! We have allowed an epidemic far more deadly and contagious than Coronavirus to spread unchecked through our churches for decades: the sin virus! Christians have increasingly adopted biblically forbidden behaviors as acceptable while many leaders have agreed or looked the other way. Consequently, the church in this nation is deathly ill. Christ’s holy body of believers has become deeply infected with unholy views and behaviors. Yet God has been very forbearing, twice sparing us from deadly pandemics. In 2003, the Avian flu, though threatening, never morphed into the raging global pandemic many health officials feared. And in 2008, the super-deadly Ebola virus, which killed many in Africa, only infected a handful of US citizens. (He also graciously saw us through two great crises, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and the near collapse of our banking system in September 2008, both of which could have been catastrophic.)

     Now, however, the time and situation are drastically different. The “space to repent” Christ has allotted has run out. Like Balaam, we’ve gone on in deliberate sins so long we’ve reached a place where we cannot turn to the left or right and the Angel of the Lord stands before us with drawn sword. When the previous viruses threatened us, we paid little attention because they killed only a few. So, we did not change our ways. Now our public has become far more pagan and churches much more lukewarm. And the time is up. God is calling us to account. This time there will be no easy escape followed by a return to our sinful status quo.

HOW PANDEMICS CEASE


     The Scriptures reveal a sure cure: “If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways…” (2 Chronicles 7:14). Today “my people” called by “my name” speaks of not ethnic Jews but born-again Christians. We must acknowledge our own “wicked” ways and turn from them to God. We must “pray” for His mercies in the midst of His judgment, as Habakkuk did (Hab. 3:2). This requires us to “humble ourselves” instead of calling unbelievers to do so. And we must urgently “seek my face,” desiring to know God and seek His favor by childlike trust and obedience and open-hearted worship. Not meeting these conditions has brought this pestilence; meeting them will cause it to go.

     Indeed, if we meet God’s conditions He promises to “heal” the very “pestilence” He has sent among us: “Then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14). So, life and death are before us, but no third option. Our “space to repent” has expired. We cannot go farther in sin. Though His sword is drawn, the Angel of the Lord is pleading for us to turn. And this donkey is speaking His message! Our future is now wholly in our hands.

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      If we reject God’s plea, this pandemic may well become a catastrophe. If we repent⸺and, yes, this is a call for born-again, Bible-believing Christians throughout this nation to change their ways⸺God will send a cure. A sure cure.

     He may sovereignly turn back the rapid community spread of the Coronavirus. Or He may enable our scientists to rapidly discover antibodies and manufacture vaccines. Or He may release a new wave of divine healing through a cleansed, repentant church that “heals” our land. But make no mistake: whatever method He chooses, His cure will be sure. If we respond!

     Now we’ve heard our government’s pandemic instructions and we’ve heard God’s. One is natural, the other spiritual. One is human, the other divine. One is superficial, the other fundamental. One is uncertain, the other sure. We’ve responded to our government. Let’s respond to our God and expectantly watch for His sure cure.

Responding, watching,

Greg Hinnant
Greg Hinnant Ministries

       Greg Hinnant Ministries
PO Box 788, High Point, NC 27261
1-336-882-1645