in light of eternity
True Comfort in global crisis
Germs, pathogens, viruses—we live in a world full of health concerns. However, we become even more aware of disease when the risk of sickness and death increases. So we wash our hands, disinfect surfaces, and avoid personal contact. These measures can help protect our physical health, but what can we do for our spiritual health? Uncertainty can quickly turn into anxiety, fear, and even panic. Times like these point out a deeply felt need for security—something or someone in whom we can place our confidence. Jesus Christ is that source of peace.
The natural question is: How can someone who lived over 2,000 years ago give us real peace in a global crisis? This is a valid question. The answer lies in the understanding that Jesus is the Son of God, and therefore all-powerful. It is a historical fact that He rose from the dead three days after He was placed in the tomb. Jesus is alive right now! Before He returned to heaven, He said, “My peace I give unto you... Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27). Jesus Christ offers peace in two primary ways. First, when Jesus died on the cross, He paid the penalty for our sin, making it possible for us to be forgiven and released from the burden of guilt. Second, because Jesus gives eternal life to all who receive Him by faith as their personal Saviour, we can have peace in knowing what will happen to us after we die.
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has shocked the world. Rapidly spreading across the globe, it has affected hundreds of thousands of lives. The death toll grows steadily by the day. Many people are asking themselves, What would happen if I were to be infected? Would I die? Thankfully, the answer is, most likely not. But if you were to die (and we will all die someday), where will you spend eternity? Will you go to heaven, or will you go to hell? This is a sobering question!
The Spiritual pandemic of Sin
Because of sin (the breaking of Godʼs law), death and sickness are a part of our world. When Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden, mankind became infected by a rebellious nature against God. We are sinners both by nature and by choice. Romans 3:23 tells us, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” and Romans 3:10 says “There is none righteous, no, not one.” God is perfect, and He is holy—completely sinless. Because of our sin, we fall impossibly short of His perfect standard. Imagine trying to leap across the Grand Canyon in a single bound. No matter how hard you try, you will always fall short! Likewise, no matter how hard you try to please God, you will always fall short of His standard of perfect holiness.
THE FEAR OF CORONAVIRUS
the just penalty for sin
The penalty for our rebellion and disobedience against God is clear in Romans 6:23, which tells us that “...the wages of sin is death.” This does not refer to a mere physical death, but rather, to an eternal separation from God in punishment for our sin. God, who is perfectly just, must judge sin. The Bible says, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25).
The punishment for our sins is death in hell. Revelation 21:8 says,
“But the fearful, and un- believing ... and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” Jesus, who cannot lie, described hell as “everlasting fire” in Matthew 18:8. The Bible elsewhere describes hell as a place of torment: a place of physical pain, mental anguish, and social isolation (Luke 16:23-28).
None of the pain, isolation, or illness we might experience in this world compares to the suffering a person will experience in hell.
Truth be told, we fear the coronavirus because we are afraid of death, and if you have never been forgiven of your sins you have every reason to fear death! Here is a fair question: according to the truth
of Godʼs Word, if you died right now, where do you deserve to go? Heaven, or hell? According to the Bible, we all deserve hell. But keep reading—there is good news!
Although we all deserve hell, there is good news: you donʼt need to fear death! God has given us a solution and cure for our most crucial need. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Jesus Christ, the perfect, divine Son of God, took the punishment that we deserve for all of our sins! 1 Peter 2:24 says, “Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”
When Jesus died on the cross, He cried, “It is finished!” At that moment, the debt for all your sins was paid in full! Three days after Jesus died He rose again from the grave, defeating sin and hell. His bodily resurrection proves His victory over sin and death. Jesus now offers to you the forgiveness of sin, the credit of His right- eousness, and the gift of eternal life with Him in heaven. This is a fantastic offer! How then does this cure—this forgiveness of sins—become yours? It is so simple: the Bible says that it is accepted by faith. You cannot work for it; “...it is the gift of God: not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:9). Just as you receive a gift by reaching out and taking it, you receive Godʼs gift by accepting Jesus by faith.
The Simple Cure for sin
Jesus is the cure for sin. Each of us has the responsibility to personally receive Jesus as our Saviour and Lord. The decision is simple: choose to depend on Jesus—that He died, was buried, and rose again to pay the penalty for your sin. Ask in faith for this gift of salvation, believing that if you ask, you will receive it. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Call upon the Lord Jesus today, and ask Him to save you from your sin! Trust in Him alone for salvation. He promises to forgive all those that call upon Him. Will you accept His free gift of salvation? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ today, and you will have the assurance that your sins are forgiven and that heaven is your eternal home. You will never need to fear death again.