Palm Sunday is certainly different though, not unusual this year as pestilence goes. The world is under siege by a new strain of microscopic viral elements that is sickening and killing human beings by the thousands across the earth. Right out of a science fiction movie scientists are scrambling to find a remedy and governments to quell panic and effect policies such as social distancing that are hoped will slow the spread of the Coronavirus or Covid-19. Meanwhile, the unsaved “where’s God in a crisis” crowd spew their blasphemy and closely related scoffing professed Christians deny He has anything do with much less to say in the midst of it. Really?
Each year for nearly 2,000 years we Christians have commemorated Palm Sunday as the one and only full on public assertion by Jesus of Nazareth to be Israel’s Messiah. He did so not with words, but the actions of fulfilling the prophet Zechariah’s prophecy of how He as the Messiah would one day enter Jerusalem--“Lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey,” (Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 21:1-11, NKJV). Later in the same week He as the Messiah would be arrested, tried and condemned to death by crucifixion fulfilling yet other prophecies of His action to save His people from their sins. God resurrected Him on the third day after certifying His successful mission (Psalm 22)!
From just the foregoing it is clear God speaks with not just words, but actions past and present as Scripture attests (Psalm 19:1-6; Romans 1:18-23). He is speaking to all the earth right now for those that will give heed! However, as the prophet Isaiah some 700 years prior cried out, “Who has believed our report” in response to Israel and the world’s unbelief at what God accomplished in His Son, Jesus Christ, to save all from sin and eternal death (Isaiah 53, NKJV), so, today, many even among professing Christianity refuse to hear Him speaking not just in the current Coronavirus, but the many foretold latter day calamities occurring in the world (Luke 21:9-11; Revelation 6:1-7).
So, what is God saying? The Coronavirus is a major magnitude “shot across the bow” to the world that God has turned a corner on His forbearance with mankind. As the Lord led me to write in social media posts that began March 15, 2020 blowing the trumpet of warning He gave me in 1986 (Ezekiel 33:1-9; Amos 3:6-8), He foretold “such things as we are experiencing in our world today would occur and uptick in the rhythms of a pregnant woman’s birth pains as Christ’s return nears (Matthew 24:3-8).” “Gracious, merciful and ‘longsuffering,’ God has given mankind nearly two millennia to get saved by Him through the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; 2 Peter 3:9, NKJV).”
“Time is about up!” “God has presently humbled the world with microscopic organisms, but worse is coming not because He hates and wants to destroy mankind, but to cause stubborn rebels that refuse to repent to look up and recognize Him as He to whom all must give an account as sinners (Isaiah 45:22-24)!” For He in love “commands all men everywhere to repent” to be saved from His coming set day to judge the world for sin (Acts 17:30-31, NKJV). This is why no God called preacher (Romans 10:14-15) should be refraining from preaching the Gospel or Christian witnessing Christ (Acts 1:8) during this Coronvirus outbreak or any calamity while comforting and helping the affected.1
Because of rampant disobedience to even the most basic commands and instructions of the biblical faith along with overflowing falsehood and apostasy, Christians and their churches are being spoken to by God too!2 Professed Christian pastors and teachers where guilty are called to repent from their own agenda, messaging and false teaching building followings, legacies and church empires.3 With many cancellations and churches not able to meet for services, God in remedial judgment has called a timeout and is making this a time for us to consider our practice of the biblical faith as stewards4 and what the Church is truly about under Christ as Lord; repenting as needed!
In a March 17th social media post I wrote, “Churchmen, this time of righteous social distancing required by governments is also God’s merciful advance look at what not being able to go to church looks like. Will you be instructing your household from the Bible and leading them in worship as God expects or has your exclusive dependence on the local church to do this for you made you clueless about how to do this as the Lord led me to write would be the case for many if there is no church to go to?”5 If not, you need to repent from your dereliction at home and co-dependence on the local church. Likewise I wrote, “Church leaders you know you are guilty and need to repent to whatever extent you have caused men and women to depend more on you and ‘the church’ than on the Lord!”
Moreover, “the world as we have known it is never going to be the same again after this Coronavirus episode. Will you be leading the church you serve to return to what in too many cases is sin in disobedience as it regards not teaching men to lead in their house or allowing them to do so in God’s or will you repent as you ought setting an example (1 Timothy 2:8-3:13; 1 Peter 5:1-4)?” As the Lord Jesus showed, God from the beginning of His Kingdom cause in the Gospel has been reaching and restoring men as His crucial assigned leaders (Matthew 4:17-22); a fact I write about in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics.6 There is much to repent from! The issue is will you hypocritically go into these holy days beginning today refusing His gracious chance to do so?
(There will not be a post on Resurrection Sunday. I will be taking it off to do as I do annually to celebrate the triumphant resurrection of my Lord and His grace to save a wretch like me on the same occasion in 1977--some 1,944 years later! Lord willing, my next post will be on April 19, 2020.)
1 Some falsely teach contrary to Scripture God is not behind this or any other calamity and only seek to comfort and help. See the January 3, 2016 post, The Never
Changing God and Now Is The Day Of Salvation posted December 4, 2016 both under the category, Call To Repent. Preachers, read also my January 10, 2016 post,
God’s Appointed Preacher, under the category, Instruction.
2 Take your pick of the many posts the Lord has had me to make under the category, Call To Repent, looking for reasons rooted in sin and disobedience He is calling
professed Christians and their churches to repentance!
3 Pastor, reflect deeply on the September 27, 2015 post, Empire Building On God’s Program, under the category, Call To Repent. You have no biblical mandate or ex-
cuse to build an empire; only your ego and selfish ambition drive you as those of old (1 Samuel 15:10-12; Daniel 4:28-30; Acts 20:28-30) and God has humbled you.
4 Read my recent two-part post, Torn Between Two Masters that began on March 15, 2020 under the category, Call To Repent.
5 Read the two-part post beginning January 5, 2020 Revelation’s Seven Churches In Time, under the category Bible Prophecy. Also, the Lord led me to write a free one
sheet resource, Men Leading Family Worship At Home. It is intended to help willing Christian men step up to lead worship in their house during this Coronavirus pan-
demic and going forward as part of their regular spiritual leadership responsibility in the home in addition to leading the family out to participate in a local church when
that option is available. Get this free resource now in the Strong Man Store!
6 Get a print copy or digital download of the book at major internet booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBooks.com and Apple (digital only). You can
also get a print copy in the Strong Man Store.
The righteous are only ever trouble to religionists when they refuse to indulge selfish motives with them in sin, go along to get along tolerating or covering up evil or corrupting and compromising the clear teaching and truth of God’s Word applied to every situation! In consequence, as I have experienced, religionists will even lie on God’s faithful stewards and misconstrue their words (Amos 7:10-11).3 Already an outsider “for the truth” (2 Corinthians 13:8, NKJV),4 because of such treachery I am an exiled Pastor too! Historically, religionists have also physically assaulted and murdered faithful stewards while deceitfully claiming to serve the same Master (John 16:1-4; Revelation 17:1-6).
Nevertheless, in accord with my calling, gifts and ministry I am not silent; proclaiming God’s will, way and Word as it is written because this is the example of every faithful Old Testament prophet, the Lord Jesus Christ, His apostles and prophets in the New! They did not shrink back from speaking truth to their religious antagonists because it was their stewardship responsibility from God (Luke 11:37-54). Opposition from religionists is not the fault of the righteous that stand up to and cry out against their wickedness. Religionists are at fault since they willfully choose to oppose God who knows their hearts and His plainly written eternally standing Word as the Lord taught (Luke 16:15-18).
Contrary to the convenient misapplication of Scripture actually intended for corrupt religionists concerning what to do with “those who cause divisions,” (Romans 16:17-18, NKJV), God expects His faithful stewards to speak up and out about sin. Paul did so with Peter who did not resist him (Galatians 2:11-21). Yet, loud and prolonged quarreling is not the Lord’s will. If submission to the Word is not forthcoming as is typical with proud religionists (Luke 16:19-31), then, the righteous without giving ground and continuing to faithfully teach gives them over to God if He might bring them to repentance, knowledge of the truth and deliverance from Satan’s control (2 Timothy 2:24-26).
During my Christian journey to date, I have painfully been aware of many men in the churches that with proud religious leaders have not chosen to make the Lord Jesus their Master to serve Him alone. If it is not the love of money that prevents this, it is wife, children, parents, siblings, friends and self invested in personal vanity, job, recreation, hobbies, cars, yards and social clubs to include the local church which is seen and treated as such; differing from those secular only in that it gives a man the outward appearance of being religious and dispatching some duty to God in his attendance, practice of traditions and involvement. To be sure, many of these men are deceived and not saved!
In defiance of Scripture, such men are impossibly attempting to be saved by keeping religious traditions and doing church works (Romans 3:9-31; Ephesians 2:8-9). Religious leadership--many not saved themselves, wickedly insist the men obey them as wise masters in their deadly deceit as they exploit them for their money and labor (Mark 7:1-23).5 A smaller number of other men are saved, but make very little progress in spiritual maturity for lack of instruction in sound doctrine and biblical manhood. They never sell out completely to the Lord as Master of their lives because they do not know it is required of them as religious leadership demands to be served as master instead.
A still smaller number of men in local churches ruled by religionists are more serious about the Lord, but for lack of a made up mind wholly given over to serve Him are torn between two masters. While the other master can be anyone or thing of those already stated, it is typically the local church and the religious requirement of leadership to be more faithful to them in service and doctrine than to the Lord--His will, way and Word as it is written! My heart has gone out to these men over the years many of whom have been dear brothers and personal friends because as others of old, their torn state is filled with fear of their religious leaders and secrecy (John 7:13, 9:13-22, 12:42-43, 19:38-39). They need repentance and courage to serve Him alone from the Lord if they are willing!6
While I too, have had a few moments over the years when fear of religious consequences have caused me to be careful of what I said and to whom I said it, I have sought the Lord for the courage needed to follow His example and that of His apostles as faithful stewards of God. Absent the Holy Spirit leading, controlling and empowering them, the disciples all ran away in fear at first in the face religious men (Mark 14:43-50). After their new birth, however, they became courageous, sold out to and stood firm as apostles and faithful stewards of Jesus Christ, their Master (Acts 4:1-22, 5:17-42). If a man has been truly born again and loves the Lord, he is never to be torn between two masters. He is loyal to Christ as his Master alone and true to His Word (Acts 4:19-20, 5:27-29)!7
3 And no wonder since they lie on God too saying, ‘“The Lord says,’” but He had not spoken (Ezekiel 13:6-7, NKJV)!
4 Truly, how can one that is a faithful born again believer in Jesus Christ and member of His Church universal ever be an “outsider” to any professed Christian local
church where He is really honored as Lord? Sin in all of its forms, unbiblical, cliquish membership requirements and nepotism through Christianity as manmade reli-
gion forces Christ and His faithful stewards to be outsiders (Colossians 2:16-23; 1 Timothy 4:1-5; Hebrews 13:9-13; Revelation 3:20)!
5 How wise really are these men since they reject and refuse to obey God’s Word as it is written? Consequently, His judgment of them is just (Jeremiah 8:8-12)!
6 The Lord calls you to repent from fear of sinful men, unwillingness to stand on the truth of His Word as it is written not as it is corrupted to accommodate religious a-
gendas or suffer as He and all of the saints before and around us! Too, He would have you repent from divided loyalties and double mindedness (James 1:5-8, 4:
7-10). If the Lord is Lord, then serve Him as Master remembering religious leaders did not die for nor do they have a Heaven or Hell to put you in. If to you Jesus is
not Lord, why torment yourself trying futilely as He taught to serve two masters? Understand though, that rejection of Jesus as Master leads to no good end now or
in the day of accountability (Matthew 7:21-23, 10:16-39, 12:30).
7 This is the heart of every aspiring strong man and great woman of God I write about in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics. Get a print copy or digi-
tal download of the book at major internet booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBooks.com and Apple (digital only). You can also get a print copy
in the Strong Man Store.
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