The suffering and death the Coronavirus pandemic will have caused the world by its end is tragic. It is though, the beginning of God's next level judgments that vindicate His warnings through us crying out to the world about sin and churches their rebellion against His Word, toleration of falsehood and worldly compromises.1 Indeed, the rapidity by which the pestilence spread throughout the earth, came upon our nation and overtook my January through March 2020 posts calling yet again for repentance among guilty churches and warning of coming judgment will be among my most powerful memories of the event. As I warned in the opening of a March post, the Lord “ain’t playing.”2
God’s Coronavirus judgment among other things is to also be considered another significant paradigm shift in His program for Christians and churches of similar end as that which occurred with the Jerusalem church after the stoning of Stephen (Acts 8:1-4). Negatively, the stoning of Stephen led to a severe persecution breaking out against the Jerusalem church causing “all” but the apostles to be “scattered” in every direction out of the city (Acts 8:1, NKJV). In the positive, the Jerusalem saints getting run out of town led to their beginning to fulfill the next phase in the Lord’s preannounced will and plan for how He was to be witnessed geographically (Luke 24:46-49; Acts 1:8, 8:4).
Negatively, the Coronavirus pandemic has closed the doors of many churches; some that will never open again. All Christians have suffered and suffer to various degrees through the challenges created by the pestilence; some have the illness and a relative few have died. Others are enduring the illness of loved ones sickened by the virus and the grief of loss. Many have failed the test of faith through fear in the event; some are rebounding through repentance. Some in despair walk away from churches. Others, called again to repent, continue to rebel in unbelief to their destruction shared in common with apostates who walk away from Christ never to return (Hebrews 3:7-19, 10:35-39).3
In the positive, the Lord through the Coronavirus pandemic has only mercifully chastened us to whatever extent any surviving Christian and church has suffered (Proverbs 3:11-12; Hebrews 12:3-11; Revelation 3:19). Guilty where sin has been involved up to the swift onset of the pestilence, the repentant and humbled are freshly giving themselves in fidelity back to God--His will, way and Word! And while a number of pastors and churches have been creatively maintaining some form of corporate connection to members in the crisis, it should be clearly understood God’s one will, way and Word as it is written involves equipping men to lead His worship at home and in His house!4
Truly, Christian men new and seasoned restored in God’s revival stemming from all of this are to be in the vanguard of a renewed and final push by the Holy Spirit to preach the Gospel and make disciples of the nations using mortal flesh (Matthew 24:14, 28:19-20; Mark 13:10, 16:15; Acts 26:8-20)!5 Our restored sisters are to be just as God designed: helpers and supporters of their husbands and men as they go forth (Luke 8:1-3; Romans 16:1-2); leaders in the cause to reach fellow women and children (Acts 9:36-42). If that sounds beneath you as a woman and insulting, you still need to repent from the stronghold of pride filled worldly feminism that retains its grip on your heart!
On this point as with every other matter the Bible plainly commands and teaches we should all be on one accord. For God does not have a multitude of wills, but there is only one declared consistently and without ambiguity on every issue in His Word as it is written! Passionately honoring this truth going forward as those revived by the one Holy Spirit, we fulfill Christ’s will delivered by His apostle, Paul, that walking “worthy of the calling” upon us in all “lowliness and gentleness with longsuffering” and forbearing “love” for one another, we strive hard “to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace,” (Ephesians 4:1-3, NKJV). Over the past 500 years many professed Christians and their churches have striven for just the opposite and we see the result in ungodly divisions!6
However, if it must be as foretold that we go out as “sheep for the slaughter” for Christ’s sake, then, let us go out in unity faithfully pleasing Him and doing His will as we ought--the heart of every aspiring strong man and great woman of God in His image (Matthew 24:9-12; Romans 8:36, NKJV)!7 For “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all and in you all,” (Ephesians 4:4-6, NKJV). At the moment, we “hide” ourselves physically until the Lord’s indignation passes; laboring using media and waiting to emerge to zealously get after it (Isaiah 26:20-21, NKJV)! The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 God’s vindication in my lifetime of the word of warning and judgment He assigned in 1986 (Ezekiel 33:1-9) is deeply rewarding to me and I am sure all of His other
faithful servants. Many of the Bible’s prophets did not have this experience speaking as they did of events far removed into the future (1 Peter 1:10-12). To be sure,
the Lord’s vindication has nothing at all to do with those of us faithfully laboring, but a timely birth and nearness of His glorious Second Coming (Psalm 102:16; 1 Co-
rinthians 1:16-31; 2 Corinthians 10:17-18)! Glory to God!
2 See the March 15, 2020 post, Torn Between Two Masters, Pt. 1, under the category, Call To Repent.
3 Read the April 19, 2020 post, Does Anybody Repent Anymore? under the category, Call To Repent.
4 Pastor, it never did nor will it serve any good biblical end going forward to reserve the church house with its buildings and programs (which God has now, powerfully
shown He can do without and does not absolutely need especially when things are not going to be done His way) as the exclusive place of instruction, worship, fel-
lowship and ministry. In the wisdom of God from the beginning every man was assigned by Him to be the spiritual leader of his house (Genesis 2:16-17, 3:1-3, 21,
4:1-7, 8:20; Deuteronomy 6:1-9; 1 Timothy 3:2-5, 12). While you can easily teach the men of the church you lead to do as I have instructed in the free document, Men
Leading Family Worship At Home, save yourself some time since it has already been prepared. Download it from the Strong Man Store and use it!
5 Read the more thorough six-part treatment of this reality that begins July 30, 2017, Restoring Men In the Two Minute Drill, under the category, The Cause.
6 The apostle Paul, who wrote of divisions in the church at Corinth numbering just a handful, would be astonished to find them in the tens of thousands throughout pro-
fessing global Christianity today! Too, he would marvel that few consider this state of affairs abnormal and wicked in the sight of God who now, judges; calling guilty
leaders to repentance (1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 3:1-4). While Paul’s focus in the passages just cited was on divisions created by personality loyalties, all should be clear
the great apostle would not condemn them caused by the faithful standing firm in disallowing the biblically defined sin of those that insist for example, on practicing all
forms of sexual immorality--a reason God Himself will exclude all such persons from the Kingdom (1 Corinthians 5:9-13, 6:9-20; Galatians 5:19-21).
7 I write about the aspiring strong man and great woman of God in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics. 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.
As the Lord leads me to instruct in the two-part post beginning August 18, 2019, Lined Up Behind Jesus, under the category, Instruction, to avoid being deceived in these latter days professed Christians that would be faithful must anchor God’s Word as it is written in our hearts! The only way to anchor God’s Word in our hearts is to purposely internalize it through regular study and practice. Study and practice will not be regular if we do not zealously love the Word as the truth with an intentional desire to apply and obey it even with many failures (2 Timothy 2:15, 3:14-17; James 3:2a).
How does a man get to the point of willingness to regularly study and practice the Word of truth? A hunger and thirst for God and His Word is actualized in every truly born again new follower of Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit. It manifests for some more quickly than others depending on the depth of surrender at spiritual birth (Acts 2:36-42; 1 Peter 1:22-2:3).1 Purposely making time to study God’s written Word is typically not the issue for hungry and thirsty newborns in Christ. It is how to get enough milk! Those that press to fruitfulness in understanding and practice despite Satan’s effort to take the Word, tribulations and worldly cares have developed a love for it (Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23).
Loving God’s Word is the motivational key for both anchoring it in our hearts and deliberately practicing it through obedience. One major reason sold out, faithful Christians come to love God’s Word is because it “is truth” as the Lord Jesus asserts in His prayer to the Father (John 17:17, NKJV). God’s Word is truth that we not only can rationally appreciate because it is perfectly sound, righteous and just, but also experience since it is spiritually alive having originated with God (John 6:63; Hebrews 4:12). We want more of, desire to go deeper in as well as practice the Word causing us to spiritually mature because the Word of truth we love is alive in us and so good!2
Indeed, just as in our Holy Spirit fired love we love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength (Deuteronomy 6:4-6; Mark 12:28-30; Romans 5:5), so, we love the Word of truth written that in the awesome mysteries of God is embodied by God the Word from eternity (John 1:1); Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord who spoke God’s final Word to the world when He came to us from Heaven in first century Israel (John 1:14-18; Hebrews 1:1-4)! As a result of loving God and everything about God, we love the Word of truth that flows naturally from God--the Person and Source of the Word, Jesus Christ, to whom be glory and honor forever (John 14:6)!
For after He completed His work to save us from our sins by dying on the cross and being buried, He was raised from the dead on the third day following. Among the first disciples to encounter and recognize Him in Luke’s account specifically declared to each other how their hearts burned with what could have only been the same spiritual fire we enjoy as “He opened the Scriptures” to them (Luke 24:28-35, NKJV). He spent forty days on earth teaching and preparing His apostles for His return to Heaven. Then, upon giving final instructions to them, He ascended into Heaven where He, the eternal Word, has been seated again at His Father’s right hand (Acts 1:1-11, 2:32-35)!
In the love we have for Christ, the living Word of truth and all that is written from Him and of Him in the Bible, faithful Christians are ready to stand firm whatever the cost against demonically inspired deceit and falsehood and testify to the most prominent of officials as have all of the saints through all time. Many professed Christians have a misinformed tendency to arrogantly believe we are the only ones that know something about Holy Spirit fired love for God and His Word. Not so, and the writer of Psalm 119 is a classic example of an Old Testament saint--to include Spirit empowered king David (1 Samuel 16:13)--that enjoyed this experience with the living God! This saint wondrously writes in Psalm 119:41-48 with the heart of one that intimately knows and loves God and His Word!
He waited like we do now for the fullness of God’s mercies in salvation to come according to His written Word (vs. 41). He like many of us are was persecuted for his faith and needed to trust God’s Word for a right answer to his persecutors (vs. 42). He sought God’s help as we must also to keep the “word of truth” in his mouth because it was his hope; his eternal preoccupation and source of blessing (vs. 43-44, NKJV). He like us was free in and ready to witness to kings boldly standing on the Word (vs. 45-46; John 8:31-32). Lastly, he delighted himself in and loved God’s commandments; lifting his hands in praise for them and meditating on God’s edicts (vs. 47-48).3 Is that you?4 The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 Read my February 17, 2019 post, Surrendering All To Jesus, under the category, Glory To God! I am one of those whose hunger and thirst for God and His Word
took some time to kick into high gear--22 months after I prayed to receive Christ--because of still trying to cling to my sinful ways of living. But after my total surren-
der to the Lord, I have sought Him and the Word of truth has been my food daily for which my soul yearns throughout the day (Psalms 63:1-8, 119:17-20)!
2 Sadly, the opposite is true for professed Christians that are not inclined to go deeper in the Word and become “dull of hearing;” remaining spiritually immature babes
that still nurse on “milk” and not the “solid food” of the Word. God expects every follower of Christ to grow and mature in the faith made possible only through the
regular intentional study and practice of the Word (Hebrews 5, NKJV). Otherwise, those that purposely remain spiritually immature are easy marks for the deceiver
(Proverbs 14:15; Romans 16:17-20), risk becoming “hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” and open themselves up to the possibility of falling away with no re-
course (Hebrews 3:12-13, 6:1-6, 10:26-31, NKJV). Read my December 4, 2016 post, Now Is The Day Of Salvation, under the category, Call To Repent.
3 Even though the Lord Jesus Christ purposely sends us out to preach the Gospel and witness Him helped by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 10:16-20), we are to still make
purposeful preparation for the task through study to possess knowledge of the Word we love the Holy Spirit can readily bring to our mouths to speak as He wills.
4 It is certainly the heart of every faithful Christian as aspiring strong men and great women of God in the image of Jesus Christ I write about in my book, The Strong
Man Of God: Back To Basics. 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 of the book in the Strong Man Store.
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