What to Think About Covid-19?
Opinions vary widely about the current virus that has wrapped around the world. From widespread panic, to casual indifference. From people wearing masks and yelling at you to stay 6 feet away, to people who greet you with a handshake and little fear. Is this a God-ordained judgment on sin in the world, and in cultures that have largely turned against God, or just another version of the flu with a slightly higher percentage of sickness and death?
I don’t know all the answers but let me make a few observations that I think are on track. First, this sickness and all others (from the common cold, to serious diseases) are an indirect judgment on sin. Sickness in all forms exists because we live in a broken world, originally messed up by the sin of Adam and Eve when God banned them from the perfect environment of Eden but has been complicated by the sin of all the rest of us over the ages. The ripple affect goes deep. The breakdown of the body, making it vulnerable to sickness and eventual death happens because God pronounced the consequence of death with the original sins (Gen. 3). So yes, in a broad sense, all sickness should make us take account of our mortality and the need to regain right-relationship with God. That certainly includes the coronavirus. A wake-up call from God, doing his normal thing: taking something bad he didn’t cause and using it for good as we learn from it (Rom. 8:28), hopefully. The world has seen it repeatedly, but it’s a wake-up call we often, dare I say usually, neglect. No matter how healthy you are, eventually death will claim you. Don’t wait to right the ship, thinking you’ve got years and time to choose God later.
Meanwhile, with this virus in particular being our immediate concern, what are we to think about it? Admittedly it does appear to be a hard version of the flu or whatever you call this. Deadly for many. This is true, but as I write this the statistics still don’t seem to warrant the world’s extreme reaction. Here is my personal take. This is the flip side of our need for God. For many, who do not want to take corrective action before a holy God, they deny him a dozen ways, and they put all their emphasis on this life, the 70 plus years the average person has. When that’s the case people must pull out all the stops to extend life, and they run scared from threats of death, the final enemy. They have no hope for the future and salvation that leads to heaven, so something like COVID-19 is terrifying.
Now don’t get me wrong, we all want to live healthy lives, and we should take common sense precautions when something like coronavirus threatens, but our real need is deeper, spiritual, having to do with the vacuum in our heart that can only be filled by God and being in right relationship with him. The truth is, death is not the final enemy, our own sin and aligning with Satan is. We can overcome death through faith in Christ, who died for our sins and paved the way to resurrection! Let’s make sure that no matter what else is true, we are “on BASE” with God:
Believe in Jesus as the Messiah, who died for our sins and rose from the grave to provide hope beyond death. Admit you are broken, a sinner whose sin separates from a perfect God. Submit to God through repentance and turning to follow Christ. Express your faith in Christian baptism, associating with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, raised to walk a new life.
Cross Point: Scripture to back up BASE – Mark 16:15, 16; Romans 5:8; Acts 2:36-39; Galatians 3:27; Romans 6:1-11. Believing in Christ, repenting, identifying in baptism, then living in faith as a sincere Christian provides real hope.