Updated: Apr 12, 2020
By Pastor Jarrel S. Sena
At the time of this writing, there has been over 1.5 million cases of COVID-19 globally. This pandemic has affected each of us whether directly or indirectly. As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, this situation reminds us of vital truths from the Bible to keep our grip in these troubling times:
1. Our world is cursed of sin.
God originally created a perfect world. This is the reason why every creation day we read the words, “And the LORD saw that it was good.” This perfect world ended when Adam and Eve disobeyed God in Genesis 3. Based on Romans 8:20, the created order has been subjected to futility. Its original Greek term carries with the idea of being "fruitless or empty" in terms of fulfilling an intended purpose. The world can no longer perfectly glorify God because of sin. The COVID-19, along with the other diseases, are the byproduct of such curse.
2. Life is fragile.
Death became possible because of the entrance of sin (Genesis 2:15-17; Romans 5:12; 6:23). In fact, death has taken many forms since Genesis 3 (e.g. murder, manslaughter, disaster, disease, suicide etc.). The COVID-19 is just another means for humans to die.
3. Eternity matters.
Listen to the words of our Lord in Luke 13:2-5, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were
greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? 3 I tell you, no,
but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 4 Or do you suppose that those eighteen
on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who
live in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
A common misconception among us is when a person or a group of people experience a tragic death, we think that their sins must have been great. But according to Jesus, this is not always the case. To die is a certain reality for all of us – saved or unsaved. What is important is our eternity. This is why Jesus mentioned the words “unless you repent” twice. Physical death is inevitable in this sin-cursed world but there is a means for us for not to perish and that is to repent from our sins.
In the New Testament, repentance is always coupled with faith in the Lord Jesus. (John 3:16, Mark 1:14-15, Acts 2:38; 20:21). Everyone is afraid of the COVID-19 outbreak yet it only affects our physical bodies. According to Jesus there is someone who we should greatly fear, “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)
4. God purposely allowed the COVID-19 outbreak.
God is all powerful. He is never backed in a corner. He never lost to anyone. He allowed
this outbreak to happen because He is reaching to both believer and unbeliever:
a. To the believer
God is using this outbreak to mold you into the image of His Son (Romans 8:28) and if a Christian dies because of this disease he/she will enter into the presence of our God
which is “very much better” according to the Apostle Paul (Philippians 1:23).
b. To the unbeliever
God is reaching out to you through this COVID-19 outbreak. Have you really thought of
your placement in eternity? Death is just a doorway to another lifetime. The only
difference is either you will experience a lifetime of glory with God in His heaven or you
will experience a lifetime of agony in Hell. Jesus alone saves a sinner from his/her sins.
Repent and believe in Him before it’s too late.
5. Be responsible in protecting yourself and others.
Let us follow the protocol given to us by the health authorities to mitigate the devastating
effects of COVID-19.
Another way for us to become responsible is let us avoid sourcing wrong information. I
think this is the general principle of the 9th commandment, “You shall not bear false
witness against your neighbor.” The generic principle here is “truth must be preserved.”
Let us ensure that the information we share is truth since we are commanded to speak the truth to our neighbor (Ephesians 4:25).
All Bible verses quotations are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB).