God's Agenda For Coronavirus, Part 7 - SERIES END
This will be the final installment in this series of God’s agenda for our current global crisis. Most of the last 6 posts were centered around God’s nature rather than His actions. My goal in this was to present a case that God’s nature, which is always absolutely pure divine love, determines His actions. I believe that there is ample proof from an honest reading of scripture that we can trust God to always act towards us in ways that are consistent with this divine nature. So then, how is God working to reveal His heart and nature in current events, and indeed, all the events that transpire on this planet? I believe that two words encapsulate God’s heart and His actions - Salvation and Redemption. Let me explain.
Mountains of books have been written by theologians to expound on these concepts so I will leave the theory for those tomes to teach you. My purpose here is to lay some breadcrumbs on the trail of truth and whet your appetite and pique your interest to travel deeper into God’s heart where unfathomable riches lie waiting to be discovered! (Romans 11:33, Eph. 3:8)
After the Fall, the curse was pronounced (see post #6) and Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden. If we continue on with humanity’s journey we see the results of the curse ravaging people and the planet. Rebellion, violence, greed, and lawlessness increase at breakneck speed. The earth itself begins to manifest what we would call “natural disasters” - earthquakes, violent storms, floods, etc… This story is not just recorded in the Bible but it is found in secular history since the introduction of the written record. The epic battle of good and evil rages in a tug of war that leaves death and destruction in its wake. What is God, the creator, doing while all of this is happening to His people and His planet? Is He just sitting unemotionally aloof waiting to see who will win the battle? Is He using all the pain and suffering to teach rebellious people a lesson and perhaps draw some people to Him out of fear and horror for what is going on? Or has God entered into the fray with us and for us to personally inject the antidote for evil right into the heart of the problem? YES!
We have already established that God was in Christ, reconciling the world (people and the planet) to Himself from before the beginning of creation/time. Salvation and redemption were built into creation. This was not just a plan that God had, it is the heart of Who God is. Some of the details of this rescue mission are recorded in Philippians 2. The Bible states that Jesus, God in human form, stripped Himself of His position and place in Heaven (the place where everything is in harmony with God’s will) and willingly entered into our time/space world (the place where the mixture of good and evil created a toxic environment of disharmony with God) to be the antidote by giving up His life by pouring out His blood.
I think it is interesting to note that one of the hopeful treatments for our present struggle with Coronavirus is blood transfusions. The idea being to take the blood of a person that has had the virus and survived and inject it into a person who is sick with the virus in hopes that the antibodies created by the surviving person (the immune system’s virus defense mechanism) will trigger the sick person’s immune system to now be able to defeat the virus. Isn’t this somewhat analogous to what we see in 2 Corinthians 5:21? God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. [2 Co 5:21 NIV].
On the cross, Jesus became a divine vacuum drawing all sin (everything that was out of harmony with God) into Himself (see John 12:32). What happened to sin when Jesus took it into/upon Himself? Sin became righteousness. Darkness was transformed into light. The blood of Jesus became the antidote for the death sentence of the virus of sin because it is filled with Jesus’s divine antibodies. Anyone who comes to Jesus for this transfusion will be healed /saved (see Isa. 53).
When Jesus walked on this planet He said that He came to seek and save that which was lost (John 19:10). Jesus did not come to only save people from their sin but to also save and restore all that sin had destroyed, including the planet and God’s plan for it. Jesus cried out the heartbeat of God when He said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” [Mat 11:28 NIV]. This rest He promised to give was a gift of being restored back into harmony with God, our Father, and thus enabling humanity to enter back into the state of our relationship with God as it was in the Garden before the Fall. This is salvation (being healed of the death sentence of sin) and restoration (restored back into a relational state with God with all the blessing of His pure presence). This salvation will even heal and restore our planet (Romans 8:18:ff)! What does this plan look like played out on the stage of our created world?
God, our Father, wants ALL of His creation saved and restored back to His intended purpose. God’s heart is that NONE would perish (John 3:16, and more). God’s plan is perfect but the agents that He has chosen to work through still have the ability to choose not to work with Him and act in sinful, selfish ways. God could take control of the entire operation but He had deemed that He would work through people, to whom He gave the authority to rule on this planet (see Genesis 1). This is a divine partnership that God has instituted and can only be successful to the extent that salvation is successful in the hearts of those who receive this great gift. Consider the following…
Reading the first chapter of Romans you will find the essence of the problems on our planet. Because humanity willingly chose to reject God and His ways, God- in an expression of Divine love- gave humanity over to their own will to seek out their own desires. The results of this human will being enacted is evident on every page of our history. This not only affected our relationship with God but it also affected the created world which humanity was given authority over. The problems on our planet are a direct result of our rebellion: “Against its will, all creation was subjected to God's curse…” [Rom. 8:20 NLT]. Remember, the curse is the result of man’s actions in rebellion to God, not God’s actions in wrath towards man. We have created this mess, and we get to clean it up! But God is not lording it over us with an angry, “this is all your fault” attitude. He is right here, right now, working with us to help us clean up our mess!
When a person repents (sees their rebellion, admits their wrong, and turns back to God by changing the way they think about themselves and God) and accepts the blood of Jesus as the only antidote for the death sentence of their rebellion, they become a “New Creation” (see 2 Cor. 5:17 -ff). This is the essence of salvation. Salvation is not just an entry ticket into Heaven, it is an entry point into a new creation reality that transforms a person into an entirely new being. With the blood of Jesus coursing through our spiritual veins (the infilling and indwelling of God’s Spirit) we are as Jesus is. “By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world” [1 Jo 4:17 NASB]. As Jesus is, so are we in this world! Now, filled with the Spirit of Jesus, we are enabled and enlisted to pick up where Jesus left off in His mission to seek and save ALL that was lost.
God’s agenda for the Coronavirus is the same agenda that has been in place since the day Jesus burst open the grave. Death now defeated, sin being bereft of its sting, the antidote for sin now injected into the hearts of all who believe, becomes the epicenter for the salvation and restoration of the world. Jesus had done everything necessary for harmony to be restored. God is once again entering into man’s mess through this crisis and calling out to His people to go into all the world and bring hope and healing. Here is what I believe to be the essence of every believer’s message to the world…
I am going to write this out as a prayer of declaration of salvation and restoration over humanity and all of creation. I invite you to read it out loud and release its truth into the airwaves and believe God to send it throughout the world.
God, our Father, Who is pure Love, Light, and Good, has declared that He is drawing all of His creation back into fellowship with Him. God’s heart has been revealed and laid bare for all the world to see as Jesus was crucified and shed His blood and died of a broken heart to save all who call upon His name. God is not counting the sins of people against them and will forgive and release life to any who come with a sincere heart of repentance. God is waiting and ready to fully restore humanity to the ordained place of their creation; to steward the earth and live in harmony with God as a loving Father. God has chosen not to forsake or abandon humanity but to reconcile and restore us to the glory that we fell so far short of.
Because of this, we can boldly declare that all who believe are:
Born again as new creations filled with the Life, Love, Goodness and Power of God
(2 Cor. 5:17). As Jesus is, so are we now in this world (1 John 4:17). We now share in God’s divine nature (2 Peter 1:3) and now have everything we need to live life the way God originally intended. Jesus has filled us with His Spirit and actually inhabits our being (John 14:17). Jesus has given us His Mind so we can think like Him (1 Cor 2:16). Jesus has given us His Peace so we can rest in confidence like Him (John 14:27). Jesus has given us His Authority so we can act as direct agents of heaven as we call for the will of God to be done on Earth as it is in Heaven (Matt. 28:18). Jesus has given us His Power so we can perform the same miraculous signs and wonders He performed (John 14:12). Therefore, believers can preach the good news, heal the sick, raise the dead, stop storms, multiply resources, cast out demonic spirits, etc… Everything Jesus did we can do! Jesus has given us His compassion and love so we can express the heart and attitude of God, the Father, to every broken life we encounter and to serve the world rather than being served (John 13). In short, Jesus has given us His mission - To seek and save the lost and reconcile the entire world back to His Father and our Father (2 Cor. 5:18-ff)! Jesus said just as the Father had sent Him into the world, so He is sending us (John 20:21)!
I believe that God is working in the midst of this Coronavirus and every other human crisis to call to believers to wake up and rise up. God is not the cause of our problems but He has caused believers to be the solution to the problems. God’s agenda for the Coronavirus is to once again display His Love for the world and His Power to deliver and heal. God is at work now and always to reverse the curse and restore blessing on the earth. God’s agenda is to work through believers to get this job done. Jesus, in us, is the hope of this world!
by Pastor Jim Anan