Can COVID-19 Stop Us?

by: Jordan M. Tew, Assist. to the Director of Baptist Publishing House

Dear friends, I am concerned about the current state of our churches. Consider what has become “normal” for us: we are barely meeting for weekly worship, some congregations have eliminated singing praises to our Lord, most churches are not actively going out into their communities to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus, and Sunday School classes are off the table in a growing number of churches. What in the world is going on?

Now before anyone takes offense at these words, let me assure you I understand there are churches and individuals who have decided to cancel various meetings and have made changes to better protect their health and safety. I applaud that and understand those decisions are difficult to make. There is a need to abide by the law of the land, if possible and if it does not go against the commands of the Bible.

However, an ongoing lack of corporate worship, evangelism, and Bible teaching can never become “the new normal.” God’s Word and His mandate to His churches have not changed. Are we being faithful during these days? Are we preaching the Gospel as we ought? Are we worshipping as the Bible instructs us? Are we baptizing and taking the Lord’s Supper? Are we neglecting anything God has commanded us?

I wonder if covid-19 is the biggest obstacle we will face in our lifetime? I would assume it is not. If this virus proves to be an ongoing setback for our churches, then how will we respond to the other trials Christ has promised we will face? How will we handle famine, nakedness, and sword or persecution, hatred, and false prophets (Romans 8, Matthew 24)? Will we stand on the promise that Hell itself will not prevail against us or will we merely limp along until Jesus returns?

The truth is, God’s people have always assembled and ministered despite trials. In the roughly 2,000 year span since Jesus walked on this earth, His churches have faced persecution, plague, war, starvation, terrorism, economic instability, and governmental opposition. How we handle our current situation will impact our children and our grandchildren directly.

God’s people are well-acquainted with suffering and difficult times. In fact, we have often thrived under harsh conditions and God has used times like our own to usher in great outpourings of salvation and revival. We have not been called to comfort or safety. We have been called to faithfulness. Will covid-19 stop us? Perhaps a better question is “Can covid-19 stop us?

Consider the words of our Savior and the Cornerstone of your church: “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

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