What is Our Response to Coronavirus?

Part Five

by Rocky Fleming


“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  (Matthew 11:28-30 ESV)

The word “gospel” is derived from the old English word “godspel.”  It simply means “Good News” in both words.  The gospel is good news.  But it has to be the real, unfiltered, unedited and unaltered gospel of Jesus Christ, to be good news.  Why do I say this?  People are frightened, lonely, in ways desperate, and wanting to hear good news of some kind.  This makes them receptive to the gospel, and as well vulnerable to those who would prey on them giving them a false gospel, a false hope, and a false salvation.  This is happening right now, and it makes it all the more important for the Church to spread the real gospel around.

This week we were at our country house, which is in a very rural area.  We don’t get many visitors.  Therefore, I was surprised to see an unfamiliar car and a nice-looking couple in their thirties get out of the car and walk to our door.  I kind of suspected what was happening, and sure enough two Jehovah Witnesses came to our door.  Their introduction was that they knew this is a frightening time for people, and they wanted to bring some good news to people about Jesus Christ.  I know their doctrine and know that though they call themselves Christians, they do not believe in a Triune God, which is One God as Three Persons.  They believe that Jesus is the son of God.  But they do not believe that He is God.  Therefore, to them the Spirit and Jesus are not deity, or God.  And yet, they presented that they wanted to present the good news of Jesus Christ, and yet not represent Him correctly, or the gospel accurately.  This religious group are not Christians, although they appear kind and concerned.  It didn’t take long for me to point out critical differences in the way we see and worship Jesus Christ.  While I thanked them for their concern, and their willingness to get out to share with people at their own risk of Coronavirus, I told them that I would not change, and asked, would they?  They would not and quickly drove off.  Even though their incorrect alteration of the gospel was rejected, they saw the true gospel lived out and kindly shared.  What can we learn from this?

It is true that people need good news at this time.  The gospel, in truth, will lift spirits and souls to fill a deep need that is already there, but is best revealed when a serious threat comes our way.  The gospel gives us hope and assurance that this current bad news will not conquer our deepest need, which is to be assured that death does not finish us.  The true gospel tells us that the Spirit of Jesus Christ comes to live in us and will be with us, helping us through any challenges that we face.  To imagine the Ruler of the Universe and the Creator of our bodies and souls lives within us?  Man, that is good news, and it is true!  The true gospel creates an opportunity to abide in Christ as He abides in us.  This gives us purpose and ability to bear fruit to His glory.  Living under God’s sovereign rule, we will not be called home until our purpose is fulfilled and He says come.

The true gospel joins God’s family, the Church, together from all languages, all races, all nations, and all tribes.  The gospel is the true unifier of people that are created different from each other.  You may ask if this is true then why is there so much division in the Church?  Maybe it’s because people are not believing the true gospel or living out the true gospel through their lives, but are rather following a watered down or incorrect version of the gospel.  Jesus said by their fruit you will know them.  I believe this is why a church or people who call themselves Christians are not fruitful, for they are not allowing the good news of Jesus Christ into their life and then out of their life.

As I close this week focusing on responding to the Coronavirus, I could also have called it living with or overcoming Coronavirus.  The truth is it is not about this virus.  Those things come and go and will do so again.  It really comes down to what I will do with it.  Will I complain and draw up in isolated fear, or will I be mobilized to take the TRUE GOOD NEWS to people who are desperate for it?  I choose the latter, and the fact is, I no longer look at the threat but rather the opportunity.  I am seeing so many good examples of the Church waking up and coming to her purpose in these days preceding Christ’s return.  We are in one of the most dynamic times in the life and history of the Church.  We don’t want to waste this time or the opportunities we are invited to.  We have good news to declare.  We have what they need and are longing for.  Let’s give em Jesus.  Let’s declare the true gospel.  Amen?  Amen!!