The present coronavirus pandemic will demonstrate how the Kingdom of God is different from the kingdom of darkness. It is also a huge opportunity for the church to function as the Salt and Light of the world. The reason is because the Kingdom of the heavens is governed by a different set of laws and principles than those under the rule of the prince of this world (see John 14:30, 1 John 5:19).
The following are ten contrasts that should illustrate contrasts between true Christ followers and unbelievers conforming to the world system:
1. Instead of hoarding goods we are generous with others
While Christians should save money and food to provide for their immediate family, our mindset should be to also have enough to provide for our community. Many great leaders I know in the Body of Christ are always champions during times of crisis and utilize their church buildings and vast resources to provide food, medical care, and much needed intervention for their communities and cities.
2. We don’t depend upon the world’s resources but His Word to survive and thrive
Jesus made it clear that the intent of Father God is that “man shall not live on bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (see Matthew 4:4).
During the volatility of a global crisis, people of faith have learned to depend upon the tried and true words of the Lord more than on human government. Psalm 91:4 says, “His truth will be thy shield and buckler”, which means that it is His fidelity that is our assurance of security!
3. Instead of getting sick when we touch others, we can heal them with our touch
While every Christian should practice social distancing out of love and respect for our neighbor, this should never nullify the fact that all believers are commanded to lay hands on the sick in faith that they will recover! (See Mark 16:15-17.) Hence, we should not shrink back from opportunities God brings to us to pray for those who are sick and fearful during these times.
This makes no sense to the unbeliever and to the ignorant Christian, but in the laws of the Kingdom our touch can represent Jesus (1 John 4:17) and release His healing power to others.
Through the laws of the Kingdom — by faith, typical plagues should not have power to stop anyone on assignment from the Lord (see Psalm 91:6). Even Paul the apostle casually shook off a viper that attached itself to him — and instead of falling down dead — a healing revival took place that shook Malta and planted Christianity there! (See Acts 28)
During the bubonic plague in the early 20th century, Evangelist John G. Lake had the faith to continue to lay hands on the sick because he said “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death” (see Romans 8:2).
4. Instead of giving into fear we exercise our faith
Because Jesus already conquered sin and death and brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel (see 2 Timothy 2:10) He commands us to fear not because He holds the keys of death and hades (see Revelation 1:17-19). Jesus also said to fear not Him that can only kill the body (see Matthew 10:28).
While those whose only hope is in their money and in this life are afraid during a crisis, we are not to fear what the world fears (see Jeremiah 10:1, 2). Christ followers have discovered that His perfect love casts out all fear because fear has torment and those born from above will never taste eternal separation from God (see 1 John 4:18).
5. Instead of running from the plague we intercede in the midst of it
Like Moses and Aaron of old, Christ followers should stand between the living and the dead and make intercession during a plague (Numbers 16:48). When the Roman Empire collapsed in the 5th century, the rich Roman citizens fled from the barbarian hordes and the church stayed behind while the bishops began to help administrate the cities. Jesus modeled the laws of the Kingdom and said that the greatest demonstration of love is when we are willing to lay down our life for one another (see John 15:13).
6. Instead of walking in the “orphan spirit” of survival mode, we trust in the provision of our Heavenly Father
While the world is on “survival mode” because they are estranged from God, Christ followers are assured of His ample provision during a crisis (see John 10:10). Jesus told the church we can petition our heavenly “Father” for our daily bread (see Matthew 6:6-9). Jesus said that even evil people provide for their children — so how much more shall our Heavenly Father give good gifts to His children (see Matthew 7:9-11).
David said that because the Lord is His shepherd, he shall lack nothing (see Psalm 23:1). Jesus said that He would not leave us as orphans (John 14:18) but will be with us even until the end of the age (see Matthew 28:19, 20). Because of our covenant relationship with God as Father, we do not trust in the arm of flesh but in God for all things during a time of famine (see Jeremiah 17:5-8).
7. Instead of feasting and playing we are fasting and praying
During a national crisis the prophet Joel proclaimed a solemn assembly for the land (see Joel chapters 1, 2). While the world is medicating themselves for hours every day getting inebriated, consuming Netflix, porn, and other forms of entertainment, mature Christ followers should be banding together seeking the Lord earnestly during a crisis. Jesus warned His followers to watch and pray lest their hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and the anxieties of life and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap (see Luke 21:34).
8. Instead of criticizing our elected officials we pray for them
It is so easy for a person not in the “driver’s seat” of leadership to criticize their executive leaders in church and state. Every day on mainstream news there are rabid criticisms between those on the left and right of the political spectrum. In contrast, true Christ followers should be lifting up their elected officials and community leaders in prayer during times of crisis (see 1 Timothy 2:1-4).
9. Instead of being preoccupied by the fear of physical death we focus on dying to self
While the world is so preoccupied with preserving their life, true Christ followers know that they have already died and their life is presently hidden with Christ in God (see Colossians 3:1-3). Since we have already been crucified with Christ (see Romans 6:1-6), we die daily (see 1 Corinthians 15:31) and live for another — even for the One who died and rose again (see 2 Corinthians 5:15).
We should be living in this world as “dead people on furlough”! Hence, since Christ followers have “already died” they cannot be killed twice, which wrests away all fear of physical death! This is why Paul said that departing this world and being with Christ is far better than staying in this realm (see Philippians 1:23). Consequently, this is a huge opportunity for Christ followers to share their faith with everyone they perceive is being tortured with a fear of death.
10. Instead of focusing our energy on the crisis we creatively look for divine solutions
Isaiah 60:1, 2 speaks of the people of God arising and shining during times when darkness covers the earth! This is one of those times! While the world is petrified, paralyzed, and fraught with fear during these days — the believer should understand the times (see 1 Chronicles 12:32) and know how to regularly function in the Spiritual manifestation of the word of wisdom (see 1 Corinthians 12:8).
Since the church is organically connected to the “Mastermind” of the universe as our head (Ephesians 1:22, 23), we are to function as His fullness and with His wisdom since we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). Hence, during this or any crisis, Christ followers should be the greatest problem solvers the world has ever seen! Consequently, the greater the challenge, the greater the opportunity for solutions so that God can be glorified among the nations (Matthew 5:16).
May the Lord be glorified during these days and may this present purging be followed by supernatural power and another global Great Awakening!
Source: Joseph Mattera