Faith Matters

A look at matters of the Christian faith, Bible Prophecy, and persecution.

Why bother to pray? Why bother to believe?

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The Coronavirus Church has done more to separate the “Chrinos” (Christians in name only) from the faithful believers. Here in the United States we have seen a myriad of how various churches have handled the lockdowns and draconian restrictions. Some, whose “mission” has become mostly Social Justice, the Black Lives Matter movement, identity politics, and the celebration of sin, have found their members are vastly more afraid of the Coronavirus than of an Almighty God. The words of Dr. Fauci are far more important, respected, and followed than the Word of God.

Many “Sacramental” Churches, that claim to believe in the “Real Presence” of Jesus Christ, are now afraid to partake of the Lord’s Supper. In the case of the Roman Catholic Church, who hold to the doctrine of “Transubstantiation,” which means the bread and wine that Roman Catholics receive at Mass are no longer bread and wine but the real body and blood of Christ, are also afraid to receive. I guess that Jesus tested positive.

Early on in this pandemic most churches of all denominations complied with state and local restrictions, however, over time it became increasingly evident that churches and houses of worship were being particularly singled out as absolutely “non-essential” by many in the political and elite class. Singing praise to God will kill you, but protesting, screaming in people’s faces, and looting along with burning down cities are harmless, vitally important, and constitutionally protected.

Receiving Communion will make you sick, but going to Walmart, the liquor store, or the cannabis shop is not a threat. The message is clear from those in seats of power, your faith is worthless…just give it up. After all, that pesky “freedom of religion” thing in the constitution is just an outdated relic; it’s all about the “Science” they say.

If you go back to April, with our “Two Week Pause” to flatten the curve was entering its 6th week, churches attempted to meet the needs of their congregations with “drive-in” services. You might remember an incident in Greenville, MS, where Democrat Mayor Errick Simmons took it upon himself even ban those types of activities as “non-essential.” The idea that Pastor Arthur Scott and Temple Baptist Church were causing a “coronavirus hotspot” by worshiping together over the radio while enclosed in separate cars is not just asinine — it’s unthinkable. The fact that Greenville police gave parishioners $500 tickets — even when those tickets were later dropped — is chilling. When police handed out $500 tickets to Christians at Temple Baptist Church, Pastor Scott recalled, “One of the police officers said the mayor wanted to make an example of our church.” The pastor continued “In Greenville, you can be in your car with the windows rolled down at a drive-in restaurant, but you can’t be in your car with the windows rolled up at a drive-in church service.

As of this writing many churches have decided to remain closed. Perhaps some of those churches are “non-essential” after all. Others are trying to comply but cannot seem to reconcile what the Bible clearly teaches. While it is true that St. Paul reminds us to “Obey civil authority,” St. Paul also reminds us that all “Authority” comes from God; and St. Peter makes it clear that when civil authority is in contradiction to the commands of God “We must Obey God, rather than man” (Acts 5:29). In this passage the apostles were ordered to stop preaching the gospel, but to do so would be to disobey God. They could have been easily killed for their defiance but were “fortunate” only to be beaten. In Acts 5:41, they rejoiced that they had been “counted worthy to suffer” for the name of Jesus Christ. Despite orders NOT to preach about Christ, they continued to preach and teach the good news of the Gospel.

So, let us jump to today; whom do you serve? God or man? If man’s laws are in opposition to God’s laws, which will you obey? When your faith is built on “Social Justice,” and not the claims of Jesus Christ, you become far more concerned about what men think than what God has commanded. In Luke 17:33 we read “Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it” (KJV). Another way to put this would be when we are more concerned about this life, our status, and our security, and we try to cling to this life, we will lose it. If we are willing to obey Jesus Christ, and if called upon to let this life go, you will save it. St. Paul reminds us that this earthly life is like a vapor. In the grand scheme of things, it is vastly short, yet too many that claim the name of Christ put this life over His calling and His Word.

When this pandemic is over, I have no doubt that many churches (like many small businesses) will never reopen. Many churches will lose many members from a combination of fear or simply getting accustomed to not being in church. They will become ineffective, and in God’s eyes, “non-essential.” They will be the ones that risk hearing the words of Jesus found in Matthew 7: 21-23. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness!’” There is no doubt that we are on the precipice of a time of change and tribulation. Are you prepared to live in the persecuted church?