Recently, I heard a primary care physician talking about how terrified her patients with COVID-19 were when they received their positive test results confirming that they actually had the virus. I understand such fear. We all probably do. But I also thought about all of the fear that seems to have our nation in a strangle-hold right now, the fear that is behind all of our great efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus.
Such fear seems to be the same fear all of us experience whenever we are facing an unknown that is potentially dangerous. My concern, though, is for all of those who fear the virus but cannot face the virus with the peace that comes from knowing the Lord Jesus Christ in a saving way. So many people give evidence that they are facing the pandemic as well as life in general without faith in Christ. Our culture is not turning to the Lord–or even mentioning His name–during this pandemic. They don’t know Christ and they don’t seem to have any concern about the spiritual aspects of death, dying and eternity.
My question for you, reader, is simply this: Do you know Christ? Do you know that you have a Savior who can deliver your soul and body from the penalty of your sin, the eternal wrath of God? Do you have the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ that covers a danger far greater than the threat of an illness like COVID-19?
A lot of people know a lot about the church, a lot about religion, a lot even about the Bible and doctrine and theology. You may even think of yourself as something of an expert on these things. But do you know the Lord Jesus Christ by faith in a deeply personal relationship? You may know ABOUT Jesus, but do you actually know Jesus Himself personally?
Jesus encountered a situation with some of the Jewish leaders who were challenging Him after healing a man in Jerusalem. He healed the man on a Sabbath day, and the Jewish leaders were not happy about it one bit. They were VERY religious men outwardly, but they did not have the love of God in them (John 5:42). They did not know God personally and had not experienced His forgiveness and His gift of eternal life even though they were very religious.
Jesus said to them in John 5:39-40, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; 40 and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.” (NASB95)
In order to receive eternal life from the Lord Jesus Christ, you and I must actually come to Him personally by faith. Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (ESV)
In another place, John 17:3, Jesus, in His prayer to the Father, gave us more insight into the truth that eternal life is a personal relationship with Him, when He said, “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”
You and I cannot know God in a saving way unless we first come to the Lord Jesus Christ, receiving Him by faith with a repentant and completely surrendered heart. John 1:12 says, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, . . .”
Have you turned to Jesus Himself for the forgiveness of your sins and for His gift of eternal life? Have you “believed in his name,” that is, have you believed in who the Lord Jesus Christ is as God in the flesh (Immanuel) and all that He has done for us through His sacrifice of Himself on our behalf on the cross? Have you believed in His resurrection from the dead? Romans 10:9 says, “. . . if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (ESV)
The Lord Jesus Christ came to save sinners like me and you from God’s judgment and wrath against our sins. My hope and prayer during these days of COVID-19 is that you will turn not just to religion or tradition or ritual or rules, but that you will turn to Jesus Himself and that you will come to know Him personally in a saving way, through faith in Him alone.
John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
And one of my favorites is John 5:24. Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.”
May the peace of our Lord Jesus sustain you not only through the present pandemic, but throughout all eternity as you place your trust in Him.
Soli Deo Gloria!