“7:3 And there were four leprous men at the entering in of the gate: and they said one to another, Why sit we here until we die?7:4 If we say, We will enter into the city, then the famine is in the city, and we shall die there: and if we sit still here, we die also. Now therefore come, and let us fall unto the host of the Syrians: if they save us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall but die.7:5 And they rose up in the twilight, to go unto the camp of the Syrians: and when they were come to the uttermost part of the camp of Syria, behold, there was no man there.7:6 For the LORD had made the host of the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots, and a noise of horses, even the noise of a great host: and they said one to another, Lo, the king of Israel hath hired against us the kings of the Hittites, and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us.7:7 Wherefore they arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents, and their horses, and their asses, even the camp as it was, and fled for their life.7:8 And when these lepers came to the uttermost part of the camp, they went into one tent, and did eat and drink, and carried thence silver, and gold, and raiment, and went and hid it; and came again, and entered into another tent, and carried thence also, and went and hid it.7:9 Then they said one to another, We do not well: this day is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace: if we tarry till the morning light, some mischief will come upon us: now therefore come, that we may go and tell the king’s household.7:10 So they came and called unto the porter of the city: and they told them, saying, We came to the camp of the Syrians, and, behold, there was no man there, neither voice of man, but horses tied, and asses tied, and the tents as they were.7:11 And he called the porters; and they told it to the king’s house within.” (2 Ki. 7:3-11)
All things work for good to those who love the Lord. Even a plague as deadly as the Corona fits perfectly into “all things work for good to those who love the Lord, to those who are called according to His purpose”.
The church has no place for fear of the Corona. On the contrary, this is the perfect opportunity for the church to declare the power of the gospel. I am just thinking, What if the pandemic had come before we received the revelation of the cross?
We might have ended in witch doctor’s houses! But now, this is a time for the church to show forth the unsearchable riches of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In that respect the Corona is good news.
And who is the church?
Unfortunately, today, there is a lot of compromise because the church wants to be like the world. They want wealth, fame, power and basically everything else the world wants. But the true church, those whom God has chosen to inherit the Kingdom of heaven, cannot be in this group. Just like in the case of the Samaritans, the church are the “lepers”. They of necessity must be people whom the world has rejected, for scripture says,
“1:26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;1:28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:1:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.” (1 Cor. 1:26-29)
I remember back in the days when the gospel was first preached in our country. It was not preached by men in suits, no. It was preached by people who had nothing of this world: they had no worldly riches and no worldly reputation. Above all they had no worldly education. And the gospel was very powerful then. It brought real healing to our country.
In those days there was a lot of armed robberies, and it was the church that played a pivotal role in bringing crime down. Hardened criminals would own up at evangelistic meetings and, with tears streaming down their faces, they would rush off and bring their guns and surrender them the men of God. In public!
This brought great attention on the church. One day, the then Regional Commissioner of Mwanza, the second largest city in Tanzania, spoke up at a public meeting and he told the gathering, “Brethren, I am a Muslim. But there is something so powerful about these ‘Walokole’ (the Pentecostals) I cannot describe it.”
He said, “How can the government not be able to pry these weapons from these armed robbers and yet they are handing them to these preachers in public?”
The Regional Commissioner was visibly touched, and so was the entire nation.
That was the church then. It was powerful. It was full of the riches of Christ.
But the enemy is always at work, trying to destroy the work of God and, even though we know he will never succeed in that endeavor, yet, given the chance, he can do a lot of damage, and sometimes the damage is irreparable.
This, sadly, has happened to the church today. Somewhere down the road, just as we see with the churches that Paul started, the church lost its first zeal. The men in rags disappeared, and the gospel is now preached by men in suits. The introduction of materialism into the gospel opened the door for a spiritual famine to beset the church.
To cater for their new gospel of materialism preachers dumped the true gospel of Jesus Christ and came up with,
“another Jesus, another gospel, another spirit” (2 Cor. 11:2)
It is difficult to hear “Jesus Christ and him crucified” preached in church today.
The outcome is that when the true gospel of Christ and Him crucified is not preached there is a famine in the church. In all my lifetime I have never seen a spiritual famine such as the one that is in the church today. When people in church begin eating grass like goats just because some so-called preacher has told them to, that is an indication of how severe the spiritual famine is.
Elsewhere, God’s people have eaten snakes, drank every kind of oil and filth, brought their underwear to church; they have been sprayed with “Doom” to the point of death; they have been beaten; they have been robbed clean in broad daylight; marriages and families have been destroyed. This is the spiritual carnage that is being perpetrated within the church as a result of… famine.
At the same time the character of Jesus Christ has suffered deeply for Christians do not reflect it in their lives.
But thank God for the gospel. The revelation of Jesus Christ and Him crucified is the best news ever. For it brings life and a true reflection of Christ in us.
This is the gospel that we must preach to a dying church and a dying world that is so fearful of the Corona pandemic.
We must be like these four Samaritan lepers. Upon realizing their mistake, these men stopped thinking about themselves. All of a sudden they changed priorities and their new mission became to announce the “glad tidings” so others could benefit.
I love these men. They were good men. And Christ has put that same goodness in us.
The church in particular needs to hear the Good News – of the cross. This is the food for the church. The revelation of Jesus Christ, “Christ crucified”, is the food that the church needs. It is also the unsearchable riches of Christ. And this is the message we need to fear missing most.
The church cannot fear or even find time to discuss the Corona virus. The Corona pandemic is nothing more than a wonderful opportunity for the church to spread forth the Good News.
It is my earnest prayer that the church may grasp the revelation of Christ crucified. It is not an overstatement to say that the church today has absolutely no idea of this revelation. But it must hear it!