"For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God:
and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that
obey not the gospel of God?"
(1 Peter 4:17)
Coronavirus, COVID-19, is a sure sign of the times. A birth pang of such incredibly great and global suddenness and severity. It is, if you will, a very large-lettered writing on the wall, but in the contemporary Church where Biblical literacy has become as rare as an iceberg in the Sahara, I fear it will mostly go unread and unheeded.
Nothing, absolutely nothing, can happen without the Creator either causing it, or stepping back and allowing it. His Sovereignty is absolute. It's the same with this pandemic as with everything else: there is His judgment, and there is His escape. His will is that men should seek and find Him, and crises and catastrophes can be a very real means to that end. He can and He will use any and every possibility to bring about a person's reconciliation to Himself, and He labours long and hard towards achieving that outcome. But it is critically important to understand that His patience is not infinite; as it is indelibly written, "My spirit shall not always strive with man." (Genesis 6:3). And as much as He is a God of love, He is also a God of righteous wrath and of judgment; those who determinedly reject Him, He will in turn Himself determinedly reject. With this sobering fact very firmly in mind, let us at this most critical and unprecedented point in time remember where it is that God's inevitable judgment begins...
The church doors that were wide open to welcome in all manner of false teachers and unclean spirits are now closed to all and sundry. Is this not indeed a divine judgment upon a salt that has so utterly lost its savour and become good for nothing, fit only to be cast out and trodden underfoot? (Matthew 5:13). No itchy-eared, sign-seeking follower of a counterfeit Christ is now sitting at the feet of a fable-monger in a sullied pulpit, and those disquieted few whose spirit groaned within them at the wholesale abandonment of Truth, but who had not yet found the resolve to leave of their own volition have had the decision made for them.
Nobody knows when - or even if - the church doors will open again. Laodicea is in indefinite lockdown. Who knows whether this may be the final opportunity for those who would claim to be God's people to get right with Him in reality and not in mere illusion? Claiming to be His and truly being His are entirely different things, for of a truth "the heart is deceitful above all things." (Jeremiah 17:9). Who knows if this could be the last throw of the Lord's lifeline to those drowning in the sea of delusion that the Church has become? One thing is certain, it's well past time to wake up and smell the coffee, to stop trusting in sandcastle churches and self-serving hirelings with their make-believe "Jesus," and instead find an uncompromised fullness of genuine faith in the True and eternally unchangeable Triune God. He alone is worthy, He alone able in His immeasurable grace to save us from ourselves!
"For as a snare shall it come on all them
that dwell on the face of the whole earth.
Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted
worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass,
and to stand before the Son of man."