A voice says, “Cry out.”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
“All people are like grass,
and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field.
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
because the breath of the Lord blows on them.
Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God endures forever.”
- Isaiah 40:6-8
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.
- James 4:13-17
“Christianity is a Gospel of Crisis. It proclaims unmistakably that this world’s days are numbered. Every graveyard and every cemetery testify that the Bible is true. Or days on this planet are numbered [Billy Graham then refers to the Scriptures above]. … There is no doubt that nations also come to an end when they have ceased to fulfill the function that God meant for them. The end will come with the return of Jesus Christ. … We know what will come. We know what the end will be: the triumph of the Lord Jesus Christ!”
- Billy Graham, Day by Day with Billy Graham (May 9)
Don’t worry. We are all safe at home, I think… And my wife and I are home, at least we “planned” on being home by this date… Update since writing this – Yes, we are home and safe, but 1 mask in a hundred people, people who would never rub your shoulder would pack in that close and you could feel their breathe. I never felt so abused or so vulnerable. People don’t care about other people anymore. My advice – stay home.
Before I started to write, I went to a couple of news feeds on the internet. Every scrap of news seems to be COVID-19 related. I know other things are happening, but the perception matches the mania. The beat writers know that other news gets pushed to page 3 or it doesn’t get published at all, but give some statistics on COVID-19 and you might get page 1. Not guaranteed, for there are others wanting that same spot.
And I think I know why all this obsession over COVID-19. Sure, those who live by network television are watching reruns or news about the disease. The lockdown is affecting every aspect of our lives, and the loosening of restrictions are misunderstood or used as license to ignore the restrictions altogether – as if some ever did follow them.
No, we want the world back to normal, or some new normal, so that we can go back to ignoring the truth that is spoken in the Scriptures above, along with the quote from Billy Graham. We know that death is inevitable, but if we can ignore it, we can make those plans that James talks about. We can boast of a bright new tomorrow.
Yet, the graveyards have been getting closer to capacity of late. I would say that I could weep along with those who have lost loved ones, but, as I have admitted in the past, my weeper seems to be busted, broken, in disrepair. Yet, please accept my sympathy.
I wrote before the series on the Beatitudes about Rust and Dust. All our things will turn to dust, rust, other forms of oxidation, or simply rot. It is well documented that we will die, sooner or later. Yet, for eternal life we must Trust Jesus.
But since we know this, that we will eventually die, why did Billy Graham bring it up so often? Because we ignore it, and as James says, we do not prepare for it. Billy Graham was saying that we have no control over our tomorrow. Our tomorrow may never come. If COVID-19 did not awaken you, when will you see that tomorrow is not guaranteed? If the lockdown, the lack of busyness for many, the fear and suffering, if those things did not awaken you, what will?
When we accept Jesus and turn our life over to Him, when we Trust Jesus in everything, we understand what this Gospel of Crisis is all about. Jesus is the ultimate answer for anything that matters, and He is the only means for eternal life.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.