Virus crisis - is there a book that will help us? Today I heard a TV host ask how to get through the current crisis emotionally. ‘Is there any book we can get to help us?’ she asked.

 Oh how I wish she had asked a born again pastor that question!   Or any born again Christian!  Even me!

But the person being interviewed advised getting a book on ‘cognitive behavioural therapy’.  What in the world is that?  It is the concept of re-training your brain to think more positively.  Oh, I see, a psychological band-aid.  What a bummer.  A band-aid won’t help in the Intensive Care Unit! 

I would have pointed them to a far better book, the best book in the world, God’s book, the Holy Bible, which tells us exactly how to get through this and every other crisis in our lives.  You probably already have a copy in your house!

God’s book will not only ‘re-train the brain’; it  has the power to re-make you  completely!  You can actually, really, be born again spiritually, become a totally new creation, with a new spirit within you, the Holy Spirit of God. (Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians chapter 5 verse 17)

What?  That’s crazy talk!  Oh no, in fact the Lord Jesus said it was essential.   He said you MUST be born again.   (Gospel of John chapter 3)

And in His great book there are many promises that under certain conditions, He will protect us, help us, keep us safe, provide for all our needs and even give us an eternal home which no bank or loan company can ever repossess.

We need those promises!  So what are the conditions we have to fulfil?  The one mega condition on which everything hangs is faith in God’s beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Here is where most people stop reading.  If my heart is breaking for them right now, think how God feels!

Please don’t stop reading.

 You CAN put your faith in Jesus.  If you are still reading, God is drawing you to His Son, pulling you.  He wants you in His great family!  Don’t pull away.

The bottom line is truth.  The truth is that God really exists, that He really did give His beloved Son to become a perfect sinless man and die horribly to pay the penalty of all our sins. 

The truth is that we all are sinners and need forgiveness.  The only way to obtain forgiveness is by trusting in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and becoming His follower.*

Then His Father will be your Father.  Jesus will be your Redeemer.  A redeemer is someone who pays the debt you owe. 

Just think, you have a big mortgage on your house.  Suddenly a stranger appears at the bank and pays it off with one signature on a check.  That man has redeemed the mortgage and the house is now all yours.  Your debt has been paid.

Would you not want to thank that man?  Would not your heart be overflowing with joy and gratitude, with great relief?  You had such a heavy burden and with a stroke of a pen, he removed it.  He took care of business. 

Would you not be on a mission to find him and tell him you could never thank him enough?  Would you not be curious to find out why he had done such a wonderful thing when you didn’t even know him?

That is what Jesus did at Calvary.  He took on Himself all our sins and paid the ultimate price with His holy blood.  He paid our debt, cancelling out the terrible penalty of sin, all eternity in Hell.  From the cross He declared:  ‘It is finished!’ (Gospel of John chapter 19)

The debt for sin was settled at Calvary and the door of Heaven was open for all who would come to faith in Christ.

But wait, remember that man who walked into the bank and paid off your mortgage?  What if you refused to believe that it ever happened?  What if you kept making that heavy house payment for the rest of your life because you just could not believe someone paid your debt?

You could live free of debt, but you keep up the payments anyway because it is just too good to be true. 

As ridiculous as that sounds, it really is what most people do spiritually.  They could live in freedom from fear.  They could know the joy of having their sins forgiven and removed as far as the east is from the west. 

They could know God as their Father, who provides all their needs. 

What, even now, with a virus raging in the world?   Yes, there is no better time to turn to God, acknowledge that you are a sinner, beg for forgiveness, and accept Jesus as your Savior.

Most of the world has comprehensively rejected Jesus, just as He said would happen.  Most people reject the narrow way of faith in Him and instead choose the broad way that leads to Hell.  That is what He said would happen (Gospel of Matthew chapter 7).

Time to think, folks!  Cognitive behavioural therapy will not save you.  Choose this day who you will serve.  There is a Savior, Jesus Christ who died for you. 

If you have missed every other chance to put your faith in Him, don’t miss this one.  We never know when it is our last chance, the last call we will get, the final invitation  before God calls time and it is then too late, forever too late. 

I missed so many chances, and can never thank the Lord enough that He did not give up on me so that at the age of 36, many years ago, I started reading the Bible and saw that it was all true, I was a sinner headed for Hell, and had no hope except in Jesus.

I begged God to forgive all my sins and make me one of His people.

I didn’t think He would want me, until a Christian lady showed me many scriptures about salvation in the Bible and said:  ‘Pat, that prayer you prayed for forgiveness – that was all He was waiting for.’  He said He would never turn anyone away.  How glad I was to hear those words.

If you are full of fear about the virus or lack of money or anything else, the answer is not in psychology, but in God’s book.  It says:  ‘For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

‘For God sent His Son into the world not to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.

‘He who believes in Him is not condemned: but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.’  Gospel of John chapter 3

But what if you put your faith in Jesus and you still get the virus?  And if you even die of the virus?

Jesus  told us many times not to fear, not even to fear death, but to fear God who, after death, could destroy both soul and body in Hell.  And then Jesus added right away that not a sparrow fell to the ground without the Father’s notice and that we are worth much more than sparrows – indeed that the Father had numbered every hair on our heads! Gospel of Matthew chapter 10

So what if believers do die of the virus (or something else)?  Jesus said:  ‘I am the resurrection and the life: he who believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die.’  Gospel of John chapter 11

This is the greatest promise in the Bible, from the mouth of the Lord Jesus Himself.  It is conditional; you have to be a believer. 

What exactly do you have to believe?  Three things:  that Jesus died for sinners, that He was buried, and that He rose from the dead on the third day (listed in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians chapter 15).

So, dear friend, please get a Bible, online or in book form, and read.  God speaks through the Bible.  Every word in it is God breathed (so says Paul’s second letter to the young pastor, Timothy, chapter 3).

That is why believers in Jesus can feel peace now and not be afraid.  They know that God is in control of everything and that when bad things happen, they can trust Him even with their lives.

Written by Pat Franklin

  • [1] Jesus said:  ‘I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.’  Gospel of John chapter 14
  • The word Savior is spelled Saviour in England.  They add a ‘u’.  That could be ‘u’, dear friend.  God wants you!  He doesn’t want anyone to perish and end in Hell.  He wants ‘u’ to read His book, to come to faith in His Son Jesus, to find forgiveness and truth.
  • The Bible is free online from Olive Tree Ministries, the Blue Letter Bible and many other sites.  You can often find a Bible in charity shops in England, and most churches would be delighted to give you one free.

 

 


15/04/2020

 
 
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If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God...And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever...
Revelation 14:9-11

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