6/24/2020 2:59:00 PM The Church In Times Of Trouble
You're invited to join First Baptist for services this Sunday--both at the church on Robin Road and online at 8:30 AM & 10:30 AM. Dr. Spence will be preaching from Luke 10:38-42: “Worked up Over Nothing.”
Dr. Stanley Spence, Pastor First Baptist Church, Lincolnton, N.C.
So much is going on in our world and we are off schedule as society goes. Churches are not meeting in a normal way yet; we are still socially distancing from one another; we are learning new ways to cope with the stress of isolation; and we are discovering what is important to us. During this last week, I did some reflecting on the permissive will of God allowing this COVID 19 to cause havoc upon the world. Good and bad people alike have suffered. Right in the middle of this pandemic, I was reminded of the world continuing to travel its course as it has for thousands of years. Trees grew, the grass came up in the spring, the sun rose and set every day. Much of the planet is still on schedule as it has always been.
It would appear we are being challenged to acknowledge what is important to us. Is God challenging us to consider what is important to us? So far God has shown in your priorities through your giving. Some of you have been faithful to watch the online services by computer or devices attached to the website. What will be the long term effect when the world gets past this disease and we discover what has changed? Will we be more distant from one another? Will we seek more creative ways to connect? In my days at the seminary, I was taught the only way to have church was to worship corporately. Isolation from each other does not prevent us from singing to the Lord but it does impede the fellowship aspect of Christianity. We need each other and the longer we distance ourselves the more challenging returning becomes.
Here is where faithfulness comes into play. The world may seem to be a dangerous place; and yet, it stays on course. We have changed and will change some more. We must interject our Christian faith into the new reality of the postpandemic world. How does one do this you might ask? Return to church as soon as you feel safe. Don’t consider church the last place to go, but rather the first place as soon as you go out in public. Give thanks to God for your health and pulling you through this time, also use this time to let God’s Spirit speak to you as to how you might minister to someone by sending a card, making a call, or running an errand for someone else.
It is also time for the church to pray for itself. We still have the mission God gave us since the time of Jesus. We are a priesthood of believers and we cannot do our mission hidden away. Look for ways to be engaged in ministry for Christ. That is our future and our present.
Prophets declare we may be in the end times. If these are the closing days of our known world, we should be all the more faithful to God’s mission. Don’t get lazy with our mission. You are His highest plan and strategy for sharing His hope with the world!
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