by Debbie Wilson @DebbieWWilson
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28 NIV
Have you wondered what Jesus would say to us about the corona virus? My inbox is full of emails from merchants and event planners sharing the precautions they’re executing to protect us from this virus.
My daughter, who works in airline reservations, had her shift hours doubled to handle flight cancellations. It doesn’t take a genius to do the math on that one! Paying your employees overtime to cancel your source of revenue? The threat of this virus has shaken our economy and our sense of well-being.
So, what would Jesus say? Several thoughts come to mind. Let’s look at one.
“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28 NIV).
I bet you didn’t see that one coming! While the Bible is full of verses that assure us of God’s care and protection over our earthly lives (Psalm 91; Matthew 6:25-27), this one reminds us of a core issue. We all will die. Some of us will die peacefully; others will die painfully, but either way, life on this earth will end.
How we live and whether or not we are ready to face eternity is more important than how and when we die. While the New Testament speaks of a time when Jesus will return and all believers who are still alive will meet Him in the air, statistically speaking, you have 100% chance of your life on earth coming to an end (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18).
I recently spoke with a young man who said his sister had canceled her family birthday party because of the virus threat. I mentioned that we all will die and need to be ready to die. This 38-year-old man said he’d had a brush with death just weeks earlier. He described riding his motorcycle down a city road when a rolled carpet fell off the truck in front of him, knocked him off his bike and sent him skidding across 100 feet of asphalt. He showed me the pink skin running down his arm where the asphalt had penetrated the layers of his clothing.
“When they put me in the emergency vehicle, I fell apart. I couldn’t believe I was still alive,” he said.
Jesus’ words really are a source of comfort to those who embrace them. For He reminds us there is only One with the power to destroy or to save an eternal soul. And He has gone to extreme measures to save us.
“God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NIV).
If you were to die today and God were to ask you why He should let you into His heaven, what would you say?
Would you tell Him you’ve done your best?
That your good deeds outweigh your bad?
Your very eternity rests on getting this right. The Bible supplies the correct answer.
If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9 NIV). Have you put your trust in Jesus? Do you believe His death paid for your sins—past, present, and future—and His resurrection secured your eternal life (1 John 5:13)? If so, you have nothing to fear from the corona virus, or anything else, for that matter.
How much head space is the corona virus taking up in your mind? We should be wise in our actions. We should heed the precautions to wash our hands and protect ourselves. But let’s be counted among those who encourage each other to faith, not fear. Fear actually suppresses the immune system we need to fight not only this virus but other serious illnesses, including cancer.
Let’s follow the Bible’s admonition to: “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (Philippians 4:8 NLT).
About the author: Drawing from her walk with Christ, and years as a Christian counselor, coach, and Bible teacher, Debbie W. Wilson helps women give themselves a break so they can enjoy fruitful and grace-filled lives. She is the author of Little Women, Big God and Give Yourself a Break. Her latest book, Little Faith, Big God, is to be released February 2020. She and her husband Larry founded and run Lighthouse Ministries, a nonprofit counseling, coaching, and Bible study ministry. She is an AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) certified speaking and writing coach. Debbie enjoys a good mystery, dark chocolate, and the antics of her two standard poodles. Refresh your faith with free resources at debbieWwilson.com.
Join the conversation: How are you coping with our present circumstances?