In times of community tragedy even the most religiously indifferent political leader has expressed “Our thoughts and prayers are with you.” This expression universally conveys sympathy, compassion, and heartfelt concern. But there has been times when a nation or state has faced a looming threat largely out of their control where its leaders have actually called its citizens to pray for this threat to be averted. One of the more famous examples of this was when the newly appointed Prime Minister of Great Britain, Winston Churchill, announced a national day of prayer for the fate of the three hundred and thirty-eight thousand British and French troops on the beaches of Dunkirk who were facing certain annihilation from their approaching enemy. What immediately resulted was either a remarkable coincidence or an answer to the prayers of a nation!
Leading up to Easter, we’ve been considering the events surrounding the last week of Christ before the Cross. As we’ve seen, one of the major events that occurred during this time, just days before Holy Week began, was when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. And while we read this account with the benefit of hindsight, those involved — who were caught up in the moment — weren’t so fortunate. Instead, they had questions! There are many parallels with this account and what many of us facing now as we come to grips with the impact of COVID-19. But there is a big difference, and…
I am writing this at a time when thousands are dying each day around the world from the COVID-19 pandemic. In such perilous times, the need for eternal assurance is now paramount and no-one should settle for some other man’s guesswork or philosophical fancies about the after-life — which all too often spouts some tripe about how we all go to heaven anyway — despite living in complete defiance to God’s command to repent from the deception our sufficient self-righteousness!
No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.
Luke 13:3, the words of Jesus
Therefore, the question worth considering: Since the sabbath was a shadow of Christ’s finished work of salvation for mankind, how should respond to those who promote such religious nonsense that we are essentially good enough to earn our own salvation from God?