How are you holding up? Are you hanging in there? These seems to be common questions that I’m asking and being asked in these crazy days. It is remarkable how things have changed in such a short space of time. But in the midst of all this madness, I want to write to you, brothers and sisters in the Lord, to encourage you because we have so much to be excited about.
This is what we are commanded to do, to encourage one another. So I’m writing to encourage you, to pass that on. And it is my hope you will do the same and pass the encouragement along to others. Hebrews 10:23 – 25 says:
23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. 24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
What do we have to be excited about?
What do we have to be excited about? It is a valid question. But before I answer that, just pause and reflect on how we have come since this year began. If our attachment is to this life and the things of this world, then the answer is that there is very little to be excited about. But if we are looking to things to come, well strap yourself in because things are looking up.
Eight months ago things were pretty normal. For the most part, we were all optimistically looking forward to a big year. We were wondering what God had in store for us. In our family, it included an 18th birthday and final year of High School for our youngest daughter. Our other daughter is turning 21. At church we have great expectations for where God was leading us as a church. We are excited about continuing the journey of the Oakleigh Baptist community. It involves bringing Melbourne Bangjoo Church and Oakleigh Baptist Church towards one united church family and all the wonder that God would do in and through us.
Things changed so quickly
If you had told me that within 8 months most people would not be going to work. That if they were working at all, most were doing it from home. Public transport and traffic congestion would be the least of our problems, in fact no problem at all. If we left our home, we needed to wear a mask wherever we went. We could only travel no more than 5 km from home, we would need a permit to travel to work. It sounds remarkable, like something dreamed up in Hollywood.
But in August 2020, this and so much more is now our reality and it is a reminder of how quickly things can change.
But what I find remarkable, is how quickly we are willing to surrender our freedoms. How ready we are to obey without question. Because there are so many unexplained things that are happening. There are so many questions that have not been answered, and many things that just don’t add up. You won’t see any of them in our newspapers or the nightly news, but for those with eyes to see it quite unbelievable.
Questions we need to ask
For example; we are losing people to suicide at an enormous rate, that dwarfs the virus numbers. I’m not saying that should change our approach, but doesn’t it deserve some kind of discussion? And then there are the consequences of all this, I don’t mean to be an alarmist, but the economy will never be the same again, and interestingly, the longer this goes on, the more the outcome can only resemble something of Biblical proportions, I’m talking Revelation like. Do you find that interesting? Not scary of course, at least not if your foundation is on Christ Jesus.
And to give two or three quick pictures of the madness that has me more than scratching my head: A common, proven drug that has been used to treat Malaria for over 70 years, seems to have a remarkable record at curing those infected with Covid19. Yet it has been deemed to be far too unsafe and removed from distribution. Instead we are putting all our eggs into the basket of a mystery vaccine that has yet to be found. And powerful people want to include a mechanism to trace everyone who has received this future Vaccine. That mechanism will be implanted in it.
Secondly, it is far too risky to meet in large numbers. That is of course unless you are protesting and marching. Strangely you can meet in crowds to burn bibles, but you can’t meet in church to read them. And the High Court will rule that it is acceptable to have 50% capacity in casino’s and restaurants, but not in churches.
Please understand, I’m not advocating for civil disobedience, not yet anyway. But I am saying, that as Christians we are given insight into what is to come. We are told to keep our eyes open and ‘always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. (1 Peter 3:5)
We see the future arriving today
What I’m saying is this; if where we are heading resembles the pages of Revelation, the majority of which describes a very small and particular period of time that is yet future, then now more than ever we have a message to deliver. It is God’s message, an important message. It is a message of hope, a message of Good News, and a message that will help people. Today, more than they have for years, people are listening. The Good News will enable them to rise above the madness, the fear, and the unanswered questions that are such a reality in our world today.
My family, these are great days. Just like the days when Jesus walked the earth. God has called and appointed you to be a preacher of Good News in these last days. If you want a simple way to help people into a position where God will speak to them, then take a look at www.oakleighbaptist.org/share. And if you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Saviour, then now is a really great time to find out more. Take a look here to discover how to begin a friendship with Jesus, and find Salvation and certain hope.