JULY 2020 – Update
In this month of July 2020 we are continuing to see the lifting of the lockdown measures over much of Europe, including the United Kingdom. There is so much that continues to be unknown about the coronavirus, as it emerges and re-emerges all over the world.
The full economic impact of the pandemic is yet to be revealed. We need to earnestly seek the Lord for wisdom for our leaders as they try to balance easing the lockdown while being aware of the dangers of a resurgence of the virus.
As churches and chapels begin to reopen and services are resumed, the restrictions that will be imposed will make for a very different worship experience. It is hard to imagine services where singing is banned. Pastors and church leaders will have their workloads greatly increased as they navigate these changes. They especially need our prayers and encouragement.
Alas so many have died, whether or not from the virus, without the comfort of loved ones around them. We, ourselves, have lost dear friends over the past four months. The thoughts and prayers of June and me are with our family and friends on both sides of the Atlantic, and with those visiting our website who may have suffered grievous loss through death, or economic hardship. We pray that the Lord, the Comforter, will strengthen and sustain us all through these uncertain times.
CORONAVIRUS or COVID-19
As June and I are seeking to isolate ourselves from the deadly effects of this terrible virus I have been pondering what Almighty God might be saying to the world through this pandemic.
You know God speaks, don’t you? Our Creator gave to mankind the precious gift of speech. Therefore, we can be sure God has not left Himself dumb.
- He speaks through His inspired Word, the Scriptures. (Hebrews 1:1-4)
- He speaks clearest through His Son, God incarnate, our Lord Jesus Christ. (Luke 13:1-5)
- God is Almighty and controls all the forces of “nature”, including the terrible destructive ones. (See the featured sermon on the Home Page, Jesus and Disasters.)
What, therefore, is God saying to the world today?
I can do no better than to reproduce for you the conclusions of Dr. Peter Masters, the Pastor of the great London church Metropolitan Tabernacle (Spurgeon’s Tabernacle), in the article published on the Metropolitan Tabernacle website entitled, “God’s Love in a Pandemic.”
“These are momentous days when we find ourselves in the midst of a worldwide ‘discipline’ or warning from God, calling us to acknowledge and seek Him. And although we shrink from the thought, this is the reason for all unexpected catastrophes, whether epidemics, floods, or vast fires. The Bible says these things will come more often in the ‘last days’, when atheism abounds and people generally have no thought or prayer to their Creator.
A warning from God is not like the last judgement, because it is an expression of God’s love, urging people to turn to Him, whereas the last judgement will finally close the door of mercy for those who turn away from Him. A warning is not permanent, and God has also given mankind the skill to control it, eventually. But a warning catastrophe pulls us up and humbles us, reminding us that we are only people, and that we are in God’s hands and accountable to Him.
Coronavirus has certainly shaken us more than any other catastrophe of recent generations. The relatively gentle approach of our UK scientific elite soon gave way to radical measures as the virus defied all predictions. Mighty China shook with alarm; the grim regime of Iran was stunned; Europe was soon sent scurrying to lockdown, and the all-powerful USA was brought to cower like everyone else.
As the pandemic proceeds, significant features become apparent. It is the elderly (like the writer of this) who are most at risk – those who have had a lifetime of opportunity to honour their Creator (and may have refused). The virus seems to say to the younger people – ‘you have some opportunity left: don’t despise the longsuffering of the Lord’. Remember that while God is love, He is also holy and just.
This may not be the last warning or discipline, although its full ‘indignation’ [or terrible consequences] has not yet unfolded. Christians are praying for relief and healing for those suffering, and we are witnessing many acts of kindness among people, but it is vital that we heed the message and meaning of this pandemic. Its purpose is to call us to forgiveness and reconciliation with God, but coming to the Saviour, Jesus Christ our Lord, who has opened a way of salvation by suffering and dying for sinful people on Calvary’s cross. To trust in Him, repent of sin, and yield your life to Him, is to receive from Him a new and eternal life.”
Do visit the Metropolitan Tabernacle website www.metropolitantabernacle.org to access the articles, writings, and preached sermons of the Pastor, Dr. Peter Masters.
In October last year we indicated that Harry was unable to complete several writing projects due to his rapidly failing eyesight.
We are thankful to God and very happy to update our readers that since that date Harry has had cataract surgery on both of his eyes. The first surgery was on November 12 and the second on December 23. Those who have undergone similar procedures will know that for the first few weeks after each surgery there is a regimen of drops to be adhered to – and there is a wait of some weeks to allow the eyes to settle before new reading spectacles can be prescribed and dispensed.
Harry’s distance vision is already greatly improved and he is looking forward to being able to read and write again before too long. We will add a further update when the first article is posted.