For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. Luke 17:24
But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. Malachi 4:2

But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . Galatians 6:14
For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:2
Let the motto upon your whole ministry be - "Christ is All!" - Mather

Saturday, April 25, 2020

"American Gospel: Christ Crucified" Gets It Right: God Killed Jesus And Damned Him On The Cross

The Gospel Coalition has published a review of the new American Gospel: Christ Crucified documentary. In this TGC review, Caleb Wait makes two seriously mistaken critiques of the documentary. The purpose of this post is to show how these critiques are misguided.

Did God Kill Jesus?

First, Wait critiques Voddie Baucham for saying that God killed Jesus on the cross. He writes: 
Intermingled with these accurate statements, however, are a few others that unnecessarily muddy the waters on this crucial doctrine. For example, Voddie Baucham says in the film: "Yeah, God killed Jesus. But did Jesus go to the cross unwillingly? No" [41:50]. This undermines what the film later notes, that God's decree to ordain Christ's death is not equal to the act of killing Jesus himself: "He was handed over by God’s set plan and foreknowledge, and you, by the hands of the lawless, put him to death by nailing him to the cross" (Acts 2:23).
 One wonders when an article will be written critiquing Job for saying:
"Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD . . . Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?" In all this Job did not sin with his lips. (Job 1:21, 2:10). 
The critique might sound something like this: "Job's statements undermine what we learned earlier in the book, that Job's wealth and children weren't taken away by God, but by Satan, and Job did not receive evil from God, but from Satan." That would obviously be a wrong critique of Job's words, and, in a similar way, Wait's critique of Baucham is wrong as well.

Baucham is absolutely right: God killed His own Son on the cross. And He killed Him in two different senses.

God Killed His Son As The First Cause Of All Things

First, God killed His own Son on the cross in the sense that He is the first cause of all things. In the book of Job, we see that though Satan is the second cause of Job's great losses, Job attributes his losses to God, and Job attributes the evil done to him to God. Job said God has taken away! Job said he received evil from God! And lest we think it was wrong of Job to say this, God's Word makes it clear - in all of these words, Job was not sinning against God with his lips.

When Baucham said God killed Jesus, he wasn't sinning with his lips either. He, like Job, was simply speaking of God as the first cause of all things. Wait acknowledges that God ordained the death of Jesus, but his mistake is in thinking that Baucham, like Job, spoke in a wrong way by attributing to God the ultimate and final responsibility for the ends He ordained.

In both Job's case and with Jesus at the cross, God used second causes to bring His purposes to pass. And those second causes sinned. It was wicked and evil for Satan to destroy Job's family, wealth, and health (Satan is a murder from the beginning - John 8:44), and it was wicked and evil for Herod, Pontius Pilate, the Jews, the Gentiles, and the soldiers to crucify the Lord of glory, yet God sinlessly ordains the sinful actions of Satan and men to carry out His wise purposes for the good of His people and for His own glory. It is not wrong to attribute all of these actions to God as the first cause of all things. Therefore, it is right to say that God killed Jesus. No, God wasn't there using a hammer to nail the nails into Jesus' body, but He was there as the first cause putting Jesus to death, and it's very Biblical to speak this way. We must follow Job as he follows Christ.

God Directly Killed His Son For Our Salvation

Second, God killed His own Son on the cross, not only as the first cause of all things, but God was directly killing His Son to make propitiation for sin. Sinful men didn't kill Jesus for redemptive purposes, but God did. And the Bible makes it clear, over and over again, that God killed His own Son for the salvation of His people:
we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted (Isaiah 53:4)
Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief (Isaiah 53:10)
"Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, against the man who stands next to me," declares the LORD of hosts. "Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered" (Zechariah 13:7)
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.(John 3:16)
Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood (Romans 3:24-25)
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us - for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree" (Galatians 3:13)
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all (Romans 8:32)
My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will. (Matthew 26:39)
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46)
God struck and smote His Son - to death!
God crushed His Son - to death!
God gave His Son - to death!
God put His Son forward - to death!
God made His Son a curse and cursed Him - to death! Death is a part of the curse!
God did not spare His own Son and gave Him up - to death!
God gave His Son the cup of wrath - to death!
God forsook His Son - to death!
God did this! God killed Jesus! 

Other Faithful Witnesses

There are other faithful witnesses who use the same language as Baucham to describe God's redemptive work on the cross. Thomas Goodwin, one of the most respected Puritans who was also on the Westminster Assembly, clearly wrote that God smote His Son to death: 
And considered either as lamb or shepherd, we find that God being angry with him whilst thus he bore our sins, insomuch as he is said in his wrath to have smitten this shepherd with his sword, and smitten him unto death. (emphasis mine) (Christ Our Mediator, Grand Rapids: Sovereign Grace Publishers, 1971, 370)
Side note: I cannot recommend Goodwin's work highly enough on the cross. He understands the fact that God was both angry with Christ and loved Christ at the same time while He suffered on the cross.

Charles Spurgeon preached that God killed Jesus. To describe the cross, Spurgeon used the illustration of God's command to Abraham to slay his son, Isaac. But one major difference Spurgeon pointed out between Abraham and Isaac and what God did to His Son on the cross is that God actually did the deed and slayed His Son and drove the knife into His heart:
The death of Christ is traceable to God the Father . . . O! can ye tell the greatness of that love, which made the everlasting God not only put his Son upon the altar, but actually do the deed, and thrust the sacrificial knife into his Son's heart? Can you think how overwhelming must have been the love of God toward the human race, when he completed in act what Abraham only did in intention? Look ye there, and see the place where his only Son hung dead upon the cross, the bleeding victim of awakened justice! Here is love indeed; and here we see how it was, that it pleased the Father to bruise him. (emphasis mine) (The Death Of Christ, Sermon delivered on Sabbath Morning, January 24, 1858)
Martyn Lloyd-Jones affirmed that God killed Jesus. He wrote: 
But let me end by giving you this specific statement which literally tells us that it was God who was doing this thing on Calvary: Isaiah 53:6: "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." But have you ever realized that John 3:16 says this? "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son" - to the death of the cross - it is God who gave Him. Take again Romans 3:25: "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God" - there it is again. Or Romans 8:32: "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" He, God, He "spared not His own Son but delivered Him" - it was God who did it . . . Any idea or theory of the atonement must always give full weight and significance to the activity of God the Father. (emphasis mine) (Great Doctrines of the Bible, Volume One, Substitution, "The Necessity of the Atonement," Crossway Books, Wheaton, Illinois, 2003, 317-337)
Again, as he gloried in the cross, Lloyd-Jones wrote: ". . . he was put to death by his own Father . . . ." (The Cross, Crossway Books, Wheaton, Illinois, 1986, 82)

Contemporary pastors and theologians, like Voddie Baucham, also affirm this truth. John Piper writes:
One of my friends who used to be a pastor in Illinois was preaching to a group of prisoners in a state prison during Holy Week several years ago. At one point in his message, he paused and asked the men if they knew who killed Jesus. Some said the soldiers did. Some said the Jews did. Some said Pilate. After there was silence, my friend said simply, "His Father killed him." That's what the first half of Romans 8:32 says: God did not spare his own Son but handed him over - to death. (emphasis mine) (Who Killed Jesus?)
Stephen Wellum writes:
Texts such as Isaiah 53:10, John 3:16, Romans 8:32, and Jesus's prayer in Gethsemane and his cry from the cross, all teach that the Father deliberately sacrificed his Son for us . . . How is the Father justified in what he did at Calvary? What gave him the right to sacrifice his own Son? Two points require emphasis. First, Scripture presents the action of God the Father as a priest offering the sacrifice of his only Son, as a demonstration of his love, justice, and righteousness. Second, given the Trinitarian personal relations, the act of the Father also involves the active involvement of the Son and the Spirit, who together, and according to their mode of personal relations, act as the one God to redeem us. (emphasis mine) (Christ Alone: The Uniqueness Of Jesus As Savior, Zondervan, 2017, 211-212)
God killed His Son on the cross. Scripture testifies to it, and faithful, godly believers in church history testify to it as well. 

The Second Critique: God's Damning Of His Son

The second critique Wait makes is against the language R. C. Sproul used to describe what Jesus endured on the cross. He writes: 
. . . the film includes the unfortunate statement from the late, great R. C. Sproul, speaking of Jesus's cry of forsakenness on the cross: "It was as if there was a cry from heaven, as if Jesus heard the words 'God damn you'" [2:26:16]. The problem for the viewer is that these rather bombastic statements are contextless, and they paint a picture that goes further than the actual doctrine of PSA allows. As described by Begg and DeYoung, God does not hate the Son.
It saddens me that R. C. Sproul's faithful, powerful, and Biblical description of what Jesus endured on the cross is reduced to an "unfortunate" and "bombastic" statement. Really! God forbid!

First of all, no where in the documentary is it stated that God hates His Son. That is simply a false criticism. Second, R.C. Sproul is simply stating the truth of Galatians 3:13: "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us - for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree.'"

To curse means to damn. John Calvin, for example, used these words interchangeably: "Then are we all undone and damned as in respect of the Law, there is no more remedy, Cursed shall he be which does not all those things." (Sermon delivered on Wednesday, the first of January 1556, The 124th Sermon which is the fifth upon the one and twentieth Chapter)

R. C. Sproul is simply faithfully handling the text. 

Furthermore, numerous giants of the faith throughout church history have written this way about the cross, including Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Wycliffe, John Owen, Herman Witsius, Francis Turretin, Wilhelmus à Brakel, A.W. Pink, J.I. Packer, John Piper, and Philip Ryken.

See the above link for numerous examples, but I'll simply list a few of my favorites here (all emphasis mine):
Martin Luther: So then, gaze at the heavenly picture of Christ, who descended into hell [I Pet. 3:19] for your sake and was forsaken by God as one eternally damned when he spoke the words on the cross, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani!" - "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" [Matt. 27:46]. In that picture your hell is defeated and your uncertain election is made sure. (Luther's Works, Vol. 42, Eds. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1969, 105) 
John Calvin: Calvin's Catechism: 69. How is it possible that Jesus Christ, who is the salvation of the world, should have been under such damnation? He was not to remain under it. For though He experienced the horror we have spoken of, He was by no means oppressed by it. On the contrary, He battled with the power of hell, to break and destroy it. (The School Of Faith: The Catechisms Of The Reformed Church, Ed., Trans. Thomas F. Torrance, Eugene, Oregon: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1959, 16)
Not only the body of Christ was given as the price of our redemption, but there was another, greater, and more excellent ransom, for He suffered in his soul the dreadful torments of a damned and lost man. (Institutes, II.xvi.10)
For inasmuch as we see that the Son of God . . . was pronounced accursed by God's own mouth. (Sermons On Galatians, Audubon, New Jersey: Old Path Publications, 1995, 295-296)
Wilhelmus à Brakel: Christ did indeed suffer eternal damnation, for eternal damnation, death, and pain consist in total separation from God, in the total manifestation of divine wrath, and all of this for such a duration until the punishment upon sin was perfectly and satisfactorily born.(The Christian's Reasonable Service, Vol. 1, Trans. Bartel Elshout, Ed. Joel Beeke, Rotterdam, The Netherlands: D. Bolle, 1999, 591)

Philip Graham Ryken: To the Jews, this was absolute blasphemy: a cursed Messiah on a cursed cross.  No wonder the cross was such a stumbling block to them!  To put it in the most shocking and yet perhaps the most accurate way, the apostolic message was about a God-damned Messiah. (Galatians, Phillipsburg, New Jersey: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, 2005, 115)

The critiques made by Caleb Wait are simply wrong and misguided. They are neither Biblically accurate nor supported by church history. And they do damage to a faithful and helpful documentary on the cross and the Gospel. Watch American Gospel: Christ Crucfied! They get the cross right in every way: God killed Jesus so that sinners might be saved and so that we might never be killed and destroyed in hell forever! Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Monday, April 20, 2020

"That's My King!" Who Created The Last Dance!

"Praise Him with tambourine and dance . . . ." Psalm 150:4

"That's My King!" Who Created Every Last Dance
He Made Michael Jordan To Glory Advance
Bird Said God Came As Jordan? Not Even A Chance
All That Jordan Is Should Point To God's Glory Expanse
Christ Died And He Rose On Death Victory Stance
He Rules And He Reigns Over All Circumstance
Give God The Glory For Basketball Romance
Taste And See His Beauty At Even A Glance
And He'll Put You In An Everlasting Joy Trance!

That's My King! 
I wonder if you know Him today?!

Friday, April 17, 2020

"That's My King!" Who Began The New Creation As The King Of Every Nation And Came To Grant Salvation To Our Evil Population!

We see the genesis of Jesus Christ in the great beginning
He's the only one on the list Who always did no sinning
The wicked sins of His family will leave your head a spinning
This points to matchless mercy that will only leave you grinning
For He's the God-Man King Who died and rose now winning
And if you trust in Him, your sins He'll keep forgiving!

That's my King!

He came to earth to make all things new
The mess Adam made He came to undo
Even in us who meet here at Chew
And all in the world who sit in the pew
No matter what happens, He'll bring you through
And work all for good – everything He'll renew
With goodness and mercy He'll pursue
One day He'll make every sadness untrue!

That's my King!

He's "Yahweh Saves" – the Messiah of all
This list will prove His phenomenal call
He removed God's wrath when He tasted the gall
And rose up on high – the tallest of tall
Now He's King of kings with power not small
He takes wicked Saul and makes him cry "Christ is all!"
And if you trust in Him, you shall never ever fall!

That's my King! Do you know Him?

He's both David and Abraham's greatest Son
Fulfilling the kingship and covenant done
In His death and resurrection New Creation's begun
His power and might are second to none
His glory and beauty shine like the sun!

That's my King!

Jesus' family history includes an adulterer, murderer, and whore
His abundant love and mercy to richly underscore
To all types of sinners He's the saving open door
If you repent and believe, you He won't ignore
He'll pursue you in love – your hope and purity restore
He's the Dirty Rose Lover for all our sins He bore
Conquered death and hell providing grace galore
To get this lavish mercy you can’t work or do a chore
You only must believe and then do nothing more
His Spirit will live in you to cause you to adore
Then you'll do good works as you never did before
More and more all evil you will hate and fight, abhor
Against your filthy sin you'll wage an all-out war!

That's my King! I wonder if you know Him today?!

Wicked King Jechoniah is in Christ's family line
None of his son's will reign as God's humbling, cursed sign
So Joseph's not the father in Jesus' birth bloodline
But he's father for legal kingship in God's good design
Oh how great is our God, His plan is so Divine
The things that He assigns make His glory brightly shine
And every plan of His is gloriously fine!

That's my King!

Jesus has an amazing, grace-filled family tree
It shows God's great compassion if you’ve eyes to see
His grace and mercy were blood-bought and therefore always free
To all who trust in Him and with His Word agree
No matter what their sin, even to the evilest degree
So come to Him by faith and make your mercy-plea
Beg Him for salvation on humbled bended knee
To God’s Mercy-Heart may you always quickly flee!

That's my King! That's my King!

Monday, April 13, 2020

The Sun Of Righteousness Shall Rise - A Biblical Theology Of The Sun Pointing To The Son

Mark 16:2, 6: And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb . . . And he said to them, "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified.
He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him.

Is there any significance to the fact that Jesus Christ rose early in the morning and Mark records that Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome went to the tomb "when the sun had risen?"

May this Bible study revolutionize the way you think about the created sun as a pointer to the risen Son of God, and may every sunrise you ever see for the rest of your life remind you of King Jesus' and His resurrection from the dead! The sun and the sunrise ought to remind us of Jesus Christ (Who made the created sun and everything else!), and it ought to point us to His resurrection from the dead!

What was the first thing God spoke into existence in Genesis 1? Light! Just as the first thing God created in the first creation was light, so the first thing that dawned in the new creation was light: the light of the risen sun and, more importantly, the light of the risen Son – Jesus Christ our LORD!

1. God Uses The Created Sun To Describe Himself In His Word

Psalm 84:11: For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.

Why is the created sun such a fitting metaphor for God? Why would God use the created sun to describe Himself?

a. The sun is the brightest of lights: The sun provides light to the world. You can't look at it – it is so bright it will burn your eyes!

God is light and in Him is no darkness at all – He is pure and holy and without sin and set apart!

b. The sun is powerful: Dr. Louis Barbier: The Sun's output is 5 x 10 (to the 23rd power) horsepower. How much is that? It is enough energy to melt a bridge of ice 2 miles wide, 1 mile thick, and extending the entire way from the earth to the sun (93 million miles), in one second.

The Sun releases energy at a mass-energy conversion rate of 4.26 million metric tons per second, which produces the equivalent of 38,460 septillion (1 with 24 zero’s after it) watts per second. To put that in perspective, this is the equivalent of about 9.192×10 (to the 10th power) megatons of TNT per second, or 1,820,000,000 Tsar Bombas – the most powerful thermonuclear bomb ever built - 3,333 times more powerful than the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

The visible part of the sun is about 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit, while temperatures in the core reach more than 27 million degrees F. One would need to explode 100 billion tons of dynamite every second to match the energy produced by the sun, according to NASA.

God is all powerful! He is King! He is sovereign! He made the sun and upholds the sun!

c. The sun is big: The sun is 1,000 times heavier than the largest planet, Jupiter, and it is more than 300,000 times heavier than earth. The sun lies at the heart of the solar system, where it is by far the largest object. It holds 99.8 percent of the solar system's mass and is roughly 109 times the diameter of the earth — about one million earths could fit inside the sun.

God is big! Children's Song: My God is so big and so strong and so mighty; There's nothing my God cannot do!

Psalm 8:3: When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place

d. The sun is beautiful: Sunrises and sunsets are beautiful! Gorgeous beauty! We look and stand in awe!

God is the most beautiful of all beings! He is more beautiful than all the beauty of His creation combined!

Psalm 27:4: One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple.

e. The sun sustains life and provides for us: We need the sun to survive – light, heat, food, energy

We cannot survive without God. God gives life and provides for all of our needs.

Philippians 4:19: And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

f. The sun is the center of the solar system and holds all the planets in their proper orbit: The sun is at the heart and center of the solar system and all the planets revolve around the sun.

God is the center of the universe! God holds everything together! Our lives should revolve around God and point to God and glorify God!

Matthew 22:36-38: Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.

Colossians 1:17: And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

2. God Uses The Created Sun As A Metaphor To Describe Jesus Christ – The Messiah

a. Jesus is the Sun of Righteousness: Malachi 4:2: But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings.

John Calvin: There is indeed no doubt but that Malachi calls Christ the Sun of righteousness . . . The meaning then of the word sun, when metaphorically applied to Christ, is this, - that He is called a sun, because without Him we cannot but wander and go astray, but that by His guidance we shall keep in the right way.

b. Jesus is our righteousness: Jeremiah 23:5-6: I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: 'The LORD is our righteousness.' 

c. Jesus is the Sun like a Bridegroom: Psalm 19:1-5: The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their measuring line goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber

d. Jesus is the Rising Sun that gives light: Luke 1:76-79: And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace."

e. Jesus shined light on the Gentiles: Matthew 4:13-16: And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: "The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles - the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned."

f. Jesus face shone like the sun at His transfiguration: Matthew 17:1-2: And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun

g. Jesus if the Bright and Morning Star: Revelation 22:16: I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.

h. Jesus is the Star that came out of Jacob: Numbers 24:17: I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near: a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel

i. Jesus face is like the sun shining in full strength: Revelation 1:13-18: and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white like wool, as white as snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, "Fear not, I am the first and the last,  and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades."

Jonathan Edwards: He who made the sun to be a type of Christ saw [it fitting] that when Christ died, [it] should be darkened, that while Christ's sufferings on the cross continued, and he was deprived of joy and comfort, the sun should be deprived of light. That the sun is a type of Christ was probably one reason why Christ's resurrection was about the time of the rising of the sun, i.e. its first rising by its light, because the rising of the sun is a type of the resurrection of Christ . . . .

3. We, The People Of God, Are Being Conformed Into The Image Of The Risen Son, Jesus Christ

Romans 8:29: For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son

Matthew 13:41-43: The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

4. The Son, Jesus Christ, Is The Light Of The World

John 8:12: Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

D. A. Carson: The light metaphor is steeped in Old Testament allusions. The glory of the very presence of God in the cloud that led the children of Israel to the Promised Land (Exodus 13:21-22) and protected them from those who would destroy them (Exodus 14:19-25). The Israelites were trained to sing, "The LORD is my light and my salvation" (Psalm 27:1). The word of God, the law of God is a light to guide the path of those who cherish instruction (Psalm 119:105; Proverbs 6:23); God's light is shed in revelation (Ezekiel 1:4, 13, 26-28) and salvation (Habakkuk 3:3-4). Light is Yahweh in action (Psalm 44:3). Isaiah tells us that the servant of the LORD was appointed as a light to the Gentiles, that he might bring God's salvation to the ends of the earth.

Kennedy Adarkwa: Throughout history, nobody has made such a bold, unapologetic, and emphatic statement besides Jesus. Herod the Great could not make such a statement; Caesar Augustus could not make such a proposition. Julius Caesar could not make such affirmation. Napoleon Bonaparte could not make such an assertion. Moses did not make such proclamation. Buddha could not make such a declaration. Krishna could not make such an announcement. Mohammed could not make such an utterance. The reason is obvious. These were powerful men and leaders in their own right, but all of them were mortals and finite. Death would not allow them to utter such a declaration. This is a statement of Deity; it is a declaration of Divinity and Immortality.

John 12:46: I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.

Spurgeon: To some, the rising of this Sun will bring healing and blessing; but to others it will bring scorching and withering.

Our only hope is the Gospel - repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ Who died and rose again to save sinners.

Ephesians 5:14: Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.

5. There Will Be No Created Sun In Heaven Because The Son (Jesus Christ) Will Be Our Everlasting Light

Revelation 21:23: And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.

Spurgeon: Jesus, like the sun, is the center and soul of all things, the fullness of all good, the lamp that lights us, the fire that warms us, the magnet that guides and controls us; he is the source and fountain of all life, beauty, fruitfulness, and strength; he is the fosterer of tender herbs of penitence, the quickener of the vital sap of grace, the ripener of fruits of holiness, and the life of everything that grows within the garden of the Lord. Whereas to adore the sun would be idolatry; it were treason not to worship ardently the divine Sun of Righteousness.

When you take the Bible remember that Christ is the center of the Scriptures. Do not put election in the center; some do, and they make a one-sided system. Do not put man in the center, - some do, and they fall into grievous errors. Christ is the center of the entire system of the Gospel, and all will be seen to move with regularity when you perceive that he is the chief fixed point; you cannot be right in the rest unless you think rightly of him. He is the center and King of all truth.

He is the center of the Church too. Not the pastor, not the church itself, not any rule or government, no bishop, no priest, and no pope can be our center, Christ alone is our central sun. We follow as planets where he leads the way: around him we revolve, and we own no other Lord.

Let it be so in the world that even there Christ governs and is the center of all history. You will understand history better when you know this, for this is the key of the world's story, the reason for the rise and fall of empires. You shall understand all things when you know Immanuel, God with us.

And let him have this place in your hearts. There enthrone him! Establish him as the central sun, and let him rule your entire being, enlightening your understanding, warming your hearts, filling all your powers, passions, and faculties with the fullness of his presence. To have Christ in us, the hope of glory – oh, what blessedness! But let us take care that it is so, for we know not Christ aright unless we give him such a place in our hearts as the sun occupies in God's world.

Not just once a year: He is risen! He is risen indeed!
Not just once a week: He is risen! He is risen indeed!
But every day the sun rises - which is every day - may we remember and rejoice that He is risen! He is risen! He is risen indeed! 

Friday, April 10, 2020

He Is Crushed! He Is Crushed Indeed!

He is crushed! He is crushed! He is crushed indeed!

He is stricken! He is stricken! He is stricken indeed!

He is cursed! He is cursed! He is cursed indeed!

He is forsaken! He is forsaken! He is forsaken indeed!

S. M. Lockridge - It's Friday, But Suday's Coming!

It's Friday
Jesus is praying
Peter's a sleeping
Judas is betraying
But Sunday's comin'!

It's Friday
Pilate's struggling
The council is conspiring
The crowd is vilifying
They don't even know
That Sunday's comin'!

It's Friday
The disciples are running
Like sheep without a shepherd
Mary's crying
Peter is denying
But they don't know
That Sunday's a comin'!

It's Friday
The Romans beat my Jesus
They robe Him in scarlet
They crown Him with thorns
But they don't know
That Sunday's comin'!

It's Friday
See Jesus walking to Calvary
His blood dripping
His body stumbling
And His spirit's burdened
But you see, it's only Friday
Sunday's comin'!

It's Friday
The world's winning
People are sinning
And evil's grinning

It's Friday
The soldiers nail my Savior's hands
To the cross
They nail my Savior's feet
To the cross
And then they raise Him up
Next to criminals

It's Friday
But let me tell you something
Sunday's comin'!

It's Friday
The disciples are questioning
What has happened to their King
And the Pharisees are celebrating
That their scheming
Has been achieved
But they don't know
It's only Friday
Sunday's comin'!

It's Friday
He's hanging on the cross
Feeling forsaken by His Father
Left alone and dying
Can nobody save Him?

It's Friday
But Sunday's comin'!

It's Friday
The earth trembles
The sky grows dark
My King yields His spirit

It's Friday
Hope is lost
Death has won
Sin has conquered
and Satan's just a laughin'

It's Friday
Jesus is buried
A soldier stands guard
And a rock is rolled into place

But it's Friday
It is only Friday
Sunday is a comin'!

Thursday, April 2, 2020

15 Truths From God's Word About The Corona Virus

1. God Is Doing This

Lamentations 3:38: Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come?

Amos 3:6: Does disaster come to a city, unless the LORD has done it?

Isaiah 45:7: I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the LORD, who does all these things.

Habakkuk 3:3-6: God came from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran. His splendor covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. Selah His brightness was like the light; rays flashed from his hand; and there he veiled his power. Before him went pestilence [deadly disease], and plague followed at his heels. He stood and measured the earth; he looked and shook the nations

Job 1:20-22, 2:9-10: Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD." In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong . . . Then his wife said to him, "Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die." But he said to her, "You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?" In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

2. Behold Your God

Have you realized that you are witnessing the power of God during these times? Remember the powerful plagues God reigned down on Egypt? We are getting a little glimpse of that kind of power! God has the power to bring nations to a stand still. God has the power to keep everyone at home. God has the power to cancel all of our plans: no more meetings, no more school, no more weddings, no more funerals, nothing. This is why we ought to say as the Holy Spirit teaches us in James:

James 4:13-16: Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit" - yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that." As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.

Psalm 115:3: Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.

Psalm 135:6: Whatever the LORD pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.

Isaiah 40:15-18, 25-31: Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust. Lebanon would not suffice for fuel, nor are its beasts enough for a burnt offering. All the nations are as nothing before him, they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness. To whom then will you liken God, or what likeness compare with him? . . . To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing. Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, "My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God"? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Hymn: Behold Our God!

Who has held the oceans in his hands?
Who has numbered every grain of sand?
Kings and nations tremble at his voice
All creation rises to rejoice

Chorus: Behold our God, seated on his throne
Come, let us adore him
Behold our king, nothing can compare
Come, let us adore him

Who has given counsel to the Lord?
Who can question any of his words?
Who can teach, the one who knows all things?
Who can fathom all his wondrous deeds? (Chorus)

Who has felt the nails upon his hands?
Bearing all the guilt of sinful man
God eternal, humbled to the grave
Jesus, Savior, risen now to reign (Chorus)

(Songwriters: Jonathan Baird / Meghan Baird / Ryan Baird / Stephen Altrogge)

3. The Corona Virus And All Other Sicknesses, Diseases, And Death Are A Result Of Sin Entering The World

Genesis 2:16-17: And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."

Genesis 3:17-19: And to Adam he said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, 'You shall not eat of it,' cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return."

Romans 8:20: For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope

Deuteronomy 28:15: But if you will not obey the voice of the LORD your God or be careful to do all his commandments and his statutes that I command you today, then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you.

Deuteronomy 28:21-22: The LORD will make the pestilence [deadly disease] stick to you until he has consumed you off the land that you are entering to take possession of it. The LORD will strike you with wasting disease and with fever, inflammation and fiery heat, and with drought and with blight and with mildew. They shall pursue you until you perish.

4. God Is In Absolute Control Over The Corona Virus

a. God is the first cause of all diseases and disasters: 

Lamentations 3:38: Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come?

Amos 3:6: Does disaster come to a city, unless the LORD has done it?

Isaiah 45:7: I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the LORD, who does all these things.

Genesis 12:17: But the LORD afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram's wife.

Exodus 15:26: If you will diligently listen to the voice of the LORD your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give ear to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, your healer.

b. There may be second causes, like Satan, the normal course of events from living in a fallen world, human sin or human error:

Job 1:8-12: And the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?" Then Satan answered the LORD and said, "Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face." And the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand." So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.

Job 1:20-22: Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD." In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.

c. God can prevent you from getting this virus: 

Psalm 91:1-7: He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence [deadly disease]. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence [deadly disease] that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.

d. God can heal you if you get this virus: 

Matthew 4:24: So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, epileptics, and paralytics, and he healed them.

e. If God chooses not to heal you, death will be gain for you if you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ: 

Philippians 1:21: For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Kevin DeYoung: No virus can change the number of days that God has written in his book for us. No virus can make the word of God untrue. No virus can undo the work of Christ on the cross. No virus can change the fact that through Jesus we have a Father in heaven who cares for us. And no virus can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

5. God Is In Absolute Control Over All Death, Disease, And Everything Else In The Universe

Job 1:21-22: And he said, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD." In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.

Job 2:9-10: Then his wife said to him, "Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die." But he said to her, "You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?" In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

Deuteronomy 32:39: See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.

2 Samuel 12:15, 18: And the LORD afflicted the child that Uriah's wife bore to David, and he became sick . . . On the seventh day the child died.

Isaiah 46:9-10: remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,'

Daniel 4:35: all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, "What have you done?"

Psalm 139:16: Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them.

Proverbs 21:1: The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will.

Ephesians 1:11: In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will

Proverbs 16:33: The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.

Matthew 10:29-31: Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

R.C. Sproul: If there is one maverick molecule in the universe…outside the scope of God's sovereign ordination, then there isn't the slightest confidence you can have that any promise God has ever made about the future will come to pass.

Hymn: Sovereign Ruler Of The Skies!

Sovereign Ruler of the skies!
Ever gracious, ever wise!
All my times are in Thy hand,
All events at Thy command.
His decree, who formed the earth,
Fixed my first and second birth;
And my parents, native place and time,
All appointed were by Him.

He that formed me in the womb,
Shall guide me to the tomb;
All my times shall ever be
Ordered by His wise decree.
Times of poverty and wealth;
Times of sickness, times of health,
And times of trial and of grief,
Times of triumph and relief.

Times the tempter's power to prove,
Times to taste a Savior's love:
Plagues and deaths around me fly,
Till He bids I cannot die:
Not a single shaft can hit
Till the God of love thinks fit.
All my times must come, and last, and end,
As shall please my heavenly Friend.

O Thou Gracious, Wise and Just,
In Thy hands my life I trust:
Have I somewhat dearer still?
I resign it to Thy will.
May I always own Thy hand
Still to the surrender stand;
Know that Thou art God and God alone,
I and mine are all Thine own.

Thee, at all times, will I bless;
Having Thee, I all possess;
How can I bereaved be,
Since I cannot part with Thee?

(John Ryland, with some edits)

6. God Is Good, And All He Does Is Good And Right

Psalm 34:8: Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

Psalm 25:8: Good and upright is the LORD

1 Chronicles 16:34: Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!

Genesis 18:25: Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?

Psalm 145:8-9: The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The LORD is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.

Charles Spurgeon: God is too good to be unkind and He is too wise to be mistaken. And when we cannot trace His hand, we must trust His heart.

7. God Is Loving, Gracious, And Merciful, And He Cares About You

1 John 4:8: God is love.

Exodus 34:6: The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness

Romans 5:8: God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 8:35-39: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

8. God Can And Does Use Death And Disease To Punish Sinners

Genesis 2:16-17: And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."

Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The plagues God sent on Egypt: Boils and the death of the firstborn

Exodus 32:35: Then the LORD sent a plague on the people, because they made the calf, the one that Aaron made.

Deuteronomy 28:27-28: The LORD will strike you with the boils of Egypt, and with tumors and scabs and itch, of which you cannot be healed. The LORD will strike you with madness and blindness and confusion of mind

John 5:14: Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, "See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you."

Acts 5:1-5: But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and with his wife's knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles' feet. But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God." When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it.

Acts 12:21-23: On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them. And the people were shouting, "The voice of a god, and not of a man!" Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last

Revelation 6:7-8: When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, "Come!" And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider's name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence [deadly disease] and by wild beasts of the earth.

Sam Storms: [The seals] describe the judgments of God against an unbelieving world throughout the course of the entire church age. They are, in a manner of speaking, the commonplaces of human history . . . the seven seal judgments describe what will transpire throughout the entire course of the present church age. They are descriptive of the forces and events that have been, now are, and will be operative between the two comings of Christ. They are not restricted to the final few years before Christ’s coming, but the seventh seal itself does in fact bring us to the second advent of our Lord.

9. God Can And Does Use Disease And Death To Lovingly Discipline His Own Children

2 Chronicles 7:13-14: When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence [deadly disease] among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Hebrews 12:5-11: And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? "My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives." It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

2 Corinthians 12:7-9: So to keep me from being too elated by the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

1 Corinthians 11:28-32: Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.

10. If Someone Gets The Corona Virus Or Some Other Kind Of Sickness, It Does Not Necessarily Mean God Is Punishing Them For A Specific Personal Sin

Job 1:1, 8: There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil . . . And the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?"

John 9:1-3: As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus answered, "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.

11. We Don't Know All That God Is Doing In Particular Situations Of Disease And Death Like This Outbreak Of The Corona Virus

Deuteronomy 29:29: The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

12. Every Crisis, Outbreak Of Disease, And Death Ought To Remind Us Of These Biblical Truths

a. Life is short: 

Psalm 89:47-48: Remember how short my time is! For what vanity you have created all the children of man! What man can live and never see death? Who can deliver his soul from the power of Sheol?

Psalm 144:4: Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow.

Someone: Only one life, t'will soon be passed! Only what’s done for Christ will last!

b. Life is fragile: 

Psalm 103:13-17: As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him

c. Death is coming: 

Hebrews 9:27: And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment

d. God will judge: 

Revelation 19:11-16: Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.

e. We must repent: 

Luke 13:1-5: There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish."

Spurgeon Sermon: "Christ's First And Last Subject" - Repentance

Matthew 4:17: From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

Luke 24:45-48: Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.

John Piper: Every person who hears about this is receiving a thunderclap message of God saying "Repent." And I think the Chinese authorities should especially pay attention who have recently . . . become so increasingly harsh and repressive against the followers of Christ. Repent! And seek God's mercy to bring your lives, our lives, into alignment with His infinite worth.

13. God Has Done Everything That Needed To Be Done To Save Us From Eternal Death And Hell

John 3:16: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

Romans 3:25-26: whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Isaiah 53:4-5, 10: Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed . . . Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

Galatians 3:13-14: Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us - for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree"- so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.

Romans 10:9: because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

14. The Corona Virus Cannot Finally And Ultimately Harm God's People

Psalm 91:1-3: He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence [deadly disease].

Luke 21:16-18: You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. You will be hated by all for my name's sake. But not a hair of your head will perish.

Romans 8:28: And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

John 11:25-26: Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?"

Revelation 21:1-4: Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away."

15. Because Of This Great Salvation, We Ought To Be Motivated To Love And Serve Others Without Fear

a. Pray: 

1) Pray for God to have mercy and stop this virus and stop its spread
2) Pray for those who are sick to be healed
3) Pray for repentance and faith to be granted to unbelievers around the world – may God use this virus to draw millions to Himself for salvation
4) Pray for repentance in your own life and ask God to use this crisis to help you grow in Christ-likeness and to grow His church into greater maturity
5) Pray for government leaders to have humility, wisdom, and accurate knowledge to know how to best serve the people they lead and to combat this virus
6) Pray that this inability to meet as a church would increase your desire to gather with the saints for church when we are able to meet again
7) Pray that we would be able to meet again as a church soon and that we would love one another and our neighbors well during this time
8) Pray for the health, endurance, and protection of health care workers (doctors, nurses, etc)
9) Pray for God to provide for those who are suffering great financial loss and job loss from this pandemic
10) Pray for a great revival to take place and that God would strip us and the church and the world of every idol which we have set up in competition with Him

b. Try not to spread the virus: 

1) God commands us to submit to all lawful orders of the civil government: Romans 13

2) We should obey the sixth commandment and seek to preserve life

Rosaria Butterfield: Practicing the Christian ethic of hospitality under COVID-19 means obeying the civil magistrate's efforts to "flatten the curve" and honoring the sixth commandment.

The sixth commandment, "Thou shalt not kill," reminds Christians of both our positive and negative duties in times of plague. Faced with COVID-19, there are things we should do, and there are things we should not do. In all things, we seek the glory of God and the good of our neighbors.

The Westminster Larger Catechism, one of the historic confessions of the Reformed church, helpfully illuminates this commandment. The sixth commandment, the Catechism says, requires us to "to preserve the life of ourselves and others."

By generally avoiding gatherings and close contact, by taking care of our own bodies, and by giving help to others, we uphold the sixth commandment.

Thinking Christians do not want to unintentionally cause the death of others by spreading a virus that spares some and kills others. Obeying the civil magistrate's order to distance, isolation, or quarantine is obedience to God's law.

3) We should love our neighbors as ourselves

c. Love, help, and serve:

1) Pray
2) Communicate
3) Get groceries, medication, or other needs for those who are most vulnerable
4) Point people to God and His Word
5) Care for the sick and dying
6) Do your essential job and all jobs with all your might, with God’s strength, and for His glory

d. Evangelize:

Death, sickness, and fear are all around us these days. Use this opportunity to speak up about the only One Who can save sinners from death, sickness, and hell: the Lord Jesus Christ. This virus is shutting down so much of what the world puts its hope in: health, wealth, the ability to make money, jobs, entertainment, sports, school, food, fun, and even human relationships by personal, face-to-face interaction. Death is coming, hell is real, eternity is long: so let's speak up about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and warn people about the wrath to come.

Ezekiel 33:6: But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman's hand.

Ezekiel 33:11: As I live, declares the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?

Matthew 28:18-20: And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

Charles Spurgeon (The Voice Of The Cholera): Be awake, Christian, and be aware of God's design, for the trumpet is sounding, and when the trumpet sounds, the Christian must not slumber. Let the presence of God infuse into you a more than ordinary courage and zeal. My brethren, I wish I could speak to you this morning as I had hoped to have done, for then I would throw my whole soul into every word: I charge you, as you love Jesus, as you know the value of your own soul, now, if never before, be in earnest for the salvation of the sons of men. Men are always dying, time like a mighty rushing stream is always bearing them away, but now they are hurried down the torrent in increasing numbers. If you and I do not exert ourselves to teach them the gospel, upon our heads must be their blood.

e. Do not fear:

Isaiah 41:10: fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Philippians 4:6-7: do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

1 Peter 5:6-7: Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Philippians 4:12-13: I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Hebrews 13:5-6: Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." So we can confidently say, "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?"

Psalm 46:1-11: TO THE CHOIRMASTER. OF THE SONS OF KORAH. ACCORDING TO ALAMOTH. A SONG. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah Come, behold the works of the LORD, how he has brought desolations on the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire. "Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

Jesus Christ Is God And King
Over This Corona Thing
He Will Even Make You Sing
Though In Pain The Sickness Sting
All Your Worship To Him Bring
Let God's Praises Ever Ring
To Christ Alone We'll Always Cling
He's Our All In All The King!

That's my King! Do you know Him?!

Some helpful suggested reading on this topic:

1. Coronavirus And Christ: 'Behold The Kindness And Severity Of God':

5. What Is God Doing?:

6. How Could A Good God Allow Suffering?:

7. Is God Less Glorious Because He Ordained That Evil Be?: