The Modern Christian Crucible: Covid-19

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1 Peter 1:6-7 (NKJV) In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ…

Christians are called to rejoice in the trials we face in life, regardless of severity or consistency, because they serve as a crucible of sorts, to purify and strengthen our faith. A crucible is the container by which gold is heated for the purpose of refining out the impurities and strengthening the metal.

Trials are a crucible for our faith. Perhaps more than one trial, the circumstances surrounding Covid-19, are a world-wide crucible for Christians; perhaps being used by our God and Father to purify and strengthen His church for the very last days.

  1. Having contact with several Christian ministers and laity from India, Pakistan, parts all over Africa and Southeastern Asia, I am acutely aware of how this weaponized disease has brought on a world-wide crucible for followers of Jesus Christ.
  2. In India, our brethren are being locked down once again as cases skyrocket in Delhi and other cities. Fear is rampant as well as confusion as to how to minister to the flock.
  3. In Canada, our brethren are being fined 5 times more for gathering to worship Christ, than those who violate bar policies. Pastor James Coates was arrested in February for holding services and others across Canada are being harassed by police during Gathering times.
  4. In Israel vaccines are mandatory, to refuse is to lose access to Israeli society. Christians who do not want to take the vaccine, will become second class citizens, with restricted access to shopping and other life essential elements.

In America, the pressure to get a vaccine is constant. Last night President Joe Biden, commanded all Americans get vaccinated during his congressional speech, although vaccines are not mandated.

In one of the most biased pieces of reporting I have seen, CNN’s Brianna Keilar discussed how white evangelicals (yes “white”), are driving a false narrative about vaccines, and are easily duped by their pastoral leaders to believe lies. It should be noted that almost every one of the “pastors” interviewed were of the unbiblical charismatic variety (Jessie Duplantis, Kenneth Copeland and Guillermo Maldonado).

In the United States, Christian’s have been in the cross hairs of those using Covid-19 to cease power and limit civil liberties of all Americans. Let us consider mask wearing for a moment. Let us disregard for moment that masks are ineffective at stopping the spread of any disease, let us move into the foolish.

Anthony Fauci recently declared that if a person is fully vaccinated, they can go outside with other fully vaccinated people, without a mask; but you need to wear one inside still. If vaccines are so effective, why can’t a vaccinated person cease mask wearing all together? The answer is simple, mask wearing represents a new human identity, based on slavery to the elite, informed. Consider it the New World Order of “Simon Says”.

Let us consider some facts, before we get to what our God and Father is working in us through these extraordinary times.

  1. Covid-19 is a genetically enhanced virus turned into a bioweapon by the governments of the world to continue population controls set up in United Nations Agenda 2020, 2021, 2030, and 2050.
  2. As far back as 2018 Bill Gates had been warning of a global pandemic. In 2019 Anthony Fauci warned about a corona virus pandemic, 8 months before the first recorded case in America and before the Wuhan outbreak by three months. How did he know?
  3. In October 2019, John Hopkins University, in conjunction with the Gates Foundation (the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation), ran a pandemic response disaster scenario, called Event/201, where 65,000,000 people die from a… you guessed it… a corona virus.
  4. In March 2019 Covid-19 was found in wastewater in Spain and in December 2019 it was found in Italy, long before Italy had its first cases.

Forgive me for sounding conspiratorial, but Covid-19 is being used to control the populations of the world. Covid-19 is a crucible for the church of Jesus Christ, because we are now being commanded to violate our faith for the “greater good”. This is not an American Christian issue, but one for the church world-wide.

This is also not a call to arms or revolt, for our God is using this to purify our faith.

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

In light of this wonderful truth, let us honestly deal with the potential future of what has developed in the world with Covid-19.

Is it possible, that like Israel, other nations will mandate vaccines? Is it possible that those receiving the vaccine get a passport to “normal life” and those who do not are restricted in their access to the needs of life and economy? Does this sound like a precursor to the global economy of the Antichrist?

Revelation 13:16-17 (NKJV) He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

Difficult as these times are and potentials are, they serve as the heat for the crucible of purifying our faith. The simple answer to what will we do? Is trust God!

Philippians 4:11-13 (NKJV) Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things, I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:19 (NKJV) And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

When more calls for lockdowns arise and we are told we cannot gather in buildings together, we have more heat to purify our faith. There is never a reason to disobey our God and Father, especially when dealing with gathering together; in fact, to do so is willful sin.

Hebrews 10:25-31 (NKJV) not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The LORD will judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

The times we live are squarely in the latter part of the “beginnings of the sorrows”. Because of Covid-19, His children will be hated in every nation. There is much to fear from a human perspective, but alas, we are not those who fear or draw back. To live is Christ and do die is gain. We must continue the fellowship of the saints, even if it means abandoning our buildings and western ideas of the Church.

The time has come to really study the vibrancy of the early church in Acts 1-4 to see how they thrived and grew during existential threats all around them, while they met in secret and house to house.

To those who lead, the time is upon us, where we may have to travel daily to meet with ten or three or five, here and there, for the purpose of maintaining fellowship. May God use this Covid-19 crucible to purify our faith to that of the faith once delivered to the saints, as revealed in the word of God.

2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

It is important to remember that the early church faced threats to its practice of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. When pressed with following the faith, or giving into the demands of men, they did not fight with human weapons, but obeyed God and took the consequences.

Acts 4:18-20 So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”

Acts 5:28-29 saying, “Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!” But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.

About Michael J Erdel

Mike is a pastor with The Assembly of God Fellowship. He is the lead pastor at Encounter Church in Fostoria Ohio. His desire is to encourage the Church of Jesus Christ, and declare God's hope through His Son Jesus, to a world which is long on excuses and short on hope. Mike has experienced the truth that when we kneel before Christ, surrendering to Him as Savior and LORD, being led and empowered by His Spirit. To Jesus Christ be all glory and honor.
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