We are still in the early stages of what is becoming one of the most significant crises in living memory. The coronavirus has, for the time being, fundamentally altered our way of life. We are fighting a virus we can’t see and don’t fully understand, one for which we have few defenses. We don’t know how long the fight will last or what it will cost. We don’t know who will live and who will die. We’re in a war.
During peace time, preachers can shout and stomp and plead with people, but often it’s in vain. What the Bible calls “hardness of heart” is too strong. Love of comfort and distracted busyness occupy the soul. A season of plenty causes a drought of meaning. An economic boom sends spiritual life into recession. But somehow war wakes us up.
As C.S. Lewis wrote on the eve of World War II: “The war creates no absolutely new situation: it simply aggravates the permanent human situation so that we can no longer ignore it.” The coronavirus did not put human beings into a state of war. It has given us the wakeup call to see the greater war we were already fighting, the one Peter and Paul and Jesus Christ himself warned us about. There are two kingdoms vying for control over the life of every person. Heaven and hell weigh in the balance. Will you turn from your sin by renouncing Satan and his kingdom of darkness? Will you turn to Christ in faith and enter the kingdom of God?
These eternal questions do not erase the real political and medical problems that press on us daily. We still must decide, out of love for our neighbors, how best to handle the coronavirus. This requires painstakingly difficult decisions to be made by our leaders, from mayors and police chiefs to Senators and scientists. All of these pursuits are worthy and right, and clearly demanded by the times.
But we cannot lose sight of the full scope of our situation. Each of us stands at the edge of eternity. Knowing how to respond doesn’t start with checking Facebook or tracking the stock market or counting the confirmed COVID-19 cases in your city. It starts in the same place every day and always—with the eternal and unchanging truth of Jesus Christ.
About First Baptist Dallas and Dr. Robert Jeffress
Dr. Robert Jeffress is a best-selling author of 24 books, a nationally and internationally syndicated TV and radio host and the senior pastor of First Baptist Dallas, one of the largest and most influential churches in America. Pathway to Victory, Dr. Jeffress’ broadcast ministry, airs daily nationwide on more than 900 radio stations and is broadcast live to 195 countries. His latest book, “Courageous,” is available in bookstores everywhere. He is an evangelical adviser to the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump.