I want to talk a little bit about the disease that is going to kill us all. No, I’m not talking about the coronavirus. Sure, there’s reason to be concerned about the coronavirus. We don’t know how far it’s spread, we don’t have a cure yet, and it can indeed kill you. But the experts tell us that it won’t kill everyone, even if they catch it, and there are basic precautions we can take to minimize the chance of people being infected, things like washing our hands regularly, and covering our noses and mouths when we cough or sneeze. But I’m talking about a condition that is much more serious, one that will kill everyone it touches. It’s a condition we know about, but often don’t want to think about. It’s a disease called SIN.
Now some of you might be frustrated already. Am I really going to use a potential world health crisis to share a religious message? Yep, I sure am. It’s not that I don’t care about people’s physical health. I do. But I care about their spiritual health, their peace with God, much, much more. Whether you catch a serious disease like the coronavirus or not, whether you die soon or many years from now, whether you spend your life happy or sad, sick or healthy, you WILL die one day, and stand before the God who made you. And when you do, you will have to account for every action, every careless word, and even every thought that has gone through your mind. If your mind is anything like mine (and it is), that’s bad news.
Let’s take a moment to look at our symptoms together. Scripture says we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). That means we’ve rebelled against the purpose for which we were made, and against the God who made us. He is a God of truth, and all of us have lied. He is a God who provides, yet we have coveted and stolen things that belong to others, rather than trusting in Him for what we need. Most of us have had impure sexual thoughts or committed impure sexual acts. Sex is a beautiful thing, meant to be enjoyed, but also designed by Him to be used in a particular way, and in a particular kind of relationship. Have you sinned in this area? I have. Finally, what about God’s command to put Him first? Have you treated things or people as more important than God? Have you made power or pleasure or money or sex or success or a relationship your god? You don’t have to carve a pretend god from stone or wood to make an idol. We have all made and served idols, and God, our creator and king, has good reason to be angry with us. (See the 10 Commandments in Exodus 20)
The Bible says that these sins not only make us sick, but that we are already spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1). A dead man can’t make himself better. A corpse can’t go see a doctor. It can’t take medicine (not that it would help if it did). A dead person needs a resurrection, to be brought back from the grave. He needs to be born again.
And that, my friends, is why Jesus came. Not just to cure the sick, but to raise the dead. In Ephesians chapter 2 the Apostle Paul, right after reminding Christians that they are dead by nature, and children of wrath, says this:
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even while we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – By grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:4-5)
Jesus came to earth 2000 years ago, God in a human body, to live the perfect life we could never live, and then to die the death we deserved on a Roman cross. And on that cross, all the anger, hatred and wrath we deserved for our sins (Isaiah 53) was poured out on Him, so it wouldn’t have to be poured out on us. The perfect payment was made, and completed. Then on the third day, as He had prophesied He would, He proved He was God when He raised Himself from the dead.
But the story doesn’t end there. Jesus, the God-man, is now in heaven, and is our one mediator (one who speaks for us) for the day of judgement (1 Timothy 2:5). If we will turn from our sins (not perfect behavior, but a change in who and what we follow after) and trust in Him alone as our only way to peace with God, then on Judgement Day, instead of God looking at you and seeing your sin, He will see Jesus Christ’s perfect righteousness instead. More than that, He will make you a new creature, with a new heart that wants to follow after Him. And there us nothing more amazing and beautiful than the peace that comes through the salvation that Jesus Gives.
So, I would encourage you to consider this carefully. If you were to die today, if you were to walk out of this world and into the next one, would you be ready? If you were to stand before God and plead your case for why you should enter heaven, what would you say? Would you point toward good works? Church attendance? Money given to charity? Kindness toward others? Or would you point to Jesus, and say “He speaks for me”? Faith in Jesus, and Him alone, is the one and only way to peace with God, the one cure for the deadly disease of sin (Acts 4:12). And unlike cures for earthly diseases, the grace that come through faith in Christ is a free gift (Ephesians 2:8-9). Please, while God has given you time, recognize your disease, and take hold of the cure, crying out for God to save you. You don’t have to use any special words. God knows your heart. If you need a starting place, try reading Psalm 51 in the Bible. It’s a great picture of what humility and repentance before God looks like. Turn to Christ while you still have time my friends. Turn to Christ and live!
If you have more questions, or just need prayer, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. God bless you.