Many people have given their thoughts and opinions on the subject of whether “To Open or Not To Open Churches” during the COVID-19 pandemic. All of us have our beliefs about why people should or should not gather inside the church for worship services, but how does God see it? What does God think? What does His word say concerning this topic?
This is a “Fear” or “Faith” subject that requires every individual to do deep soul-searching to determine what is the proper thing to do during these perilous times, in order to be obedient to God’s word as Christian believers. It’s also a case of “Popular opinion” vs. God’s Word.
What is the Church? When a church is dedicated and presented back to God, it becomes a safe-haven where God heals, delivers, and restores. Here are some things to consider:
- The Church is the House of God
- The Church is the House of Prayer
- The House of Ecclesia
- The House of Worship
- The House of Faith
This is what we have preached to people for years. FAITH!
The question now becomes, How much faith do you put into sermons that you have preached in past times about the subject of FAITH – and “Not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together.”
How hard have we preached to members to come to church, and to stay in church, but now they are being encouraged not to go to church because they will be sick or can get sick. But all before, we’ve told people that the church is the place of safety. We’ve preached it.
We’ve discussed in Sunday school and Bible study, the importance of FAITH, and to cast, “all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.”
We dedicated our churches to God. The church was ordained as a place of refuge and healing. Yet, we now say we have to be wise. But the question remains, is God expecting us to be wise when His word states, “Lean not to your own understanding,” or is His expectation for us to be faithful unto death?
Was Daniel wise or faithful when He knowingly decided to continue praying three times a day, although he knew he was faced with sure death because he honored God by ignoring the decree of the king? (Daniel chapter 6).
So now the question is, what would please God the most? Should we “walk by faith and not by sight,” or should we continue to be wise by putting all of our protection in our own hands, as if God is powerless?
Now consider… should I be wise, or should I be faithful? What would please God the most? In 2 Timothy 1:7, God’s word says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
Some people say, “God is interested in our hearts as much as He is interested in our actions.” But, if faith is action… and if we cannot please Him without faith, what is the right action step for us to take? Should we pray and just let it be our intention to act… and hope God will be pleased with us, or do we sit still in fear… and wait for the present COVID 19 storm to clear, even if that might mean waiting up to 2 years or more? Is God on hold from entering His own house?
Take some time… and consider what you are teaching your flock. You cannot teach people to trust God, while doubting His protection, all at the same time. You must assure people that the virus itself is not in the church.
It’s sad that some of the members have more faith than their leaders and pastors. Therefore, we must demonstrate what we preach. FAITH.
Everyone is talking about the death and destruction of the pandemic. But most people overlook the miracles and blessings that have happened during the pandemic.
Pastors, do you believe what you’ve been preaching? We cannot be confused like the world of unbelievers.
To the body of Christ… are you saying that your house, or sitting in your car is more anointed than going inside the very temple that was dedicated and consecrated to God? Are you saying, “my mask is my healer?” Is the inside of the church not anointed anymore?
In life, people get sick. Sadly, people die. God controls sickness. God controls death. The pastor’s job is to hold the church together in faith and encouragement, and allow God to work, because He is in control.
We have to be careful to keep our eyes on God, and at the same time, beware of the enemy. If we stop all churches because of COVID-19, what will be the next crisis that shuts the doors of the churches? Where will the people draw strength? How will they be saved? Where will that leave God?
It’s not a problem if we minister to each other, encourage others, and share the good news through our phones, social media, other means of modern communication, and use creative ways that God will open our eyes to do. But we must not neglect our duty as pastors to carry out the spirit of God’s instruction to “gather together” by worshipping, praying, and studying God’s Word together.