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Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
April 5, 2020
Finding Peace in a Time of Fear
Thank you for bearing with us today as we are learning to use new equipment that we trust will improve our live stream and give us some additional capability including our test today of streaming from two different locations. My son came home with a 103.1 fever on Thursday. He was negative for both his Strep and flu tests which means it could be COVID-19. In view of the current medical dangers we pose to others, my family has self-quarantined, so I am actually preaching from home. You will notice the fire place behind me and our copy of Arthur Friberg’s painting of Washington praying at Valley Forge. That painting will actually be a good reminder throughout my sermon of my topic. Finding Peace in a Time of Fear.
The Revolutionary War period in general and the winters at Valley Forge in particular were times of fear. The war was not going well for the Americans having lost more battles than won and food and supplies being woefully inadequate. Physical suffering was great from starvation, cold and physical wounds for many. Psychological suffering was also great from seeing family members, friends and neighbors die in the conflict and wondering if the cause was lost. It was a time of fear, but Friberg’s painting is one of tranquility as Washington seeks God on a cold winter day to lay his burdens before Him. Keep that in mind throughout this sermon. Peace is directly related to trust in God – Isaiah 26:3 (ESV), “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. 4 Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.”
I pointed out several weeks ago from James 3:13-18 that there is a wisdom from above which is pure, peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering and without hypocrisy. There is also a wisdom from below that is earthy, natural and demonic and is demonstrated in selfish ambition, jealousy, arrogance and lies. The actions reveal the type of wisdom being followed, and the world is currently following its own wisdom resulting in fear bordering on and even crossing over into paranoia and hysteria. (See: Godly Wisdom During a Medical Threat & Foundations of Wisdom) Media hype and government over reaction are fanning the flames of all this, but the reason they are successful is so few people know and trust God. Sadly, even among professing Christians, there is great Biblical ignorance and therefore no knowledge of the character of God or His promises that would allow them to have His peace.
This morning I want to look at the various things that people fear and contrast those with the promises of God. But as a warning before we get started, if your life is bound up in the things of this world instead of setting your mind on the things above as commanded in Colossians 3:2, then what I have to say may make you even more fearful. If so, then my sermon will be akin to a doctor telling a patient the tests came back with conclusive results for a failing heart that would debilitate and kill. However, the doctor also tells the patient that he can provide a cure by cutting out the old heart and putting in one from a donor if the patient will agree. The failing heart of man is one of sin and selfishness. The donor’s heart is that of Jesus Christ which will give the patient a whole new purpose in life and a new way to live.
Fear of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19
As said in my introduction, my family is currently self quarantined in order to avoid exposing others to the disease that is already in our home. So what I have to say this morning is from a position of actual reality and not theoretical. How are we responding? In the same way we have to every other contagious disease that has afflicted us over the years including various strains of flu, colds, strep, chicken pox, 5th disease, pertussis, and scarlet fever. Then there were the individual infections and genetic diseases that required doctor and hospital visits such as severe asthma, appendicitis, high blood pressure spikes, ketotic hypoglycemia, UTIs, heart conditions, back surgeries, Hashimoto’s disease, and celiac disease. And accidents are just part of raising three sons. What can I say, we have been to hospitals in 11 different states, and four out of the five of us have had conditions from we should have died, but by God’s mercy, we are all still here. Yet in all of this, I can’t recall ever being worried – concerned, yes, but anxious and fretting, no. We are at peace in the present as we have been in the past.
It certainly helps that my wife is a RN, BSN, PHN, and I have an extensive background in biological sciences, so we know what to do medically to battle the disease, keep it from spreading further, and provide what physical relief and care is needed. Because she is also a great cook who understands nutrition, we are eating the appropriate foods to assist our bodies to fight off infections. But more important for us, we are solidly grounded in God’s word, so we trust Him.
Media continues to hype anything bad they can find about the current corona virus pandemic. Their coverage of deaths reminds me of the Vietnam war reporting when there was a daily body count of our soldiers, but rarely anything about what we did in battle against the enemy. It gave a daily sense of foreboding and defeat when in reality we were soundly defeating the enemy even though our military was hampered by political restrictions on waging the war. In the same way, we now have running totals of the number of people who have been infected and how many have died. But you have to do some digging and calculating to find out how many have recovered and the current ratio of mild to severe cases among those with active infections (about 5% with the rate dropping as more people are tested). Every statistic is presented to give the worse case scenario and make this seem like something unique. Why do you think it is reported as novel coronoavirus instead of SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19? This is the strain of coronavirus that entered the human population in 2019, but it not the first coronavirus to do so, that is common, nor it is the first pandemic, those are also common.
Just to give you a little perspective, lets compare COVID-19 deaths to other common causes of death in just 2020, from January 1, 2020 to the present. All statistics are just snapshots, so this was the picture as of April 5, 2020 with some figures rounded off.
Total deaths: 15.1 million – that is an average of 160,000 per day
Corona Virus: 65,841, U.S.: 8,454 Dutchess County: 8
Water related illnesses: 219,873
Seasonal flu: 126,953
Cancer: 2.1 million
Smoking related: 1.305 million
Alcohol related: 653,017
Traffic accident fatalities: 353,450
Starvation ~3 million
Abortions: 11.1 million
That last figure is very important for it absolutely demonstrates that those politicians who are claiming they are taking such drastic actions to combat COVID-19 in order to preserve life but who are not taking serious action to end abortions are blatant hypocritical liars. Yes, that includes Governor Cuomo and Mayor DeBlasio who protect abortion and have extended the killing of infants to be allowed even after that child is born alive.
None of this diminishes that COVID-19 is serious, but it does give the perspective that it is not as serious as it has been made out to be which has caused the great panic, and it will become less serious as more people are tested and the number of mild cases dilutes the death ratio projections which have already dropped from 4% or higher, to 2%, to about 1% and still dropping.
Truth matters. Liars figure how to make figures lie, and manipulation of statistics has been used to gain political position as seen in the pork filled bills passed by Congress and the trampling of basic freedoms by politicians in executive positions to tell people who can and cannot work and when and where people can and cannot go. Please note the declaration of essential and non-essential jobs is by government fiat and not health safety. For example, in New York, construction for other than government and medical facilities has been banned even if it is only a couple of guys working in different areas of the construction project.
I must also point out that media hype and government over reaction have also been directly attacking churches as seen in the case of Dr. Rodney Howard-Browne and the River Church at Tampa Bay this past week. The Hillsborough County Sheriff lied at his press conference on Monday and arrested Pastor Howard-Browne. That has all now been legally reversed. The church had actually gone far beyond what was required in order for their church to meet government restrictions for worship last Sunday. All churches in Florida are now included as essential and will be free to meet. But the damage has been done to his reputation and threats have been made against him and the church – and as of Friday evening, the reversal was not showing up in the news search engines. I think we all know the reason his arrest was splashed in the news media everywhere and why his vindication is being kept quiet. https://www.facebook.com/LibertyCounsel/videos/1291250764398949/?t=28
Fear of Death
Why are people afraid of COVID-19? Certainly one reason is the fear of death. The virus can kill people, and people are afraid of death. It is that fear that has allowed those with ulterior motives to use this particular virus to manipulate the current over reaction. Certainly there are many that are well meaning in their efforts, but they are usually fearful themselves and do not even recognize they are being manipulated. Fear of death is a powerful motivator.
Hebrews 2:14-15 has a very interesting comment about this fear.
14 “Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.” Our adversary, the devil, uses the fear of death to enslave people to his rule. Psalm 55:4-5 gives a good description of that fear. 4 “My heart is in anguish within me, And the terrors of death have fallen upon me. 5 Fear and trembling come upon me, And horror has overwhelmed me.” That is the normal reaction of any human in facing the “valley of the shadow of death.” That is why we give medals of valor to those who demonstrate courage in facing death to help others and accomplish their mission.
But notice again what Hebrews 2:14-15 states. Jesus took on human flesh and blood in part to destroy the power of the fear of death by Himself dying and conquering it and freeing those enslaved by that fear. Jesus did not fear death. Even in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus’ impassioned prayer for the Father, if possible, to let this cup pass from Him, was not fear of death, but rather the bearing of man’s sins. Remember that Jesus had full control over His own life and death proclaiming in John 10:17-18, 17 “For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. 18 “No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.”
It is not Jesus’ example of being fearless of death that helps us overcome our own fear of it. That in itself would be foolhardy because we do not have authority over our lives as He does over His own. In fact, it is quite the opposite, Hebrews 9:27 states, “. . . it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment.” Proverbs 27:1 adds, “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.” James 4:13-17 expands on that Proverb pointing out in verse 14, “yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.” Jesus made a similar point in His parable in Luke 12:16-21 in which God rebukes a rich man telling him, “you fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?” No man has authority over his life and there are thousands upon thousands of ways to die, and many of them are sudden and unexpected. We are all familiar with traffic accidents, heart attacks and strokes. Some people are afraid of lightning, and with some good reason. About 55 people a year die from lightning strikes and hundreds are injured, and lighting can occur out of a blue sky (bolt out of the blue).
And just when you thought it was safe . . . keep your beard short: Hans Staininger died (1567) from a broken neck after tripping over his own 4.5 foot long beard. Beware of vats: In 1814 a giant brewery vat burst in London killing 8 people. On January 15, 1919 a large storage tank on Boston’s North End ruptured and killed 21 people in a flood of molasses. Check your equipment: Sky diver Ivan Lester McGuire was filming a jump instructor and student but died because he forgot to put on his own parachute (4/2/1988). Watch out for falling cows: Joao Maria de Souza (2013) was crushed to death by a cow that had gotten onto his roof and fell through the ceiling. Skip the ball game: Linda Goldbloom died after being hit by a foul ball at Dodger Stadium (2018). Small dogs are dangerous: Marta Espina died (1988) when a poodle fell 13 floors and struck her.
All of those are bizarre, but that is my point. 100 out of 100 people die. The timing and means of your death are not in your control, so if you are not prepared for death, you should be afraid, very afraid, and the corona virus is a small risk to all the other things that could kill you.
But it is exactly at this point that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ brings peace because the true Christian is prepared for death. Why? Because of what Jesus has done and the promises God has made.
What exactly has Jesus done? To be very succinct. Jesus, the second person of the eternal, triune Godhead, 7. . . “emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Phil. 2:7-8). Though He lived a sinless life, Jesus voluntarily allowed Himself to be put to death on the cross as the substitute sacrifice that paid the redemption price for the sin of man (Hebrews 2:9; 10:12). As we will celebrate next Sunday, Jesus did not stay dead, for He conquered it and rose victorious back to life and was seen physically alive by many including the apostles who saw Him ascend to heaven (1 Corinthians 15; Acts 1:9-11). Jesus’ resurrection proves that all His claims about Himself are true and that He will keep all His promises. Those promises concerning life and death include the following.
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
John 10:27–28, 27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.”
John 11:25–26, 25“. . . I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die . . .”
John 14:2–3, 2 “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.
That is why Paul could say in Philippians 1:21, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain,” and in 2 Corinthians 5:7–8, 7 “for we walk by faith, not by sight— 8 we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.” Paul, and all true Christians look forward to the fulfillment of 1 Corinthians 15:54-55 whether it is at the rapture or physical death – 54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “death is swallowed up in victory. 55 “o death, where is your victory? o death, where is your sting?”
Death is still an enemy, and we grieve when a loved one dies, but we have hope, so we do not grieve as the rest. We have a confident assurance that Jesus, who conquered death, will keep His promises so that we too will conquer it. We will see one another again around God’s throne. We know that even after our skin is destroyed, we shall yet in our flesh see God (Job 19:26). As Christians, we do not fear the corona virus killing us for we do not fear death.
Fear of Sickness
Another common reason people fear the current corona virus pandemic is a simple fear of being sick and debilitated. COVID-19, like the other diseases in the list of causes of death I gave earlier, makes a lot more people sick than it kills. This virus seems to be fairly easy to transmit by droplet contact, but it pales in comparison to protozoa, bacteria, spirochetes and viruses transferred by water or insects such as Gastroenteritis, Giardia, Salmonella, Typhoid, cholera, malaria, Dengue and yellow fever. These diseases affect hundreds of millions annually. Malaria alone is estimated at 219 million and Dengue another 96 million. In our own area, we are all familiar with Lyme disease. There have been a reported 129,096 cases of Lyme in New York alone from 1990-2018 with Dutchess County as one of the hot spots.
Christians are not immune to disease and physical ailments. Epaphroditus was “sick almost to death” (Phil. 2:27) and Paul left Trophimus sick in Miletus (2 Timothy 4:20). Acts 9:36 records that Tabitha of Joppa became sick and died. Paul pointed out in 1 Corinthians 11:30 the reason that many among them were weak and sick and some had died.
Getting sick to avoid something more unpleasant is worldly wisdom, and there are some strange folks that like being sick because of the attention they receive, but the reality is that no one wants to have a serious ailment in which your temperature is high, you cough a lot and have trouble breathing. As anyone with asthma or lung issues can tell you, not being able to breathe properly is extremely unpleasant, to put it mildly. Those are all good reasons to be diligent to use proper hygiene to avoid becoming infected. However, what is a healthy fear that keeps you diligent to be careful, and when does that spill over into being unreasonably anxious or even paranoid? Becoming Germophobic and developing Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is not a good way to live.
At present, there is a shortage of protective medical gear for first responders and those in health-care. That is the reason elective and non-emergency medical procedures have been restricted. It would seem reasonable to me to ensure that those on the front line of battling the disease and caring for those who already have it should have priority in safety equipment, but fear has caused a lot of other people to deplete the supply for themselves. Be cautious, but do not let fear control you so that others are put at greater risk because of your own actions. Frankly, if you are that afraid, then please stay home and have someone else do your shopping and errands for you.
Christians have a different perspective on sickness. None of us want to be sick and we should use all reasonable precautions to avoid it, but we do not fear it or become self centered. We understand that there is a great opportunity to glorify our God by caring for others when they are sick, and learning and growing closer to Him when we are sick.
True Christians are known for going into an area of danger to care for the sick and injured while others are fleeing. We trust God not only for our lives, but also for our health, and we are willing to risk both in order to glorify God by fulfilling His commands to love others and consider them as more important than ourselves. That care includes preaching the gospel to the unsaved and giving spiritual encouragement to the saved. Governments that do not include churches on their list of “essential” organizations and block non-medical ministry to those who are sick do so because that government fails to recognize that man is spiritual in nature, and ministry to man’s spiritual nature is actually more important than his physical nature. Consider Jesus’ warning in Matthew 10:28, “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The soul is much more important than the body.
Suffering, whether by disease, sickness, accidents or any other cause, has three sources which may work independently or in conjunction with each other and all are directly related to sin. There are: 1) Consequences of your own sin, 2) The sin of others that violate you, and 3) The tragedies related to living in a sin cursed world which includes disease. God uses all suffering, regardless of the cause, for His own purposes including causing sinners to repent, Christians to mature, and His own glory. (John 9 – blind man. Exod. 4 – Moses)
True Christians learn that God glorifies Himself in our weakness. Paul had some sort of “thorn in the flesh” which he considered “a messenger from Satan.” Paul had healed others, but he could not heal himself. He entreated the Lord three times to have it removed, but the Lord’s answer was, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Paul’s response to that was, “Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). Since Paul lived for God’s glory, as every Christian should, then his thorn in the flesh and weakness became a cause of joy even while suffering.
We do not have any promise that God is going to keep us free from all disease, sickness or injury. We do have promises that God is in control and will use even our suffering for His glory and our maturity. James 1:2–4 commands, 2 “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” In a similar way Paul declares in Romans 5:3-5, 3 “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Tribulation, which includes sickness, will point us back to the love of God proven in Christ Jesus who died in our place while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8). You may not know anything else, but you can be absolutely sure of God’s love.
The Christian is also assured that no matter what we may suffer, we will never be alone for Jesus promised to be with us always even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:19) and that He would never forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). In addition, we have the Holy Spirit indwelling us (John 14:17). And God has also made us part of the Body of Christ, so there is also the ministry of other believers to us.
Christians take reasonable precautions to avoid disease and suffering, but there are things much more important than that, so we are not afraid of them including COVID-19.
Fear of Loss
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is also causing a fear of loss of such things as jobs, material possessions and freedom. There is good cause for those fears since many even within our own congregation have lost their jobs, and the longer that continues, there will be a loss of material possessions and wealth in addition to the crash in the stock market. A lot of businesses that have been forced to close will not be able to reopen due to a lack of market for their goods or services. Related to that, many jobs that have been lost will not be coming back either. There will be a large shift to tele-commuting, just as there was after 9/11 in our area, resulting in less need for office space. That combination will change the real estate market. There will an increase in bankruptcies and foreclosures. My retirement accounts have already dropped 27% since the beginning of the year, and it is a lot worse for many others. The huge amounts of government spending will devalue what people have in savings. Expect older people to put off retirement longer than planned. Giving to the church has dropped by half, and that will impact some of the things we do here. The economy has drastically changed and will be very different when it does return. Your fear of these things will be determined by the degree wealth and materialism are important to your purpose in life.
And whether you recognize or not, every major catastrophe, such as 9/11, has caused a loss of freedom. Government surveillance of phone conversations and emails does not concern me since Jesus already said that each of us would give an account on the day of judgment for every idle word that we speak. That is much more serious and extensive. I do think about the loss of freedom every time I have to go through security at an airport. Governments have seized unprecedented powers in the current crises. Such authority is seldom completely yielded when the crises is over, and they are seized again quickly in the next “crises” whatever that may be. This is causing great fear among patriots, political conservatives, and libertarians.
How should the Christian respond to these things? With great concern and righteous action, but not with fear and trepidation. There is nothing wrong for a Christian to be wealthy and increase in wealth and to also love our constitutional freedoms. There should be righteous indignation when wealth and freedom are stolen directly or indirectly by government over reaction. However, it is wrong for a Christian to be materialistic or to fret and fear. The command and promise in Philippians 4:6-7 is 6 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Jesus’ command in Matthew 6:25-34 is to not be worried about the things of life such as food, drink and clothing, but instead to “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” We are to learn to be content in every situation even as Paul did (Philippians 4:11-13), even to the point he was able to tell Timothy, “If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content” (1 Tim. 6:8).
Freedom can also be quickly lost. Paul was a Roman citizen and would use its privileges when he needed to do so, but he was still unjustly jailed and beaten multiple times and eventually executed. What was his reaction? As he and Silas sat chained in the jail at Philippi, they were praying, singing and praising God (Acts 16:25). He was in jails for years after his unjust arrest in Jerusalem, but he used that time to preach the kingdom of God and teach concerning Jesus.
Paul, and countless other Christians since him, have been able to respond in such godly ways because they clearly understood the true purpose of their lives. Life is about God, your creator, and not about you, His creature. They lived life with God’s glory and eternity in view. They learned to trust God in all the circumstances of life and so were able to have his peace.
Arthur Friberg’s painting of George Washington at Valley Forge depicts him in a serene setting humbly praying to God on a cold winter’s day. It was a time of fear, but Washington could be at peace. Isaiah 26:3 (ESV), “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. 4 Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.” May you know that same peace today though it is a time in which much of our nation, indeed, much of the world, is in fear.
Sermon Notes – April 5, 2020
Finding Peace in a Time of Fear – Selected Scriptures
Times of Fear
James 3:13-18 – wisdom from above vs wisdom from below
Fear of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID
Causes of Death – January 1 – April 3, 2020
Attacks on churches
Fear of Death
Proverbs 27:1, James 4:13-17, Luke 12:16-21
What Jesus Has Done
Jesus’ Promises of Life: John 3:16, 10:27–28, 11:25–26, 14:2–3
Philippians 1:21 2 Corinthians 5:7–8, 1 Corinthians 15:54-55
Fear of Sickness
Diseases transmitted by water or insects
Christians get sick: Phil. 2:27, 2 Timothy 4:20, Acts 9:36, 1 Corinthians 11:30
Facing danger instead of fleeing
Matthew 10:28 – the spiritual is more important than the physical
3 Reasons for Suffering: Your own sin, The sin of others, A sin cursed world
God glorified in our weakness: 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Maturity and Suffering: James 1:2–4, Romans 5:3-8
Never alone in suffering: Matthew 28:19, Hebrews 13:5, John 14:17 – 1 Cor. 12
Fear of Loss
Concern & righteous action, but not fear and trepidation
Philippians 4:6-7 – peace in all things
Matthew 6:25-34 – God’s provision
Philippians 4:11-13, 1 Timothy 6:8 – Contentment
Loss of Freedom: Acts 16:25
Purpose in Life
Trust in God – Isaiah 26:3
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – 1) Count how many times “fear” is said. 2) Talk with your parents about what causes you to be afraid and what promises can be found in the Bible to help you overcome that fear.
THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. Why was the Revolutionary War period a time of fear? Why did Friberg paint The Prayer at Valley Forge as a peaceful setting? Compare the wisdom from above to the wisdom from below in James 3:13-18? What kind of wisdom has the world been following in its reaction to COVID-19? Explain. What kind of serious medical conditions have you faced in your life time? Where any of them life threatening? How did you respond to them? Why that response? What are the leading causes of death in 2020 in the world? In the United States? In New York? Why is it hypocritical for abortion advocates to claim to care about COVID-19 deaths? Explain. What have the recent “stimulus” bills demonstrated about what is important to Congress? Are the media and government attacks on churches that hold health restricted meetings justified? Explain. Why are people afraid of death? How is that fear used by the devil? Was Jesus afraid of death? Explain. How did Jesus conquer death? Why did He conquer it? What are a few of the strangest ways you have heard of people dying? Who is in control of when you will die? How can Jesus rescue people from the fear of death? What did Jesus do? What promises has Jesus given to His followers concerning life and death? What is a Christian’s hope when facing death? List some of the most wide spread and deadliest diseases in the world? How do they compare with COVID-19? Why have come people become paranoid about getting COVID-19? What is the proper attitude and precautions in preventing infection? Why do Christians go into areas that others are fleeing? Which is more important – physical life or spiritual life? Explain. What are the three root causes of all human suffering? How can God use human suffering to glorify Himself? Are Christians promised protection from disease and death? Explain. How can God use suffering to mature a Christian? What effect has SARS-CoV-2 had on economics in the U.S.? What dangers does that impose on people? How has government encroached on Constitutional freedoms in this crisis? How have government choices about what are and are not “essential” businesses shown economic ineptness and corruption? What do you think America will be like when the crises abates? How can Christians avoid anxiety about the current financial and government crises? What is necessary for a Christian to be content? Explain. Are you content? What can a Christian do to help prevent losing Constitutional freedoms? How should a Christian react even if he loses his freedoms?
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