Michael Evans serves as Texas Baptists President and Pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Mansfield.
Once again, our God has allowed us the privilege to spread the spirit of hope in the midst of dire conditions and uncertain times. I have asked people who are many years my senior if they had ever known a time when the physical doors of the church were closed. The answer that I am receiving from these octogenarians is “No.” However, not one of those senior adults is afraid that “the end is near.” Many people are in a quandary, and their day to day routines are being interrupted by an enemy that they cannot see.
As people of faith, we have been preaching and teaching that the real enemy is one that we could not ever see with our human eyes. The real enemy of humanity is spiritual in nature and the Word of God has revealed that fact to us all through the inspired writing of the Apostle Paul,
Ephesians 6:12 (ESV) For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
We now have the opportunity to use this present crisis to our evangelistic advantage. Few can deny that the Coronavirus or COVID 19 is invisible to the naked eye. It is an enemy that is a clear and present danger to life as we know it. Now is the time for Christians to go on the offensive, and share the truths of the gospel with the hopeless masses who are being confronted with their mortality.
While people are at home and literally captive, we can use our social media platforms to encourage them to find their hope in Christ our Savior and Sovereign. Modern technology has placed us closer to each other, and we can now communicate with our friends, family and congregants like never before. Now, for the first time in modern history, our fellow church members can invite their family members to join them in worship no matter their location or proximity.
Literally thousands of people can participate in free conference calls that can be transformed into “virtual prayer sessions,” by merely dialing in on the telephone. The marvel of Facebook, YouTube, Instagram TV, just to name a few can link congregations together while people sit in the comfort of their homes.
I do believe that God is doing a new thing with our churches, our fellow congregants and the Church universal. Like the octogenarians who I spoke to about our present crisis, I do not believe that oblivion is near. I believe that this is the beginning of a new phase in the life of the church. We know from our understanding of Scripture that the church is not the brick and mortar of our buildings. The true church resides in the heart of the believer in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. Cheer up, we are blessed to be alive and a part of this new thing that God is doing through His Church, that’s “You!”