• Jeremy M. Sipe

The Real Global Pandemic

I know that everyone is tired of hearing about COVID-19, so I’ll just go ahead and spare you. This is not about any form of coronavirus or any infectious disease that has been studied by scientists in a lab. It is, however, about something that is all around us every day.

I thank God for the beautiful property He has given us in which to live here in Kenya, but with this property comes work, as with any home or land. We can hire people at times to help us do things we’re unable to do, but If you’re like me, I try to do as much as I can on my own, even learning as I go. Sometimes I learn the hard way that it would have been best to have just paid someone else, but then I wouldn’t stand back and see what I have accomplished with my own two hands. I wonder if that is how God looks at us sometimes. It’d be easier to just give you that promotion, or that blessing, or that new car. But when he sees how you’ve improved through the process and come out of it looking more like what He wants you to look like, I think He is pleased. I believe He takes pride in His children!

Anyway, today I was working in our yard, clearing out some trees. We have a very invasive plant that has attached itself to several trees over the past few months, killing their branches as it takes the nutrients for itself. It is a very aggressive plant, so I fought it aggressively. I had to cut all of it out completely, in most cases, cutting the branch of the tree onto which it was growing. It was necessary to lose some branches to save the trees. While I was high up cutting one of the limbs, I began to think about what a beautiful property we have and how we are blessed to have so many gorgeous trees and shrubs. It is undoubtedly a beautiful place and a paradise from the real world outside our gates. But as I recollected on this, I thought, ‘it really isn’t that wonderful that it takes so much work to keep it producing and looking like it does.’ I mean, if we just left it, this intruding branch would completely take over these trees. I had to cut it out of 3 of our trees today. It was killing them. If you just left your yard to itself, what would it look like in a year? What about 2 years? It takes a lot of maintenance.

I think back to the song, and I think Louis Armstrong sung it best, “what a wonderful world.” But is it? We are living amid a truly global pandemic as it affects every part of our earth. Look around you, it is everywhere. We can say this world is beautiful when we see the giraffes galloping through the field and simple cattle feeding their young, but we know what comes next. I have driven by many fresh wildebeest carcasses that have been ravaged by lions and hyenas. Wherever you’re reading this, you have seen dogs and cats killed and their bodies lying on the roadside. Those were someone’s little pets, but this pandemic has taken them away. No, I am not talking about cars or modern technology. I know from reading Genesis that plants don’t have ‘NEPHESH,’ or sentience, but here is this aggressive little branch killing my beautiful trees, and I’m fighting thorns and briers, and biting spiders, and looking around for scorpions and poisonous centipedes. Kenya is home to some of the deadliest snakes in the black and green mamba, the king cobra, the puff adder, and many others. Not to mention our big cats, buffalo, elephants, rhinos, and hippos. But to us living here, we even fear the tiny mosquito and the disease it may carry. The fact that this world is so deadly is a testimony to this pandemic. As I was working, sweat was rolling off my brow, also testifying to what we have been suffering under since just after the beginning of time. All of these are signs of a fallen world; a GLOBAL pandemic.

It is part of the ‘Genesis three’ attack that the enemy is still using against us today. In Genesis three, the serpent asked Eve, “hath God said?” He was creating doubt in her mind. He went on to tell her, “ye shall not surely die”, but he proved himself a liar since death has been occurring ever since. SIN brought a curse to this entire globe, and we have suffered under the curse ever since.

Genesis 3:18-19 “Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”

We live in a fallen world. Death, disease, and tragedy are part of SIN’s pandemic that has been raging since that first bite in the garden. If you believe in the evolutionary story told by modern-day pagans, you will have a hard time understanding or realizing the necessity of the only cure for this pandemic. The belief that the earth was formed over millions of years incorporates death, disease, thorns, and tragedy before Adam’s sin, eliminating the need for a Savior because this is just part of nature. But when you realize that God did make this world perfect, or “very good”, as He said, but it has been degrading ever since, deeper into sin, you realize that we need a cure. The only cure for the earth is a new one, which we will have, and which Revelation 21 and 22 tell us about. The only cure for sin is a sacrifice. The atheist G. Richard Bozart even said, "It becomes clear now that the whole justification of Jesus' life and death is predicated on the existence of Adam and the forbidden fruit he and Eve ate. Without the original sin, who needs to be redeemed? Without Adams fall into a life of constant sin terminated by death, what purpose is there in Christianity? None."

The first kill and the first sacrifice in the Bible was committed by God. He killed an animal in the garden of Eden to make clothes of skin for Adam and Eve. Though it doesn’t tell us what animal He killed, I tend to believe, as many others do, that it was a sheep; a sign of a future lamb that would be slain. ‘Slain from the foundation of the world.’ Jesus! We have been cursed to work among thorns and thistles as sweat pours from our brow, and I don’t think it is any coincidence that they platted a crown of thorns on His brow. It was Him taking all of the curse on Himself. The curse of sin that we are guilty of.

People have been complaining that the measures taken by our governments have hindered them from their pleasures. They are upset that they can’t go to bars, can’t spend late nights in clubs due to social distancing. They are being told to wear a covering over their faces to protect themselves. Even Christians are complaining of not being able to go on vacations, but it’s too often on vacation where they forget that they have churches back home and that God sees them, even when their Pastor doesn’t. People are complaining about corona but are quiet about SIN. I can tell you now that sin has claimed more victims than corona ever has and ever will. Death in wars, on the road, in the home, in hearts, and in the lives of Fathers, Mothers, Sons, and Daughters.

People always ask in times of tragedy, “if God is a loving God, why does He allow such things to happen?” We need to realize that God is omniscient. He knows infinitely more about what is going on than what we can even imagine. He has a master plan, even if you and I don’t understand it at times. But we also must take responsibility. This world is in the condition that it is in because of sin. And Adam was a representation of us all, so don’t think for a minute that you’d do any different if you had been in his shoes. You weren’t a perfect child and still aren’t a perfect adult. We are ALL guilty of sin. But thank God for His promise! He told us that He would send one who would crush the serpent’s head, who would be born of the seed of the woman.

This is our God of love:

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Romans 10:9

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Revelation 21:4

God will put things back the way they were. He sent His son to start the restoration process, and He told His disciples that He was going to prepare a place,

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:3

We have been told that scientists are working on a vaccination for the coronavirus, but until then, to continue social distancing guidelines and to wear masks. I am not saying they are wrong by asking us to do that, or that we should shirk such guidelines as it may make the difference in those most susceptible to the virus. But for the pandemic of sin, there is only one cure.

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23

There is only one covering that matters when it comes to the pandemic of sin, and that is the blood of Jesus! The families of the children of Israel were commanded to kill a lamb and sprinkle its blood on the lintel and doorposts as protection from death. Today, the blood of the spotless lamb, slain for your sins, is still applicable! You must make a choice of what to believe. With all that is going on in the world, and sin’s curse raging in the hearts of men and women all around us, Jesus is our only hope. Don’t distance yourself from God’s son! He didn’t distance Himself from the sick and hurting, but instead, He touched them and healed them, and He is willing to do the same for you today.

There is coming a time when all of those sick and bound under the pandemic of sin will be distanced from the presence of God for eternity. I beg of you, don’t wait to see what will happen by delaying your choice.

“Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” 2nd Corinthians 6:2

We don’t live in a ‘wonderful world’. We live in a world full of death, violence, disease, and tragedy. But we have been given a wonderful Savior and an incredible gift of communion with Almighty God and a beautiful promise of peace. Though there may be a lot of negative in the world today, ...

JEHOVAH HATOV – The Lord is good!

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