THE COMPULSION OF CALAMITY
The Corona virus pandemic has left thousands dead and even thousands more infected. The world has almost come to a grinding halt because of this calamitous disease. Calamity compels us to consider the fragility of our earthly life. It is here today and gone tomorrow like a vapour in the wind. Our lives are truly like the grass in the field; here today and gone tomorrow. Calamity also compels us to think critically about the big four questions:
- Origin- where do we dome from? Are we a cosmic accident? Are we a lucky chance in the universe that was the outcome of a chaotic incident? Or are we part of a Master Designer? A building has a builder. A book has an author. A vehicle has a manufacturer. Could something more complex than those three, Creation, have a Creator?
- Morality- who defines right and wrong? Does our culture do that? Do our parents do that? Is there an objective standard for good and evil? With what moral authority do we call something good and another evil if we are just a mere happenstance? Are good and evil simply conscience-embalming ways of stating survival is for the fittest? Has the Master Builder given us a clear source of truth concerning good and evil?
- Purpose- why are we here? With few and uncertain years on the planet, are our plans anything to hold onto as having lived well? Is the goal to accumulate more possessions? Does whoever die with the most toys win? Is the goal to be powerful? Is the goal to be remembered? Is the endgame to build a name for ourselves? What will be the verdict of our lives if they are cut short today?
- Destiny- where do we go after we die? Do we lose our fizz like an opened canned soda? Do we restart life? Do we face the Master Designer? Do we account for our lives?
Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, spoke of this calamitous moment in history in Matthew 24. He said the famine, earthquakes and pestilences (diseases) will ravage the world steadily before the return of the Master Designer. Yet he said that these global issues are simply birth pains. He alluded to the imagery of a woman giving birth. When a woman is in labour, the initial contractions are not the major pains. The former simply signals that the latter is yet to come and something is about to be birthed. In this case, Jesus tells us that the rise of a one-world Government to deceive the world away from eternal life and the heralding of his second coming is being birthed. The clarion call of the Saviour is that the calamities of global levels will help us understand the truth to the big 4 questions and respond to them in humility.
- Origin: We are made in the image of God. In the complexity of our creation, we are more than flesh. We are soul and spirit as well (1 Thessalonians 5:23). We were made by God and He has revealed Himself to us in the person of Jesus Christ.
- Morality: We are sinners because of our forefathers. God has given us His Word as an objective stance of His heart concerning good and evil. We are naturally bent to rebel against God’s word and His established order. Our sins are putrid and damnable at the very least. We cannot keep His Word. Yet God in His infinite mercy knows this and has paid the price for our sin by dying for them on a cross. He has kept the Word on our behalf. Our own morality is an insult to His holiness but His own morality in the person of Jesus fulfills everything He requires from us. The perfect moral record of Jesus Christ has been transferred to all who accept it. We can therefore stand before God as blameless and receive a verdict of “not guilty” by receiving forgiveness for our sins.
- Purpose: the perfect moral record of Christ given to us comes with a new life. He places The Holy Spirit inside of us as we start this new life. That new life calls us to partner with the Master Designer to establish His Kingdom on Earth 🌎. The ultimate priority of the Kingdom is to acquire citizens. All who have this new life go out in their various places on earth inviting citizens to enter His Kingdom freely. A banquet has been set and the King desires citizens to come into His house to eat and celebrate with Him. The heart of the purpose of the new life is called the Gospel; it means good news. Good news has come to humanity. The blood of Jesus Christ has paid for our crimes and God desires children to abandon the darkness and come home. The good news is that all are welcome (1 Timothy 2:4). It is not an elitist invitation. It calls the prostitute and the virgin. It calls the rebel and the orderly. It calls the rich and the poor. It calls everyone home. The endgame is to build His Kingdom.
- Destiny: The Kingdom of God, once established, will be populated by His children. He will never force anyone into His kingdom. As the writer of the Hebrews said in 9:27, it is appointed unto man to die once and then to face judgement. Will we have a destiny with the King or apart from the King?
This current calamity reminds us that the invitation to the Kingdom is still open.