A little more than a year ago, the world faced a crisis of biblical proportions. Unless you have been living under a rock, you are aware that a virus, originally thought to be from Wuhan, China, started to infect people throughout the globe. Finally named COVID-19, the world pretty much shut down. Quarantines, isolation, constant cleaning and disinfecting have all become the norm in the last year. Schools have been closed, churches and temples are holding their services in a virtual format and people in the restaurant industry, as well as the commercial real estate market, are starving as they watch their businesses circle the drain.
Social distancing and many other terms have entered our social fabric and, as is the case with most high profile issues, there are two sides to the argument. Some people believe that the government doesn’t have the right to order us around – while others are grateful for trying to stop the spread of this potentially lethal virus. More than 500,000 Americans have died from Covid-19 and countless others have suffered and have severe reactions to being infected.
Thankfully, scientists have come up with several vaccines that seem to be able to inoculate people from the worst effects of getting sick. Phifer, Moderna and now Johnson & Johnson have all successfully designed and manufactured vaccines that greatly reduce the risk of contracting a serious case of Covid. But, once again, I’m not telling you anything that you probably have already heard in the news. Janet and I received our first shots on February 8th and received our second shots Tuesday morning.
The point is that this virus is invisible – an invisible enemy that strikes without warning and attacks the most vulnerable members of our population. People with diabetes, auto immune disorders, those who suffer from obesity and the elderly are all at significant risk. This isn’t the first time that this country, and the world, have suffered like this. There was a flu pandemic at the start of the 20th century and throughout history, outbreaks of contagious diseases have plagued the world.
I certainly don’t want to diminish the severity of the virus but there is another unseen enemy that is even more dangerous than Covid – Satan, the Devil. In fact, there is a 100% chance of death – and by that I mean eternal separation from God. That is if we succumb to the temptations of Satan and reject God’s gift of eternal life.
As I said before, Janet and I received our second vaccines earlier this week and within another 10 days or so we will have significant immunity. That doesn’t mean that we can’t catch Covid but, hopefully, we won’t suffer the way we would without the vaccine. And, of course, each of us has the choice to reject the vaccine and take our chances without it.
However, we have a 100% guarantee of life when realize that there is spiritual warfare all around us and we choose to accept God’s gift of salvation. It is real… Satan and his demons are trying to entice us to reject God while Michael, Gabriel and their legions of angels are fighting on our behalf to vanquish evil influences from our lives. Clearly, each of us has a chance to get “vaccinated” to make sure that we will never fall from grace and turn to the dark side. Once again, each of us has to make our own choice.
In ancient times it was, and still is, believed that each of us has an inner temple – “Naos” in the Greek language. By accepting the gift of salvation, our “naos” is inhabited or “indwelt” by the Holy Spirit. This does not leave any room for Satan or his evil. Kind of like the current vaccines, we are inoculated and can rest assured that while we may be tempted, we can depend on God, the ultimate vaccine, to keep us eternally safe.
Our verse for tonight is from the apostle Pauls’s letter to the Romans. Romans is thought of as the real “theology” of the New Testament – the head knowledge of the faith that Paul is trying to teach Christians. Paul, who became a devout follower of Jesus after having grown up in the Jewish faith, teaches at every opportunity. In tonight’s verse, he teaches us in Romans 8:11, “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.”
That life that Paul is talking about is eternal life – the eternal vaccination that protects us from evil and Satan. My encouragement this evening is that Jesus wants each of us to choose eternal life – to get vaccinated by accepting God’s offer and being indwelt by the Holy Spirit. My prayer is that everyone will prayerfully consider that there is a guaranteed way to protect us from ever letting evil get a foothold in our lives. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…