I made the mistake of scrolling through a major news channel and I could feel hysteria trying to emerge from my television screen like the woman from the movie "The Grudge". Despite the findings of the Surgeon General or the warnings of the CDC, hysteria will not prove to be an effective immunization against COVID-19. According to Merriam Webster, hysteria is defined as a behavior exhibiting overwhelming or unmanageable fear or emotional excess - and anything taken to excess is deadly.
If you sit in the sun for an excessive amount- you’re toast. Burnt toast.
If you drink water too much excess, you’ll die from water intoxication.
If you believe your own thoughts to excess, you’ll become a patient at your local insane asylum.
It’s possible to have too much of God. I know, it’s sounds heretical initially, but no man can experience the glory of God to excess and live.
“And he said, "I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name 'The Lord.' And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. But," he said, "you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live."”
Exodus 33:19-20 ESV
If I want anything or anyone in excess, it’s God. And God himself, in his infinite wisdom, knows that we can’t only handle the good and the bad in moderation. This pandemic is causing mass hysteria within the hearts of so many individuals because they were empty to begin with. Coronavirus is not a god. Yes, it’s effects can be lethal, but so are the effects of driving a car or entering into surgery.
The inability to pay your bills should not throw you into hysteria. You’re made of more than a means to an end. Your dislike or love for the Commander in Chief of the United States should not cause you to become hysterical. There will be decisions made in the US government that tax paying, registered voters will not be able to change. This should be cause for alarm. In fact, it serves as a reminder for us as Christians to not become attached to the things that are temporal. This is not our permanent home, remember?
The Bible tells us that we are to anticipate a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness (2 Peter 3:13). In this new heaven and new earth we read that we will plant vineyards and eat their fruit, build houses and dwell in them, and that we will long enjoy the works of our hands (Isaiah 65:22-23). Before we call to God, he will answer us, and while we are still speaking he will hear us (Isaiah 65:24). Revelation 21:3 states “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.” Our eternal home does not need a temple, “because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. This city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it” (Revelation 21:22-24).
In light of the recent events that have occurred in our nation, I think it’s fitting to briefly address the Bible’s stance on scarcity, gifts, and information.
Revelation 21 describes a city where there are streets of gold and walls of jasper, sapphire, and emerald. Will there be any form of scarcity in this New Jerusalem, or will we have access to unlimited supplies of goods? Scarcity is always a relative term, relating our wants and needs to the availability of resources. Given the Biblical message concerning the richness of the New Jerusalem and the vastness of God’s created and redeemed heavens, I believe that there will be limitless amount of goods available for human use. I’m also a firm believer that our wants, which today are often fleshly and rooted in grief, will be somehow scaled back so that we will have a true appreciation of what we have and of God’s divine and good provision.
1 Corinthians 12 gives a beautiful description of the distribution of spiritual gifts and our roles within the Body of Christ. I believe that on the new earth, although all of God’s people will be in full communion with the Holy Spirit, there will be still be a distribution of gifts among his people, and that we will still function as a body. In fact, all of the different gifts that God gives to his people will be spiritual gifts.
“The Lord said to Moses, "See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft. And behold, I have appointed with him Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. And I have given to all able men ability, that they may make all that I have commanded you: the tent of meeting, and the ark of the testimony, and the mercy seat that is on it, and all the furnishings of the tent, the table and its utensils, and the pure lampstand with all its utensils, and the altar of incense, and the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the basin and its stand, and the finely worked garments, the holy garments for Aaron the priest and the garments of his sons, for their service as priests, and the anointing oil and the fragrant incense for the Holy Place. According to all that I have commanded you, they shall do."
Exodus 31:1-11 ESV
God’s design in creation was that we would always need and benefit from the gifts of others, and we expect that this will continue to be the case in the new heaven and the new earth. I don’t think it’s safe to conclude that we will lose our gifts in the presence of God. So while we still have breath in our body, I think it’s the perfect time to perfect the gifts that God has given us. The ability to be the body of Christ is a gift within itself. Right now, people are facing foreclosure, some mounting amounts of debt and uncertainty. I think we could all use a hand, and I mean that literally. As Christians, we are the hands and feet of Jesus, and I think it’s time we begin to shake hands, strengthen legs, resuscitate broken hearts, and breathe life into the brokenhearted.
The ability to be the body of Christ is a gift within itself.
We like having all the details. That’s why many false prophets dressed as tele-evangelists are somewhat rich - they CLAIM to have information. Will we know everything in heaven? No. There is no suggestion in the Bible that we will become like God and be omniscient. There will be no RFID chips in heaven. No transference of consciousness. No artificial intelligence. If you want to become like the terminator, you’ll have your time pretty soon, but it won’t bring you peace or true eternal life.
As believers, we will see the face of God and understand much that we did not before, but I’m sure that we will still need to acquire and use information as we go about fulfilling our callings in heaven. Since there will be no presence of sin, I’m confident that all the information available in heaven will be completely true and useful to God’s people. In heaven, we will know things to a greater depth than ever before and appreciate God’s goodness and sustaining love throughout all of his redeemed new creation. I’m sure that there will be a presence of governmental order in heaven and some form of information will be used as a means of communication in heaven.
The misuse of information or the presence of excessive information has proven to not always be beneficial to every human. That is why God set aside prophets - everyone is not able to handle the information God can share with them. In heaven, all will be revealed. No conspiracy theories. No blogs. No hidden agendas. Just the splendor of a King clothed in majesty, his truth will reign.
I’m not writing this because I have all the answers, I’m just shining a light. If you are a believer, it’s time to turn the light bulb on. Let’s substitute prayer for COVID-19 panic. This is a good time to be led by the Good Shepherd.
If you are a believer, it’s time to turn the light bulb on. Let’s substitute prayer for COVID-19 panic. This is a good time to be led by the Good Shepherd.
“Do not be anxious about anything,” in says in Philippians 4:6, and then the antidote to anxiety is given, “but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Place your confidence in Him today.
"And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest."
Matthew 9:35-38 ESV