Coronavirus, The Hand of God at Work or Something Else?
To gain a deeper understanding of God’s sovereignty and the importance of knowing that He is, consider listening to the following sermons exposited by Dr. Richard Caldwell from the Word of God:
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Coronavirus, The Hand of God at Work or Something Else?
Is the coronavirus like a biblical plague? Is there a connection or relation to sin? Is God judging all the earth with the coronavirus? If not, what is God doing in allowing Covid19 to take place?
This week on the Straight Truth Podcast, Dr. Richard Caldwell and host Dr. Josh Philpot discuss the current pandemic that we find ourselves both living through and dying as a result of. Dr. Philpot brings these concerning questions to Dr. Caldwell. He also asks how should we be thinking as we seek to protect ourselves, our families, and others as we go through something we’ve never experienced on such a global level, nor in our lifetimes.
Dr. Caldwell shares that in the Word of God calamity and destruction are often tied to the hand of God. So the first thoughts he has when it comes to Covid19 and other things like it are yes, God is involved. If we think that God is not actively involved, then we are thinking wrongly. God is involved with all that is taking place. Nothing happens in this world that God doesn’t have a plan for; God is sovereign in and over all things. There is not a single stray atom in this universe.
We are Living in a World That is Fallen
What’s important to remember is that we are living in a world that is fallen. When Adam fell in sin, there was a curse pronounced not only upon mankind but also upon creation itself. The Bible teaches us that this world we live in is living out its existence in corruption. Dr. Caldwell reads from Romans 8:18-21 showing us that these verses confirm this truth. Here it reveals that as Christians we can expect to suffer as we live out our lives on the earth during the present age.
We will deal with pain, suffering, and even death. But also here, the Apostle Paul shows that creation itself expresses futility, being a result of the fall and sin. Therefore in this world, we will see diseases, earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding, tornados, etc. These are all expressions of this world that is subject to that curse. So we shouldn’t be surprised as believers when we also experience many of the heartaches, difficulties, and sufferings that are part of the fall and the curse. We all await with great eagerness the day when the Lord Jesus Christ returns. On that day, the sons of God will be revealed and we will enter into a brand new era in which these things are no longer true.
Dr. Philpot comments that as Dr. Caldwell shared this, Genesis 3 came to mind. The wording there, where God speaks to Adam in the garden after he has sinned, is “cursed is the ground because of you.” So he asks if Dr. Caldwell is saying that one of the consequences of the fall and ongoing sin, is that the whole earth is cursed in such a way that brings about calamities and futility like this?
This World Reflects The Fall
Dr. Caldwell affirms that this is so. Telling us that this world reflects that fall, we are not living in a paradise. Adam and Eve were placed into the paradise that God made, where He saw all that He made, and it was very good. But for us this is not paradise, we are living in a jungle, a wilderness of sorts where all things are not good. We live in a very deadly, dangerous realm. However, our comfort should come from the fact that in the midst of this, God had all of our days written down in His book before we ever had one of them.
We are absolutely safe in the hand of God until the day comes that He is finished with our existence on this side of eternity. Nothing will cut our life short of a single day that God has planned for us, be it a hurricane or Covid19. We do not need to live our lives in fear, we can trust God who is sovereign.
Dr. Philpot shares that during this crisis he has been thinking about Amos 3:6. This verse says “Does disaster come to a city unless the Lord has done it?” (Amos 3:6bESV). He says to Dr. Caldwell that he seems to be saying that this virus is the Lord’s work and that faithful Christians need to have a theology that accounts for this. But what about the person who doesn’t have this, where are they left?
A Constant Sense of Anxiety
Dr. Caldwell explains that they are left making no sense of the world. They either have no understanding of God’s explanation for why the world is the way it is or they just reject it. In this way, they are not able to make sense of what happens. They will live with a constant sense of anxiety because they believe they are in charge or in control of their own safety, wellbeing, and all the rest. However, he also says we would be wrong to pretend we have all knowledge and understanding of what God is doing and why He is allowing something to take place. It may or may not be for judgment, we cannot say. But, to think that we do not deserve judgment and to think that we will never meet with judgment from the hand of God would be misguided.
Lastly, Dr. Philpot discusses what churches are doing during this time and how there are lots of thoughts on how to go about having church when you can’t assemble. He shares that Founders Baptist Church is doing a single live service on Sunday mornings that is broadcast on SermonAudio, Facebook, and YouTube. They also hold weekly zoom meetings for ABF classes and for men’s and women’s bible studies. Yet, how does a pastor go about shepherding God’s people through a situation like this?
Continually Feed The Congregation The Word of God
Dr. Caldwell explains that there’s a sense in which this preparation began long ago. The best way you can prepare the people of God to face any kind of crisis is by continually feeding the congregation with the Word of God. It’s the Word of God that stabilizes the people of God. As we learn the Word of God, we grow up. We grow into maturity, we grow into the image of Christ who is our Lord and Savior. Then as mature children of God, we are not tossed around to and fro by every wind of doctrine, we are stabilized and stand firm in the truth. So what you do then in times like this is remind the congregation of what they know, what they’ve been taught, and what they should believe.
We go about living out the Word of God, seeking to abide in and by it. This includes respecting the governing authorities over us, so long as we are not being asked to violate God's Word. We try to normalize ministry as much as we can, while we remind people that our God is good and that He is in control. We go on believing and obeying His Word, on a personal level, in our families, and as a congregation, as we go through the crisis.
About The Straight Truth Podcast
The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at www.straighttruth.net
The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo. The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.
The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
answering any and all questions.
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