We’re All Gonna Die!
The coronavirus is not the only global pandemic with the potential to capture everyone in its death grip.
Be scared. Be really scared.
A pandemic is on, imprisoning people in their own homes, killing thousands, overwhelming hospitals, and threatening a global economic depression. All because of one little bitty virus you can’t even see. Trump calls it an “invisible enemy.”
People are panicking about the pandemic, but it’s nothing compared to what’s coming. In fact, it’s already here! But don’t panic; there is a vaccine. More on that later. First, it’s important to realize that everyone is already infected. It always leads to death. And no doctor or scientist has ever invented a cure. On World Radio March 25, Janie B. Cheaney explained our predicament:
To make a long story short, from the beginning we received our breath from God himself. And, then we wrecked that perfect life and became infected with the 100 percent contagious and endlessly mutating virus of sin.
‘Oh, great,’ we can hear atheists groaning. ‘Here comes a sermon by analogy. That’s not legit. Sin is not a virus, OK? And even if I believed in Adam (which I don’t), how can a god (which I don’t believe in) hold me responsible for something somebody else did? I’m a good person. That wouldn’t be fair now, would it?’
There you have it; a consequence of sin is right there: pride and selfishness. Those are evidences of the very worst of sins: not loving God with all your heart, soul, and mind. And since the wages of sin is death, the worst sin deserves the greatest punishment. Proud people cannot blame Adam and Eve. It’s too late. We’ve all done this. We are already guilty.
The Biblical doctrine of Original Sin is hard for moderns to accept. Why should we be blamed for what Adam and Eve did? Consider these reasons:
- Adam was the federal head of the human race. By choosing to disobey God, and to follow Satan, he took his whole progeny along. Think of it this way: if a couple were to believe a witch doctor and swear allegiance to him, they would lose the ability to go back once the witch doctor takes them captive. All their sons and daughters would remain in captivity.
- It was just for God to punish them. The Creator gave Adam and Eve an abundance of everything they needed, and only demanded one test of loyalty: not to eat of a certain tree, warning that if they did, they would die. They listened to Satan’s lie and disobeyed, and they died. God’s warning was true.
- The human race died in Adam. The death was not merely physical. It changed the human race into a dying race. A branch torn from a tree may stay green for awhile, but it’s already dead, and its final decay to dust is inevitable. Mankind became torn from God. There is no turning back from the choice. One can make a choice, but one cannot choose the consequences.
- The death mankind received changed human nature. It affected the body, with pain, disease and death. It affected the mind, with love for self replacing love for God. It affected the spirit, corrupting the “image of God” into a striving for self-actualization. It affected the Earth, with the paradise lost and judged to include pain and suffering.
- Under Satan’s totalitarian regime, people became suckers for false religion, which could never fill the God-shaped vacuum in the human heart. Satan’s minions work tirelessly to keep the human race distracted from the Creator God. He teaches them that they evolved from slime, and some of them believe it. He makes sin look really cool. He decorates the broad way that leads to destruction.
- Politics was involved. Adam and Eve believed Satan, and chose his rulership. They had essentially made a pact with the devil, because he promised them wisdom and the ability to “be as gods, knowing good and evil.” God kept his side of the deal and respected their choice; if they chose the enemy, he would not force them to come back. But he loved mankind too much to let them suffer as he knew they would under the enemy.
- A man or woman may wish to get back to God, but cannot. Like the rich man in Hades (Luke 16), people are dead but conscious. There is nothing any human can do in his or her own efforts to cross the great gulf and get back to the kingdom of God.
- After Adam and Eve’s choice, Satan became the “god of this world” (even though he is a fake ‘god’). He is the enemy of mankind as well as God. Satan’s ‘principalities and powers’ (fallen angels) have inroads to continue deceiving people with lies and half-truths, making them feel as comfortable as possible with their disobedience.
- By analogy, once a sufficiently sophisticated computer virus takes over a computer, it cannot be removed. Despite the user’s best efforts to clean and start over, it keeps coming back. If it’s ransomware, the user is trapped. The human ‘computer’ is hostage to Satan’s infection. It still has the “image of God” software (awareness of a Creator, rationality, a conscience – knowledge of right and wrong), but every time God’s software runs, the ransomware pops up and blocks it.
- History proves original sin. You don’t have to teach a baby to be angry and selfish. The history of civilization is a history of war, suffering and selfishness: the “lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life.” Some people are better than others, but nobody is good enough to pay the ransom. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Question: If every baby is created by God, doesn’t that make Him a creator of sinners?
Answer: No, because our fallen nature is inherited from Adam. In theology, this is called traducianism, “the doctrine that the human soul is propagated along with the body,” as opposed to creationism, “the doctrine that God immediately creates out of nothing a new human soul for each individual born.” Each soul is unique just like each body is unique, but they all stem from a common source.
Original sin was real. We are all infected. But God did not leave himself without witness, and he had a master plan to give humans a way back to fellowship with him. Cheaney adds,
But after this had gone on long enough to prove, beyond any doubt, that the disease was not curable, a good contagion intervened. You might say that divine RNA jumped from heaven to earth – from God to man – just as an alien strain somehow bridged the gap from animal to human in Wuhan.
I don’t prefer Cheaney’s analogy of a “good contagion,” because the plan involved the cruel death of the Messiah to accomplish and is more a rescue or removal of a virus than a contagion. No analogy is perfect, but the upshot is that God had a plan to checkmate Satan and cleanse human hearts of their ‘virus’ of sin. God is the ultimate righteous Judge, but also a God of love. Both of these perfect attributes had to be satisfied to end man’s predicament. Since justice demands death (a blood sacrifice, as OT Israel was taught in the Law of God), blood had to be shed for man’s separation from God: either his own death, or the sacrifice of a substitute. The only substitute sacrifice in heaven and earth able to satisfy payment for all human sin was the blood of the Lamb of God (Revelation 5). The cross, therefore, became the last altar of sacrifice; it opened up a pathway back to perfect fellowship with God – through Christ. A person can receive forgiveness now as a free gift; the ransom has been paid!
But the ransom wasn’t paid to Satan; it was paid to God’s justice. Paul said that now God united his love and justice; he can be “just and the justifier” (Romans 3:26): “It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” God’s justice has been satisfied. Now, his love can flow. Cheaney recounts what happened in Acts 2:
The “good contagion” infected a handful of followers. Then a few hundred more. Then 3,000 on one day. Eventually, it spread as fast as humans could take it to the ends of the earth. No bad virus can overcome it. So take heart.
Again, the analogy is weak, because God’s cure does not spread automatically; it must be proclaimed and shared. Each individual person must choose to receive the ‘vaccine’ or cure for the embedded ‘virus’ of sin. And while God’s cure doesn’t do away with the inevitability of physical death in this life (“It is appointed unto man once to die, and after that the judgment,” Hebrews 9:27), it removes the penalty. Anyone “in Christ” is declared righteous before the Judge; Satan cannot touch him or her. The person becomes indwelt by the Holy Spirit upon repenting of sin and confessing Christ as Lord.
The Christ follower is redeemed and becomes a new person. Everything is new. The rest of one’s life in this world becomes one of sanctification (becoming holy): following the Holy Spirit’s leading each day toward Christ-likeness. It’s like choosing to follow the health care provider’s advice to overcome the effects of a deadly disease so as to become healthy again. This advice includes:
- Practice social distancing: “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them” (Ephesians 3:15)
- Wash your hands: “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:8)
- Bend the curve: “Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (Titus 2:14-15).
We’re all gonna die, yes. But there is hope. This is why Janie B. Cheaney began with,
Are you scared yet? Don’t be. Or, as beings better than I have said, “Fear not. For behold I bring you good news.”
Sin is not a physical virus like SARS-CoV-2, but the current pandemic reminds us of deadly dangers that are real and cannot be ignored. You could get this particular coronavirus and survive it. No one will survive sin without a ‘blood transfusion’ of the forgiveness Christ paid for. John said,
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:7-9)
See the Site Map for more information on how to be cured of sin.
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