Blessings realized by the Corona situation
As of 2020, the most frequently spoken word in human society would be Corona. It is true that the unparalleled fear and uncertainty of the Coronavirus are becoming a huge challenge for people who believe in their lives of the world as well as in the lives of faith. The freedom of believers who went to church and worshiped without any restrictions was controlled by the State as an unprecedented situation.
Even though the sanctuary worship was partially allowed recently, the traditions such as praise concerts and chanting prayer, which have been performed without qualms in the past, are no longer easy to keep for us. However, while experiencing these hardships, I am grateful that I could realize something I had never thought before. I felt the preciousness of worship before God and the necessity of true worship with the thirst for worship service by worshiping the Lord without any more want. Some people hide in fear of the virus, but not a few people have found the impression of worship that they could have forgotten.
In chapter 2 of the Book of Revelations, Jesus gave the church of Ephesus the lesson to restore its first love for the Lord. Accepting this current situation as a tremendous shock, I think I should be able to confirm the Lord's love and recover within myself. It is truly a blessing if you realize the love for the Lord and recover it in the midst of pain of losing so many things. In spite of a dangerous situation in which many people lose their lives, it is the most blessing for them to be able to equip themselves with faith by experiencing His love again.
Apostasy of the church that pairs the world
Today, the atmosphere of treachery against God is increasingly prevalent in the church. We can easily see that every work done in the name of God is done by means of the world. This fact is well illustrated by the values that churches claim, such as numbers and money. In other words, churches do not hesitate to boast about the number of people or the amount of material they have. Unfortunately, it is reaching a point where it is impossible to tell whether it is the world or the church, equipped with values that build up the tower of Babel in the name of success.
However, looking at the cause of this apostasy is based on the fact that, above all, God's given standards are out of place. The standards God gave are clearly written in His words, but the church committed the sin of arbitrarily judging and interpreting them. While the church is committing adultery with the world, it is doing the abominable thing that will provoke His anger. God has identified Israel with Sodom and other cities, which used to be evil in the past, and today we see this scene in the church.
In other words, we see worshipers who fall into self-satisfaction without knowing who they are worshiping and what they have faith for. While countless people are oblivious to the reality of the treachery of His will, they are deeply immersed in a well-paved religious life which is focused on people as not totally related to God.
Spirit-killing message from the pulpit
The virtue of discipleship taught by the Lord is to deny oneself in Jesus and to bear the cross. However, many pastors in these days only pretend to die instead of dying themselves, calling on the congregation should die. For that reason, the words coming from the pulpit became an empty echoes that no 'impact' could be given. The words preached in the pulpit are flooding today, but how these play a role in the lives of the congregation. In short, to my utmost concern, there is no word of life that causes repentance and makes a change in the spirit by stabbing their hearts.
We are very used with the message coming from the pulpit which caters to the listeners well. Even pseudo-gospels such as "You will do well," "You will be blessed and prosperous in the world," "Depend on the positive power," etc. are disturbing the pulpit. Therefore, the pastors are focusing their attention on preparing words that will make the congregation feel comfortable with no burden and difficulty to follow. In the end, as I can not help but worry, these words are becoming a message to kill the soul rather than save it because they are popular with people and fill their interest.
With a watchman's heart
Chapter 33 of Ezekiel states the mission of the watchman. In short, the value of any victim's blood is given to the watchman if watchman fails to fulfill his mission properly and victim is taken away by a sword. It should not be overlooked that the church and the pastor cannot be free from judgment when he or she fails to fulfill his or her role as a watchman. Now is not the time to roughly live a religious life or handle ministry while pretending to believe moderately. Now is the time for us to keep our faith with fear and trembling as we are about to face a time of tribulation for all mankind as well as for each of us.
In other words, there should be a dedication to keep the biblical faith in the face of the Corona situation. We should be able to emulate the faith of German confession church members who opposed the Nazis and our faithful ancestors who paid the price of faith against Japanese Shrine worship. We can certainly affect people around us by showing a model of faith when we are not daunted in the world with the spirit and determination of martyrdom. It means that the watchman's mission must be fulfilled so that he can prove the living God through true worship to the numerous people who still betray God while saying they believe but betray Him.