According to global reports there have been about 175.3 million COVID‑19 cases and 3.8 million deaths [1]. At the time of this writing, in the U.S. alone, there have been nearly 600,000 reported deaths. There are several takeaways from this unprecedented moment for believers and unbelievers. The following are important truths that unbelievers must know and heed and that believers can share with those they evangelize.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the following truths:

 

1. It reminds us of the Fall and its effect on the world (Genesis 3). After Adam sinned against God viruses, diseases, and death entered the world. Not only did sin make people susceptible to illness but it also introduced mortality (Romans 5:12; 8:19-22). COVID-19 reminds us of the Fall.

 

2. It reminds us that all persons will ultimately die (Hebrews 9:27). Death is the topic that unbelievers (and  even many believers) are reluctant to discuss or prefer to suppress. But Scripture reminds us that life is transitory, momentary, fleeting, and short-lived. Life passes away (Job 7:7; 14:1-2; Psalm 90:5-6; 144:4; James 1:10). Only believers who are alive at the rapture will not see death (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). COVID-19 magnified this truth. 

 

3. It reminds us that ultimately, we are not in control of our futures. God has determined our days and we can neither decrease nor increase our life on earth (Job 14:5; Psalm 139:16). Our days (and in fact, every second) are in His hand. COVID-19 reminds us that men and women are not sovereign over their lives.

 

4. It exposes the pride of the human heart. When people fail to acknowledge God, they naturally look inwardly and trust in self and one another (Romans 1:18-23). They resort to motivational pep talks such as, “We will get through this.” This mantra may inspire some, but also may be fueled by self-confidence and faith in human potential or past "achievement". It implies that people alone can do all things.


5. It amplifies Jesus's warning to unbelievers amid tragedy (Luke 13:1-5). Unbelievers must not assume that COVID-19 is God's judgment on humanity or because their lives were spared that they are morally superior to those who died (vv.2, 4). Instead, they must repent of their sins or they will perish under future judgment (vv.3, 5). This was Jesus's message to a multitude of listeners and it is applicable today.

6. It reminds believers that they must make the most of opportunities (Colossians 4:5-6). Just as unbelievers must turn to Christ while they have the opportunity, believers must maximize the opportunity to proclaim the gospel. This season is a heightened opportunity to tell unbelievers about eternity, Jesus Christ, and way of salvation.

 

There are urgent implications from COVID-19  for unbelievers and believers. The pandemic reminds us that life is fragile and uncertain, death is certain, and God is sovereign over peoples' lives. Therefore, unbelievers must seek the Lord while they have the opportunity (Isaiah 55:6). They must call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved (Joel 2:32; Acts 2:21; cf. Isaiah 45:22). This is how unbelievers must respond today and this is what believers must tell them. 

[1] "Tracking Coronavirus' Global Spread.” CNN. Cable News Network. Accessed April 30, 2020. https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2020/health/coronavirus-maps-and-cases/

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COVID-19, Evangelism,

and Salvation