For the last few weeks, in particular, NYC, many denominations have kept houses of worship closed due to the COVID pandemic. A few months ago, over 30 COGIC pastors of bishops passed away due to the disease. Several congregations have had multiple deaths.
The fear of death and the fear of government combined to keep houses of worship closed.
Isaiah 26:20-21 says
“Come, my people, enter your chambers,
And shut your doors behind you;
Hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment,
Until the indignation is past.
For behold, the Lord comes out of His place
To punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity;
The earth will also disclose her blood,
And will no more cover her slain.“
But these verses are towards Israel. But remember, Isaiah not only prophesied to Israel but also to nations.
Many have used these verses to warn the church to hide while God sends judgment upon it.
The disease is a direct manifestation of what the Lord Jesus prophesied in the Matthew 24:7
Three things would come upon the earth as indicators that these are the days of the Son of Man.
Famines, Great Earthquakes, and Pestilences.
These are the “beginning of sorrows” but “the end is not yet.”
So why aren’t the true houses of worship open?
It’s plain fear of death.
But more people died of the flu and other diseases than COVID. As a result, many pastors have opted to keep their doors closed.
The last time that a pandemic closed houses of worship was during the Spanish Flu during 1918-1919, which was also during the 1st World War.
Millions of people were affected and millions have perished.
So far, to date, COVID has killed close to half a million people and is on pace to kill, worldwide, close to 800,000 people by the end of the year.
Diseases are natural but they always have a spiritual source.
Now when you use Isaiah 26:20-21, the Lord was bringing judgment on the nation of Israel for its sins. There’s no question that every nation on the planet has sinned against God for Romans 3:23 is clear.
But when God pours His just wrath on people, it will always be in regards to the sins it’s committed. America has sinned with abortion and homosexuality, as well as other sexual sins, make no mistake about it.
However, the pestilence is confirmed to be in regards to Matthew 24:7.
But also look at the heart of man. Man refuses to turn from sin, even in a pandemic. Houses of worship are closed but you can still repent wherever you are. God is merciful and kind. Slow to anger and great or rich in mercy.
The moment man turns to the Lord, man will have done what’s intended. It has our undivided attention.
But according to Amos, Israel sinned against the Lord but Israel refused to turn in repentance.
Much like America and other nations.
There used to be a day when if something of this magnitude would happen, it didn’t take man a long time to repent.
With houses of worship closed and with man refusing to return to the Lord, the conditions are exactly what’s been told to us.
These are the closing moments of the last of the last days.
So out of caution, because people are in the dark about the will of God, some have elected to keep houses of worship closed until the coast is clear. But even then, there’s no guarantee that people are safe.
Everything is a risk.
With lawlessness entering a new phase, murders are increasing. Robbery and other forms of crime is overwhelming handcuffed law enforcement, these are “perilous times.”
But as long as houses of worship of the true and living God remain closed, many have reverted to “Zoom,” and other forms of online worship to make do until they could return to the house of prayer.
We”re getting way too comfortable.
But the comfort zone is about to be shaken again.
When Daniel received revelation about the fate of nations and the end times, he became a target of persecution.
So did Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.
Daniel prayed 3 times a day, and his Babylonian co workers conspired to stop Daniel from praying.
As usual, he opened his windows facing Jerusalem, and prayed.
Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah refused to bow when the music played. Bow or burn. Stop praying or become prey for the lions.
Much like today.
Persecution is part of the territory. For those that fear COVID or governors and mayors from opening up houses of worship unto the true and living God, you will render an account.
Either way, we will stand before the Lord and give Him a reason why we did what we did.
For decades, many “no named” preachers have warned people of the persecution that’s to come in the United States. The folding up of this nation is certain to come. And this is a signal to us that those that name the name of Christ will suffer persecution.
I leave you with these two Scriptures.
Matthew 10:16-23 (NKJV Strong’s) “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.
“Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.“
2 Timothy 3:12-13 (NKJV Strong’s) “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.“