Words of Encouragement
In Time of Crisis


Word #1 - MERCY! Listen
A doctor on national news, after noting that young people are less affected by this disease, concluded that God was at least being merciful to the young! This implies that He is unmerciful to everyone else. But this is not true. One of the key words for what God is doing today is MERCY. The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 11:32 that God has concluded ALL in unbelief, that He might have mercy upon all. Today God is not demonstrating His mercy in the circumstances of the world. He is demonstrating His mercy in holding back His judgment against sinners, while He instead offers them salvation through Paul's Gospel, the Good News of the Cross, where Christ died for our sins and was raised again for our salvation so that He might give eternal life to all who believe.     see: The Path to Heaven
Word #2 - GRACE! Listen
Some claim that this crisis is God's Judgment against sinful nations. But this is not true. When we rightly divide the Bible we appreciate that today God is not dispensing His Judgment and Wrath against sinners. Today He is dispensing His Grace and Peace to sinners. When the Lord Jesus Christ should have returned to destroy His enemies as Peter preached in early Acts, He instead held back His Judgment and returned to save His enemies, beginning with our Apostle Paul, who had led the persecution against Christ and His followers. Today God is not sending tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, terrorist attacks or diseases to sinners. Today, He is sending Paul's Gospel of Grace to sinners, saying: Grace to you and Peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ so that all might be saved by faith before He returns in His Wrath and Judgment.
Word #3 - PEACE! Listen
Some say that God inflicts suffering on the unsaved world because He is angry with them. But this is not true. Today God is sending out His Peace to the unsaved world. Paul begins all of his letters with: Grace to you and Peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. In 2 Corinthians 5, Paul explains that God didn't give him a ministry of anger and war against sinners. God gave him a ministry of reconciliation that declared Peace to sinners. Yes, the world is at war with God but, nonetheless, God sent Paul out to declare that He has reconciled the world unto Himself in Christ, not imputing their sins unto them, and is now beseeching them, saying: We pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved!
Word #4 - LOVE! Listen
Someone said this disease proves that even if there is a God, He is not a loving God. But this is not true. This is to begin our thinking at the wrong point. We should first think about what God would have to do to fix the problems of this earth once-and-for-all. To do that, He would have to deal once-and-for-all with sin and sinners, with people like me and people like you, in His Wrath and judgment. But today, out of the Riches of His Mercy, God isn't giving us the Wrath and Judgment unto destruction we deserve. Instead, out of the Riches of His Grace, He is giving us Grace and Peace unto Salvation, which we don't deserve. Today, God isn't commending His love to us in the circumstances of the world. He is commending His Love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us, and we learn that from the Apostle Paul.
Word #5 - ASSURANCE! Listen
Should believers who suffer through this disease just like unbelievers, need to wonder if God has withdrawn His blessings from them? A true believer in Christ is one who believes the Apostle Paul's distinct Gospel of Grace, the Good News of the Death of Christ for sinners. Paul calls this justification by grace through faith without works. In being justifed in this way God blesses us through Christ. Therefore, He freely gives us everlasting peace, eternal access into the Riches of His Grace and the confident HOPE of being participants in His Glory forevermore. When we learn this truth, life's difficulties won't call God's blessings into question. Rather they will be seen as opportunites to use the blessings God has freely given us unto His glory. Romans 5 puts it this way: Hope maketh not ashamed! And nothing, NOTHING, can change that.
Word #6 - FAITH! (1) Listen
Words of encouragement during the Coronavirus crisis: Word #6: Faith! Has this crisis made you call into question your faith in God and His Word? It shouldn't. If it does, the problem is not with God and His Word but with you. According to the Apostle Paul, Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. True faith can only come from what God has said to us today in the Body of Christ, and we find that in Paul's Epistles. Paul tells us that today God has gathered together all people under sin, in unbelief, on enemy status before Him. While He would have been perfectly right to return in His Wrath and Judgment to destroy sinners, He instead returned in His Grace and Peace to save sinners, and He did that through the distinct apostleship of Paul. That is what God is doing today. When we understand this, the condition of the world shouldn't cause us to question God. It should cause us to praise God for His great Mercy and Grace.
Word #7 - FAITH! (2) Listen
Words of encouragement during the Coronavirus crisis: Word #7: Faith! Perhaps this crisis has made you wonder if faith can be broken. Absolutely not. True faith consists of 4 intertwining strands. When we say faith we probably first think of "our faith," or belief. But in order to believe we must have something to believe in. And that is "the Faith," God's body of Truth for today as found in Paul's Letters. But "the Faith" must have a content, and that is the "faith of Christ," Christ's faithful work on the Cross for us sinners. Together these then lead to our faithfulness. So let's put it all together. When we believe (that's our faith) in God's Truth for today (that's the faith) about the good news of the Cross (that's the faith of Christ), resulting in our faithfulness; That indeed is true Faith working through love, which never can be broken because it's not based on external circumstances. It is based on God and His unfailing Word.
Word #8 - FAITH! (3) Listen
Words of encouragement during the Coronavirus crisis: Word #8: Faith! Are you judging your relationship with God based out outward appearances? Well, don't. The status of your relationship with God is not revealed in the seen things of the world. It is revealed in His Word. The true believer is the sinner who has been justified by faith, and God tells us in Romans 5 that once you have been justified by faith you have peace with God, you have a standing in grace that gives you ongoing access to the riches of His Blessings, and you have the confident hope of being participants in His Glory. These things cannot be diminished or taken away. They are 100% certain, without a doubt, no matter what! How can this be? because they do not come through us and what we do. They come through Christ and what He does. They are 100% guaranteed.
Word #9 - LOVE! (2) Listen
Words of encouragement during the Coronavirus crisis: Word #9: Love! Has this crisis caused you to question God's love for you and the world? It shouldn't. God does not display His love in the circumstances of the world, He displayed His Love once-and-for-all at the Cross of Christ where He died for the world of fallen sinners and rose again so that He might save all who believe. We KNOW God loves the world because He gave Himself for it on the Cross. We KNOW He loves the Church because He gave Himself for it on the Cross. We know He loves us because He gave Himself for us on the Cross. Paul puts it this way in Gal. 2:20: I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Word #10 - LOVE! (3) Listen
Words of encouragement during the Coronavirus crisis: Word #10: Love! Does God's love seem like a far and distaint thing in times like these? It shouldn't! It may appear that way based on outer experiences and inner feelings. But God and His Word says this about the believer in Christ in Rom. 8:38-39: For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the Love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, can separate the believer from God and His Love! Nothing in the physical realm. Nothing in the spiritual realm. Nothing in time. Nothing in eternity. Not others. Not ourselves. NOT EVEN GOD HIMSELF!
Word #11 - HOPE! Listen
Words of encouragement during the Coronavirus crisis: Word #11: HOPE! Has this crisis caused you to question your Hope in Christ? It shouldn't! Hope in the Bible isn't like the hope in the world. We might say we hope the Cubs win today, and maybe they will and maybe they won't. That is an uncertain hope because it depends on our own performance. Hope in the Bible, however, is a confident Hope that comes with 100% certainty because it is not based on us and what we do but on God and what He has done through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5 tells us that the Hope we have that is based on the Person and Work of Christ at the Cross will never fall short and disappoint! Therefore, we can continually (despite outward circumstances and inward feelings) rejoice in the Hope of the Glory of God
Word #12 - RESURRECTION! (1) Listen
Words of encouragement during the Coronavirus crisis: Word #12: RESURRECTION! Has this crisis caused you to question the fundamental truths of biblical Christianity? It shouldn't! God's real answer to the problems of this world and fallen humanity is resurrection. Christianity, unlike any man-made religion and theological system of the world, rises or falls on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Paul tells us in 1 Cor. 15 that if there is no resurrection, then Christ was not raised from the dead. And if He wasn't raised from the dead then Paul's preaching of the Good News of the death of Christ was a lie, and that would mean the faith of the Corinthians who believed him was worthless. They were still dead in their sins, those who already died serving Christ had forever perished, and we of all people are most miserable! But Christ did arise from the dead, therefore, He can be the firstfruits of all who follow Him in the resurrection.
Word #13 - RESURRECTION! (2) Listen
Words of encouragement during the Coronavirus crisis: Word #13: RESURRECTION! Has this crisis caused you to question the fundamental truths of Christianity? It shouldn't! God's real answer to the problems of this world and fallen humanity is the resurrection of Christ. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15 that the Risen Christ was seen by Peter, then by more than 500 people, then by James and all the apostles and finally by Paul himself as one born out of due time. The Risen Christ's appearance to Paul was not according to Israel's Prophetic Program and its Time Schedule but in accord with the new revelation of the Body of Christ's Mystery Program. Today, through Paul's Mystery Program, God is manifesting His Righteousness in saving His enemies through the Person and Work of Christ on the Cross. This is Paul's Gospel of Grace, the Good News of the Death and Resurrection of Christ. He died for our sins and was raised again for our justification unto eternal Life.