Truth On Fire

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Historical events often provide venues whereby God can teach us spiritual lessons. The coronavirus pandemic and the U.S. reaction to it are examples. Let’s lay some groundwork. 

In his last private time with his disciples (John 13-17), Jesus provided a beautiful analogy depicting his relationship with them—the Vine and the Branches (John 15). In 15:3, he spoke these rather profound words: “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” In the context, Jesus referred to his “purging” (pruning) of the fruitful branches (15:2) so they could bear more fruit. In 15:3, when he pronounced them “clean” through the word, he taught that mere exposure to his spoken words had a ‘pruning’ effect on them. 

Exposure to the words of Jesus with their cleansing effect, while DESIRABLE for the branches, is DETESTABLE for unbelievers. Jesus told Nicodemus: “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved" (John 3:20). The most uncomfortable situation for an unbeliever with his evil deeds is exposure to the light with a subsequent ‘reproval’ of his sin. That is, a ‘cleansing’ is the last thing an unbeliever desires. So to avoid cleansing, he avoids exposure to the light (truth) at all costs. 

This brings us to the coronavirus. Have you ever seen such a national panic to avoid exposure to a viral contagion? America is in the process of shutting down school systems, church meetings, sporting events and rallies—any and all mass gatherings in order to avoid exposure to the coronavirus and its potential spread. What is now true in the physical realm with regard to the coronavirus has long been true in the spiritual realm with regard to truth and the cleansing effect exposure brings. 

It’s almost as if God is saying: “America, your reaction to the coronavirus (fear of exposure) is exactly how you’ve been reacting to my words for decades. So I’m giving you something in the physical to remind you of your greater spiritual peril in avoiding exposure to my Son, his words and their cleansing power!” 

There are many things these days to which America fears exposure—nuclear threats, terrorist attacks, infectious diseases. But NONE of these troubles can compare to the fear of exposure to the words of Jesus and their cleansing effect. Making America GREAT again MUST involve making America CLEAN again. And as long as America harbors an aversion for the words of scripture, cleanliness is impossible. Any measure of national greatness void of spiritual cleanliness is a fool’s errand in the sight of God!


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