For the past couple of years my writing has slowed almost to a stall. I always enjoyed writing sermons when I was pastoring, I’ve enjoyed writing articles and editorials for my AbsolutelyGospel.com website, but even that has come to a crawl. This pandemic crisis that we have been going through and especially the way the church and Christians have responded to it has awakened my need to write again.
There has been some speculation that God has placed this plague on the world and especially America because we have become so vile and sinful. As we look at the Deep State and the Financial cartels around the world, and we see the slipping of morality, surely God has to be saddened with this world. We hear of this world wide human trafficking problem of stealing young girls and boys, along with young women and young men forcing them into lives of sex slaves. Turning young people into drug addicts, ruining their lives just for money. Winking our eyes at abortion and homosexuality. Surely God can’t be pleased.
Some would argue that this coronavirus is God’s judgment on the world and especially America. Shouldn’t America surely know the evil and immorality going on right in front of our eyes? I’m not sure if this is God’s judgment or just the stupidity of some evil men trying to take over the power that the world would give them if they could only control it with a one world government, or a New World Order. Either way is plausible with me, but I do know that if God caused it or not, or if God just allowed it to happen the state of this world is still horrible and in need of serious help.
All of you know that I am going to come at this from a Christian prospective. All of you also know that I don’t pull any punches. What I say is what I firmly believe. The scripture in 2 Chronicles has been quoted many, many times, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked way, then will I hear from heaven and forgive their sins and heal their land.” The key here is His people. He’s not talking to the world, or sinners, or Muslims or any other religion, but He’s talking to us, who call themselves Christians.
So…. all of you who don’t claim to be a Christian stop reading now, so you won’t get your blood to boiling, get mad at me, or think I’m stupid. I’m not talking to you right now.
I have been very clear on what I think about how Pastors and Christians have responded through the government controlling not just private citizens, taking away many of our freedoms, but how they have so easily shut the churches down without so much as a whimper of protest.
I am very disturbed by the nonchalant attitude and the fear and panic that gripped Christians. Where are the soldiers of the cross, the men and women making a battle-cry of the church where people hurting from sickness (there is a lot more sickness in this world than just the coronavirus), broken marriages caused by the loss of income, or those on the brink of suicide because life now seems hopeless? What about the depressed from this crisis, or the family who just found out that their child has been diagnosed with cancer, or even the drug addict or the drunk who is at the end of their rope and needs to find Jesus. The human being is not created to be alone and isolated, whether it be an individual or a family. That’s not how we operate. I’ve heard of parents who won’t allow their kids to visit, or families not allowed to have a funeral for their loved one. The church was not designed to work from the digital presentation. The sick need believers to lay hands on them when they are sick, believing what the Word says about that. Those extremely hurting need someone to hold them while they cry. You can’t do that digitally. We have made our great big God into a weak God who needs us to use our earthly wisdom. But, I digress.
What the church needs today is a solemn assembly. Some of you may not even know what a solemn assembly is. It’s a gathering of the church, a physical gathering that is very solemn and sober. No happy greeting time, no get up and go praise and worship, in fact no music at all. It’s a place where we meet God together. A place where we examine our hearts, seriously examine our hearts. We’re not even looking at our friend or the person next to us, but looking in to our own heart.
When we come before God in an attitude of repentance and genuine sorrow, our hearts are heavy and we allow God to touch our hearts in a way that we are not normally accustom too. I might compare it to being at a funeral or a wake. Our hearts are sad, we are remorseful thinking what we might have done for this dear person before they passed away. When we approach God as a congregation, not with singing and praising, but with sorrowful hearts, convicted of our sinful ways, not only do we see God in a different way, but He looks at us differently. We come to Him humbly, our pride has been swallowed, our stiffneckedness has been softened, and then God sees us with forgiveness and and a whole lot of grace in His eyes. We can start afresh, renewed in our walk with the Lord. We are then in a place where God can use us once more.
Can we do this alone in our homes? Well it certainly won’t hurt anything, but scripture tells us that when we gather together in His name, He will be there in our midst. That’s why it’s called a solemn assembly. It’s God’s people calling out in one voice, in unity crying out to Him. I promise you He will hear us and His spirit will move in that congregation.
I’d like to see it happen tomorrow, but I’m just one person, without much influence, so I would say as soon as your church doors are open, approach God as a solemn assembly. Pastors, if you’re not familiar with a solemn assembly start in the front of your Bible and go to the back to read everything God says about a solemn assembly.