What COVID-19 And George Floyd’s Murder Demand

Praise the Lord for the sensible Christians out there who encourage us to use these troubled times as opportunities to present the Gospel! Too often, we get so embroiled in controversies that we lose sight of our main responsibility to tell the world about Christ. Thankfully, a number of people ranging from John MacArthur to my own pastor have emphasized the vital necessity of evangelism as we face both COVID-19 and the fallout from the murder of George Floyd.

Evangelism isn’t my spiritual gift. As I write this piece, let me honestly admit this fact. I struggle with fear because my anger against sin usually mars my presentation of the Gospel in face-to-face witnessing situations. A pastor once told me that I have an abrasive personality; I believe there’s an element of truth to his assessment.

But lacking the gift of evangelism isn’t a legitimate reason to avoid witnessing. Just as Christians who lack the gift of mercy should still be merciful and those who lack the gift of giving should still support their local churches with financial offerings, those of us who lack the gift of evangelism should still share the Gospel.

Sadly, we get sidetracked by whatever topics happen to be in vogue at any given time.

Ironically, the two topics foremost in our collective conscience — COVID-19 and the fallout from George Floyd’s murder — particularly point out how desperately the world needs Christians who faithfully proclaim the Gospel.

COVID-19 puts the reality of physical death front and center. Our culture differs from past cultures in that we’ve managed to distance ourselves from death. We’ve even replaced funerals with “celebrations of life” in order to distract ourselves from the grim responsibility to consider our own mortality.

COVID-19 rudely reminds us that we cannot escape dying. In sharing the Gospel, we can show people that death will bring them before the judgment throne of God.

27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him. ~~Hebrews 9:27-28 (ESV)

The unbeliever will stand before the Lord one day, required to give an account for his or her life. He or she will have to tell the Lord Jesus Christ why they refused to believe in Him. We can assure those we witness to that Christ brings salvation to all who believe in Him. He transforms our fear of death into a glorious expectation of eternity with Him.

George Floyd’s murder and the ensuing mayhem of anger and looting display human depravity and our need for a Savior. We can point to these terrible events and encourage unbelievers to see their own propensity for lawlessness.

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. ~~Ephesians 2:1-10 (ESV)

Using this passage, we can illustrate that all people are just as savage as that police officer and/or the looters. Actually, so were each of us! Our savagery may have been less overt, but we still obeyed our selfish lusts and therefore walked in the ways of the devil.

After we’ve shown them mankind’s intrinsic sinfulness, we can direct them to the grace of God through Jesus Christ. God had mercy on us. In gratitude, we have the privilege of telling others about His saving grace.

We get tempted to engage in lengthy discussions about social distancing and racism, forgetting that people need to hear the Gospel more than they need our political opinions. Yet these two crises vividly point out the urgency of the Gospel. Even if we only share it through Facebook posts, let’s declare that Jesus Christ is the one true hope in the uncertainty and upheaval around us. Proclaim the Gospel. People need to hear it!

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