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Saturday, March 28, 2020
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Corona Virus Update

updated 3/26/2020

Calvary Chapel Southside will have Tuesday Night Prayer, Wednesday Night, and Sunday Morning services.

We intend to live-stream all our services in the future from the church; where the doors will be open to eveyone who would like to drop by to attend service!

Everyone is responding differently and there are a number of unanswered questions, but here’s one thing you are assured of when you build your life on Jesus Christ: You're not alone, even in the rough waters of this life, the Lord promised to be with you! Isaiah 43:2.  “Even to the end of the age.”  Matthew 28:20

Of course, we want to do everything we can to stay healthy. Some areas have shut down schools and public meeting spaces, and President Trump has restricted travel to areas that have high infection rates. We have a whole new cleaning crew (every day) and cleaning much more extensively than ever!

Does that mean church shoul close?  Should COVID-19 keep us from going to church? The answer is that not “one size fits all” because everyone has different circumstances, but here are some important things to think about when you’re considering your decision:

The Perspective of  Going to Church (in the Midst of a Pandemic)

As Christians, there is always the faith component at work. We live differently than the world does. We have a firm foundation in Christ. We're used to operating in a world that's filled with trials, and dangers, threats, and rejections.

We live a life of seeing things that aren’t seen and believing things that are not yet manifest. In fact, the tragedies that sin has wrought in this world are nothing new, and we’ve all read the accounts in the Bible about standing in faith amid trials. Ephesians 6:13

Haven't we read 2 Corinthians 11:23-28?  Difficult times are part of life.

When you’re at church, you have your faith tribe with you, agreeing in prayer, taking authority over the enemy and over the fallen things in this world. There’s a supernatural power in the “two or three” gathering together!

On the upside of ‘going to church together,’ we enjoy worship, exhortation, testimonies, encouragement, and, one of the most powerful aspects of prayer: The laying on of hands. James 5:13-15.

If you’re struggling with fears surrounding the coronavirus, it helps to lean on the strong faith of another Christian. If you’re wrestling with thoughts about friends and family members, or biological warfare, or the government agendas, vaccine concerns and all the rest, fellow church-goers will pray with you, speak the Word, and remind you of the promises of God. Be careful of ANY vaccines!  Make sure they have been tested with clear results

When You Go to Church During Widespread Calamity, Stay in the Know

The author of the Book of Hebrews wrote: “Let us firmly hold the profession of our faith without wavering, for He who promised is faithful (&) Let us not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but let us exhort one another, especially as you see the Day approaching.”  Hebrews 10:23-25.

The point? The worse it gets, the more we need each other. Especially the closer we get to the Lord's coming! (that's what it says)

If you decide to go to church (and you don’t have any symptoms yourself) be safe and smart. If you want to wear a mask, go ahead, although doctors say it’s not really necessary, because the virus spreads more often from transfer contact between hands and surfaces.

Consider sitting a little more spread out from others. Don’t shake hands or hug for a few weeks. And don’t expect that your church has sanitized everything, because chances are, they have not. (we will certainly try!) You are your own best protection so avoid touching things, wash your hands frequently, sanitize them frequently in between and bring latex gloves for extra protection if you feel safer.

It might sound like a lot of hoops to jump through to get to church,  - not really.

But think about this: The enemy will use any tool to keep you isolated from one of your greatest sources of strength - other Christians. And if being afraid to go to church keeps you home, it’s a win for the enemy. He’d love nothing more than to you keep you oppressed and living under fear and, certainly, all the unknowns about the Coronavirus are striking fear in the hearts of many.

Are there risks and dangers if you continue going to church during the coronavirus scare? Yes. Are there risks and dangers every day in your life that come at you, which Lord has kept us safe from? Of course!  Risks you’ll never even know about? Yes.

The Perspective of Staying Home From Church During a Pandemic

We should always use faith, but we should use wisdom as well. It's a powerful reminder that we have been given the right tools to make the right decisions. Some are pure faith, others will be made from the wisdom God has instilled in you through His Holy Spirit! 

Going out in “faith” may not be the answer if staying home in wisdom is the more appropriate decision. God has given you the ability to discern!

In Luke chapter 4, the apostle Peter’s mother-in-law was sick with a fever, back in the days when there wasn’t any ibuprofen to help her out and she didn't attend the church gatherings. In fact, Luke a physician, notes that she stayed home.

In Acts 28:8 when Paul was shipwrecked on the island of Malta he visited the home of a sick man: “It happened that the father of Publius lay at home sick with a fever and dysentery. Paul visited him and, placing his hands on him, prayed and healed him.” In John 11 Lazarus fell deathly ill and stayed in his home.
Psalms 41:3
says: “The Lord will sustain them on the sickbed; You will restore all his lying down in his illness.” The point is this: If you’re sick, stay home in bed. But, while your body may be weak,your spirit can be strengthened through listening to the Word of God on our website through sermons about faith and healing and God’s faithfulness.

And your soul can always be refreshed and uplifted by tuning in to our church online. 

Options to Experience Church at Home, but Not Alone

There are plenty of options to squeeze in some preaching and teaching if you decide to stay home from church. Plenty of people use those options liberally (even when coronavirus isn’t an issue). And while listening to church online is all right, it really should be seen as more of a spiritual stop-gap until you can get back to church.

There are numerous reasons why the Word of God impresses upon Christians the necessity of meeting together. So unless you have a communicable illness, an emergency, a physical handicap, or are taking care of the poor/widow/orphan, it’s very wise and fulfilling to get to church.

If you’re home because you don’t want to get sick, then build others up by posting encouraging Scriptures on your social media. Exhort!  Write to others, encouragement. Send texts. Share your church’s broadcast with others. Post a favorite worship song. Go live and share some thoughts with your friends and family. Speak faith. Share a testimony.

If you’re at home because you're sick, ask for help and ask for people to pray with you. James wrote that “the effective, fervent prayer of the righteous availeth much." (powerful results) James 5:16   We have a food cupboard but we won't know your need until we hear from you.

When You Stay Home from Church, Go in Faith

Praise God for this modern age in which there are so many ways to stay connected in the faith when we need it. Praise God for the miracle of modern science and discoveries, all of which are inspired by God to be uncovered at the right time!

God can use any method, vehicle, or means He sees fit to address our every need. The Coronavirus pandemic did not catch Him off guard. If you’re wondering what to pray for while you’re staying home from church, come against the spirit of fear, in Jesus’ name!

The opposite of fear isn’t faith - it’s love, “and so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love,” and there is no fear in love.  1 John 4:16-18.

So, naturally, the enemy wants to keep people trapped in fear and panic about the coronavirus, and everything else, so they can't rest in the peace and knowledge of the love of God.

Luke 4:39 says that when Peter’s mother-in-law fell ill, Jesus “rebuked the fever, and it left.”  Even the forces of nature and the causes of fever exist under the authority of the name of Jesus Christ!  And we have been given that authority, so walk in it!  Luke 10:19.

If you’re staying home from church, for any reason, you can still pray.  Prayer strikes the winning blow. So, pray, in Jesus name, for the healing of those who are ill. Pray for the protection of those who are not ill. Pray for the knowledge of those addressing the pandemic and for the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to uncover the answers to all of the questions. John 16:13.

What the World Needs Now

A fascinating phenomenon that has been studied, pertaining to global pandemics, is the observation that people of faith don’t run away, during these tribulations, when others flee. Findings have shown that those with faith in the Lord tend to operate in that faith. Why? Because we have an assurance that when we die, we will be with the Lord.

We move with compassion among the sick and dying, following the example of Jesus Christ. We have faith for miracles. We believe God wants to heal. We understand there is an enemy we have authority over. We have a perspective of life that exists beyond the natural realm. 

One of the most important lessons that pandemics, epidemics, plagues, and the like can teach us is this: “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9.

These problems have affected mankind since Adam and Eve sinned in Eden. But in this world of trials, Jesus said in John 16:33: “I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.”

The world needs Jesus and you know Him!  Whether you feel led of the Lord to go to church or not during this crazy time, be led of the Lord, that's the point! You can get sick from anything and anyone and anywhere - or not!

Draw near to Him, seek His wisdom and guidance, stay in prayer, make decisions from a place of peace. Philippians 4:6-7.  Regardless of coronavirus, move forward in your life in faith. At a time where people fear and look for answers - WE HAVE IT!
Its Jesus Christ! What a great door we have been given - RIGHT NOW!

 What an opportunity we have been given to share Him - right now.

We love you, God bless you. ISAIAH 26:3

Calvary Chapel Southside

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