• Sunday Life Groups at 9:00am (on break, resuming Sept 8); Sunday Worship Service at 10:30am

        Strange Days

        400 200 Journey Church

        I want you to know that you can have real hope in these dark days of the coronavirus.

        But first, did you know that another pathogen has hitchhiked a ride on the back of the coronavirus? Yes! It is the invisible virus called fear.

        We fear getting COVID-19, and we fear spreading the disease to others. We fear economic hardship, and we fear that life will not return to normal.

        In the midst of all this fear, listen to the amazing offer Jesus of Nazareth made about 2000 years ago. He said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)

        Do not be afraid? Really? Even when everyone else is panicking? Is it even wise to put fear aside?

        Yes, the Lord Jesus wants to replace your fears with peace, peace even in the face of the greatest fear of all—fear of death. Even though you may not die of COVID-19, let’s be honest: you will die of something, someday. No one gets a pass. Even as I write this, my mother is about to take that final step into the next life. No, she did not contract the coronavirus. Rather, after 96 and a half years her body has had enough.

        So, why should anyone listen to the words of Jesus? Well, because Jesus said something else, something most important. He said that after He died, He would come back to life!! And He did, really! Amazing!

        So, you should listen to Him! Everyone should listen to Him. If He can come back to life after death, He can certainly give you peace when you are afraid … even when you face death itself!

        But wait, it gets even better! When Jesus died, His death was not just another random death of some nobody in a far-flung corner of the world. No, He died to take care of the worst germ of all—sin. Sin, anything we do that God says is wrong, is the reason there is a pandemic. It’s the reason why famine takes the lives of children, why wars go on and on, and why I am a selfish, self-centered man at heart. Sin is a plague that has infected the entire cosmos, every human included.

        We are all sick with the disease of sin, but Jesus is the vaccine for that awful virus.

        By His death, Jesus took the punishment for our sin upon Himself. While He hung on the cross, Jesus literally took my sin, and yours, on Himself, to pay the price for it so that we would not have to pay the price ourselves.  To receive the forgiveness that He offers, turn from anything else you are trusting to make you okay with God and trust in Jesus—believe that He took your sin on Himself—receive Him as your Savior from sin.

        You have only two choices. Either you pay the price yourself, eternal separation from God in unending unspeakable horror, or, you trust that Jesus paid that price for you so that you could be with Him forever.  It is that simple. If you believe in Him, if you trust in Jesus, God will forgive your sins, and one day He will take you to live with Him in a world completely free of suffering and hate … Jesus calls it paradise. It may be today that my mom experiences paradise!

        But before then, right now, in this broken world, you can find peace by believing in Jesus, the God-Man. Remember the offer that I told you Jesus made about 2000 years ago?  “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give it to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid”?  Earlier in the same passage Jesus says “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.” (John 14:1) Jesus is certainly making it abundantly clear that we don’t need to have troubled hearts if we trust in Him. Trust in Christ.

        Now, trusting Christ will not guarantee you immunity from COVID 19, or from other pain and problems. It will, however, guarantee you forgiveness of your sin, a place in paradise forever, and the possibility of experiencing peace right here, right now.

        If I can help you on your spiritual journey, please contact me. Jesus offers you peace, real hope, now and forever. What do you say?



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