The Deception of Satan in the Church
The church is collapsing all over the world because of fear over faith. At the very beginning of Covid, churches decided to shut down and the reason given was because of our love for people. I did not have an issue with churches closing their doors for a few weeks, but after a month went by, I knew this was dangerous for the church. When we give up freedoms, we will only get them back with the shedding of blood. My family did not sit back and complain, but we did something about it. On Easter Sunday 2020, my family invited people over to our home to celebrate the resurrection with us. We invited anyone and everyone. I could not imagine celebrating the resurrection alone on my couch in my pajamas. From that Sunday and on, we continued to meet until some churches opened back their doors. Even when some churches opened back up, our home fellowship wanted to continue meeting in our home because we had grown so close. We have seen some come to Christ over the months and we decided we were going to be the church God intended. Jesus did not die for a church who chooses fear over faith, or a church that watches a service from a couch. Whatever happened to Christians who didn't fear death but looked forward to being with the Lord in eternity? I have been to places around the world where the risk their lives and health every time the church gathers for worship. Why would they continue to meet even if it could cost them everything? If they could be killed; a virus that could threaten my life or my family's life was not going to change my decision to meet with the church. Sadly, maybe we are seeing that many of today's believers are more like Lot's wife who had the claws of this evil world deep within her.
I knew Satan had a plan in all this. He was going to rip the church apart and get many out of the habit of meeting together. There were so many in the church who wanted to come and go and not be bothered before. This gave them the excuse they needed and a way they can sit home and watch online. The problem is that Satan has them right where he wants them (alone and afraid). We know the truth is that most do not even watch online 100% of the time. Many churches have claimed that attendance is way down since returning, but church leadership's fell for the lie that it was love to listen to the government and obey. Satan has seen a lot through this pandemic and the government in America learned they can control the church as well. Here is a quote from pastors in Myanmar:
All churches are closed for almost a year because of Covid 19. People are getting to use it. They are not ready for church re-opening. They don’t have spiritual hunger for the word and physical church gathering.
Satan has seen how weak many believers are in faith. Because this has become so evident in these times, look for more to come that will divide the weak from the strong. If churches will be controlled by the governments (like in China), the solution may be home gatherings and fellowships that obey God rather than men. May God strengthen his people and remind us that we are not of this world!
Our history shows countless times Christians stepped up risking their lives to help others, not running away and hiding out of fear.
The disease, bubonic plague, was so lethal some went to bed well and died before morning; some doctors caught the illness at the patient’s bedside and died before the patient...Rather than encourage mutual aid, the plague’s deadliness drove people from one another. One Sicilian friar reported, “Magistrates and notaries refused to come and make the wills of the dying,” and worse, “even the priests did not come to hear their confessions.” Yet there were also pockets of extraordinary Christian charity. According to one French chronicler, ..“having no fear of death, tended the sick with all sweetness and humility.” ...replaced those who died, until most had died: “Many times renewed by death [they] now rest in peace with Christ as we may piously believe.”
People are so divided today over things we do not even know for sure, please open you mind to the ways Satan deceives. In 1 Timothy 4:1, it says, "In the last days some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits..."
Here are more examples of Christians in history:
In the year 165, during the reign of Marcus Aurelius, a devastating epidemic swept through the Roman Empire. Some medical historians suspect this was the first appearance of smallpox in the West. Whatever the actual disease, it was lethal—as many contagious diseases are when they strike a previously unexposed population. During the fifteen-year duration of the epidemic, a quarter to a third of the population probably died of it. At the height of the epidemic, mortality was so great in many cities that the emperor Marcus Aurelius (who subsequently died of the disease) wrote of caravans of carts and wagons hauling out the dead. Then, a century later came another great plague. Once again the Greco-Roman world trembled as, on all sides, family, friends, and neighbors died horribly. No one knew how to treat the stricken. Nor did most people try. During the first plague, the famous classical physician Galen fled Rome for his country estate where he stayed until the danger subsided. But for those who could not flee, the typical response was to try to avoid any contact with the afflicted, since it was understood that the disease was contagious. Hence, when their first symptom appeared, victims often were thrown into the streets, where the dead and dying lay in piles. In a pastoral letter written during the second epidemic (ca. 251), Bishop Dionysius described events in Alexandria: “At the first onset of the disease, they [pagans] pushed the sufferers away and fled from their dearest, throwing them into the roads before they were dead and treated unburied corpses as dirt, hoping thereby to avert the spread and contagion of the fatal disease; but do what they might, they found it difficult to escape”….
As for action, Christians met the obligation to care for the sick rather than desert them, and thereby saved enormous numbers of lives! As William H. McNeill pointed out in his celebrated Plagues and Peoples, under the circumstances prevailing in this era, even “quite elementary nursing will greatly reduce mortality. Simple provision of food and water, for instance, will allow persons who are temporarily too weak to cope for themselves to recover instead of perishing miserably.” It is entirely plausible that Christian nursing would have reduced mortality by as much as two-thirds! The fact that most stricken Christians survived did not go unnoticed, lending immense credibility to Christian "miracle working." Indeed, the miracles often included pagan neighbors and relatives. This surely must have produced some conversions, especially by those who were nursed back to health. In addition, while Christians did nurse some pagans, being so outnumbered, obviously they could not have cared for most of them, while all, or nearly all, Christians would have been nursed. Hence Christians as a group would have enjoyed a far superior survival rate, and, on these grounds alone, the percentage of Christians in the population would have increased substantially as a result of both plagues.
What went on during the epidemics was only an intensification of what went on every day among Christians… Indeed, the impact of Christian mercy was so evident that in the fourth century when the emperor Julian attempted to restore paganism, he exhorted the pagan priesthood to compete with the Christian charities. In a letter to the high priest of Galatia, Julian urged the distribution of grain and wine to the poor, noting that “the impious Galileans [Christians], in addition to their own, support ours, [and] it is shameful that our poor should be wanting our aid.” But there was little or no response to Julian’s proposals because there were no doctrines and no traditional practices for the pagan priest to build upon…. Christians believed in life everlasting. At most, pagans believed in an unattractive existence in the underworld. Thus, for Galen to have remained in Rome to treat the afflicted during the first great plague would have required far greater bravery than was needed by Christian deacons and presbyters to do so. Faith mattered