New Zealand went from Level 4 to Level 3 Lock-Down today. The fast-food drive-thrus, Pizza delivery and Uber Eats are doing a roaring trade. Some Kiwis even ordered two deliveries to their door to celebrate reunions. There are still strict rules for social distancing in place, but how much they will be adhered to, we may never know. There is no talk of returning to places of worship within the next few weeks, we can only pray that we can resume face-to-face fellowship soon. Looking back on this time will be a fascinating study. You know, some preachers love to preach looking back. And a few, rightly or wrongly, with a bit too much judgement in their tone. I’m not keen to be there if that happens, but it would be interesting to know the title of at least one sermon. Maybe: “A Shortlist of our Social Distancing Soulwinning Shortcomings!” I guess you would have to go back a few generations to find a sermon title like that, but there might still be one or two who would like to write it.
Have you wondered what Jesus would have done during Lock-Down? It most certainly would have been a good time to take to the wilderness to fast and pray. But Jesus openly evangelised, touched lepers, healed on the Sabbath and didn’t care that his disciples didn’t wash their hands when they were supposed to. Add to that his insistence that he was the Son of God and you had a recipe for arrest and execution. The difference being, of course, that Jesus was calling out religious hypocrisy, not secular government quarantine laws. I have long since preached that Evangelism is something better done, than talked about. Christians are persistent opportunists. We have a message in our hearts that is shown in our actions. You can’t hide it. It is obvious for what it is—Light in Darkness. Generous acts of kindness are our natural response to the love shown by God toward us in the cross. These good deeds are Light-bearers, automatically bringing glory to God. Our God-centred speech never fails to do what it is designed to do. It will cause the souls of the hearers to either harden or soften their hearts toward God. But beware, this Jesus-lifestyle will be seen as an invitation by Satan to dog your steps—don’t let him! We fight in the strength that God supplies. The word of God cannot be Locked-Down. Remember, this battle is waged by a spiritual army. All of us, together, must use every tool at our disposal. “So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth” (1 Corinthians 3:7).