The Coronavirus: A Message from the God who Died of Something Much Worse

by David Servant

As I am writing this on March 13, 2020, the novel coronavirus, which originated in China in December of 2019, dominates the headlines. It has now spread to 70 nations, infecting some 146,000 people worldwide, of which about 5,500 have died and at least 71,000 have recovered.

The Coronavirus: A Message from the God Who Died of Something Much Worse

All those numbers continue to rise as COVID-19 spreads exponentially. Hospitals in the U.S. are now bracing for a rising tide of the virus that might overwhelm our heath care system, as it did in Italy. Mass hysteria has now become the norm. Politicians are shuttering all non-essential businesses and in some cases, telling everyone to stay home. Yet the data from around the world shows that only a small demographic is at risk of death. Most people, if infected, are not going to die. (For a reasoned article that questions the current shutting down of the U.S. economy, see https://thefederalist.com/2020/03/19/will-the-costs-of-a-great-depression-outweigh-the-risks-of-coronavirus/)

By comparison, the seasonal flu kills as many as 650,000 people worldwide annually. Of course, the coronavirus is just getting started.

Also by comparison, in the 14th century, the Black Death (Bubonic Plague) took the lives of 75 to 200 million people over a span of 8 years in Europe, Africa and Asia. Europe lost 60 percent of its population.

Finally, and also by comparison, about 57 million people worldwide die of all causes annually.

So there are at least two things we can say with certainty: Most likely, you are not going to die from the coronavirus. There is little doubt, however, that you are going to eventually die from something. (It is much more likely that you will die of heart disease or cancer.)

Have I Conformed to a Cult?

by David Servant

Perhaps you’ve noticed that the word “cult” seems to have been derived from the word “culture.” A cult, in a sense, is a little culture, and a culture, in a sense, is a large cult.

Webster’s defines a cult as, “a relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister.” Of course, what is “small,” “religious,” “strange,” and “sinister” is quite subjective. Even atheists, for example, who possess an extraordinary faith that God does not exist, can be considered religious. And I have neighbors who think I’m strange, but I think the same about them!

Regardless of the accuracy of any labels, we’re all members of cultures and sub-cultures. We’re social beings, and we crave affirmation and love. Gaining those two things requires some conformity, and so we join groups, formally and informally. Let’s face it, we’re all “cult” members, in a sense, on some level. And therein lies an inherent danger, one that I want to explore in this article.

Dear Pastor, Will You Repent With Me?

by David Servant

Dear Friends,

This month, I’ve sensed I should republish an e-teaching I authored back in April of 2008. It is just as relevant today as it was then. It is based on clear, biblical truth, vitally important for every professing Christian to understand. It is simply about loving Jesus. It is convicting. Once you’ve read it, I encourage you to share it. Jesus said, “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels” (Luke 9:26).

May 2020 be your most fruitful year yet!

David

The greatest crisis I faced during my two decades as a pastor was not the result of a disagreeable deacon, a financial deficit, an egocentric worship leader, or a church gossip. Rather, it was due to an encounter with the Holy Spirit and God’s Word.

E-teaching graphic: "Dear Pastor, will you repent with me," an e-teaching by David Servant

It all began when I read the second and third chapters of the book of Revelation, which contain Jesus’ opinion of seven churches in Asia Minor. I noticed that His opinion of some of those churches was considerably different than their opinion of themselves. The congregation at Laodicea, for example, considered themselves to be “rich” and in “need of nothing,” while He considered them to be “wretched and poor and blind and naked” (Rev. 3:17). Quite a contrast.

Trump is God’s Man (…and so Was Obama)

By David Servant

It seems people either love or hate President Donald Trump. Few are indifferent. I’ve lived through 12 U.S. presidents (beginning with Dwight Eisenhower), and I can’t recall any who have been more polarizing.

"Trump is God's Man, and so was Obama" by David Servant

Personally, I love Donald Trump. One reason is because his obvious flaws remind me so much of myself. He seems to be living with the same fleshly nature as I am.

I also love Donald Trump because I believe God expects me to love him. And I think I can say with some degree of certainty that God also loves him (if I’m reading John 3:16 correctly).

Incidentally, I also loved Barack Obama, and I still do. And I believe God also loves him.

The Divine Limitations to Fruitfulness in Ministry

By David Servant

Over the past few decades, I’ve found myself often addressing the large segment of professing Christians whose lives reflect very little validation of a genuine, saving faith. Just like Paul, I’ve challenged such professors to “test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves!” (2 Cor. 13:5a). There is no shortage of New Testament scriptures that specifically speak about the kind of fruit that always grows from the hearts of those whom Christ has genuinely come to live within.[1] As Paul wrote in his very next sentence to the Corinthians: “Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?” (2 Cor. 13:5b).

“Christ in you” is what true Christianity is all about. He not only died for us, but He lives for us, and He also lives in us and through us. And He doesn’t come to live inside believers just to be a spiritual hitchhiker!

So Glad to be a Christian Traditionalist (even without the proper head covering!)

By David Servant

"So Glad to Be a Christian Traditionalist" E-Teaching by David Servant

Surprise! God actually wants Christians to follow traditions. Here’s the biblical proof:

Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you (1 Cor. 11:2, emphasis added)

So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us (2 Th. 2:15, emphasis added).

Best not to argue with the apostle Paul. He expected his converts to stand firm in the traditions he taught them. So…are you a “Christian traditionalist”?