What will you do in a spiritual awakening during a pandemic?

Church Family: If you are like myself, we generally like things that bring pleasure, health and safety. This is our natural human bent and we tend to make decisions based upon pleasure, health and safety. However, as believers we are called to make decisions differently. On this earth we are to make decisions first and foremost that show our love for the Lord our God and then our love for our neighbor (Mathew 22:37-40).
What is one clear tangible way that we can make decisions loving the Lord our God? Well, we decide to love His body on this earth, the Church. Jesus Christ is present on this earth today in and through His body, the Church. Many times throughout history, loving God first and my neighbor second meant putting safety, health and pleasure last. Over the past year the pandemic has threatened the restructuring of our decision-making process. Because of the pandemic, the world has told me to make decisions based upon what is best for me and my health and my safety. I am told to make those decisions in that order. I must keep myself safe and healthy and in so doing then I will keep the body of Christ safe and healthy. Yet, actually, the Church is Jesus’ body and He will discern what is best for us. Over the last 2000 years Jesus has decided to put His Church through much suffering and much tribulation and much martyrdom. And all of it was good for His Church. In fact, that was best for His people then and He may decide that is best for us now and in the future. Jesus works this way to bring about a disciplining and a purification like He said that He would do (Acts 14:22, etc). We should not expect anything less. Church, there is not one promise in the Bible that tells us that things are going to get better or that the pandemic will go away. Actually, what the Bible promises is that there will be an intensification of evil and a great outward rebellion against God (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12, Rev. 8, etc). Evil will continue to manifest itself in more destructive ways before Jesus returns to destroy all of this and make all things new. Are we ready for this intensification? It is clearly happening. Is life not more intense today than January 22, of 2020?
 
As Christ continues to lead His Church through this time of intensification of evil and rebellion in the world, there must be a time when we stop and ask what is my responsibility today to His body on earth, His Church? There is an awakening happening! Do you see it? Many have been praying for a spiritual awakening and it is happening. Now what will we do? Just last Wednesday night in our adult Bible studies our visitors outnumbered our members. Men and women are being awakened to a desire to get with the body of Christ and study the Bible. On any given Sunday there have been multiple new guests intensely desiring and needing the community of the body of Christ. They want to be with God’s people and His Word. What is our responsibility to those who seek out Christ and community at Grace Community Church of Topsail? Is it our responsibility to be separated from them in safety and health? Or is our responsibility to be Christ to them in the midst of danger, tribulation and suffering? Get to know them. Invite them to our homes. Care for them. Love them. Pursue them. That is still what Christ has called His church to do no mater what evil intensifies. And yes, we still lovingly ask everybody to follow the precautions as stated below in considering in-person gathering.
 
– If you have any allergy, cold, or flu-like symptoms or have a temperature, please join us for worship online.

– If you have had COVID or any illness, please wait to join us for in-person worship until after day 14, and only if you have no active symptoms as described above (per CDC).
 
– Please sit together as a family unit for worship.
 
– Hand sanitizer will be available at each entrance to the worship area.
 
– Masks are optional, available, and are suggested for the vulnerable.
 
– Each Sunday we will provide nursery for birth to 3yo. The nursery is sanitized after each use.
 
– Our worship area is spaced and at 50% capacity seating for Social Distancing
 
Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
 
This Sunday we will be meeting in person at the church building if you would like to join us in person at 10am. And for those who will be staying at home, we will be live-streaming on our Grace Community Church Topsail YouTube Channel. Push the orange link. We can also be found at https://www.gracetopsail.com/

I look forward to worshiping the Lion and the Lamb, Jesus Christ, with you Sunday. – Steve

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