When I encounter anyone terrified of COVID-19 and adamantly opposed to life resuming in any sort of normal fashion — stores, schools and restaurants reopening, church services and sporting events resuming — their chief logic is rooted in a fear of death, either for them or someone else.

I understand that, because I’m firmly in the anti-death camp myself.

I can’t think of too many things society can agree on as a whole more than, life is preferable to death in almost every instance.

On the whole, I’d rather live than die, and I’m even more passionate about life extending to those I love and know vs. them dying and being taken from me and this world.

That’s not a controversial opinion. Everyone I know is anti-death. In fact, I can’t think of too many things society can agree on as a whole more than, life is preferable to death in almost every instance.

God shares that opinion, which is why he sent his son to die for us.

Huh?

He sent His son to die for us.

God is anti-death, so he imposed it — in the most painful way possible — on his only son?

Yes, but only so you and I and everyone else could have eternal life.

That’s the only way any of us can be acceptable in God’s sight is to wrap ourselves in the perfection of Jesus to remove the stain of our sinful thoughts, words and actions.

That’s the Gospel of Jesus Christ, an equation so simple (your impection traded for His perfection) anyone can understand it, which is why it’s absolutely fair that everyone be judged by it.

A pristine, holy God established one way — and one way, only — for us to shed the consequences for our sin. Our bodies will die, but our souls can live forever with him in heaven if we capture for ourselves the eternal life Jesus claimed when he rose from the dead and escaped the tomb after crucifixion.

But while God used death in that one instance to make immortality available to all, Satan uses death today in many ways to pull people away from the incredible offer of salvation that’s free to all in Christ.

Death impacts our society via abortion, crime, domestic and child abuse, alcohol and drug addiction, mental illness, disease, war, terrorism and other ways more than I can list here. Not only does it destroy and end lives, it’s various methods trigger all sorts of political discord that divides us from within and creates rancor and turmoil.

These conflicts extend into the body of believers, which either compromises or eliminates our access to and sharing of the love of Christ.

I draw strength in these times from Paul’s simple, clear admonition in 1 Corinthians 16: 13-14:

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith, be men of courage, be strong, do everything in love.”

Five clear thoughts. Nineteen direct words.

Let them drive you to pierce the darkness of this world and shine the light of God’s love into every area and relationship you’re given.

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