Things that happen
To understand correctly, we need to realize that God often “makes things happen” as the Sovereign of the Universe… perhaps secretly… perhaps openly… but “His purpose” is ALWAYS accomplished.
And more, we need to realize that God will often “allows things to happen” because the matter is a consequence of sin.
In some things and times, the consequences of man’s disobedience receives a temporal judgment (i.e., now) in the affairs of this world.
There’ s no contradiction.
Therefore, He allows events to unfold because they “work together” for the “good of those who love him”… and fully “according to his purpose.”
His purpose is the overriding plan.
My friend, this is an amazing evidence of the fathomless love of God.
God also provides the one and only “mitigation” or “solution” for the consequences of sin is the gift of God… His Son, Jesus Christ.
Let’s look at Adam and Eve.
God created and sustained Adam and Eve in a sinless garden on the planet Earth where all their needs were supplied in abundance.
They were in a very good place.
But … Satan was stalking outside the garden’s gate, looking for an occasion when he would see Eve, alone.
To see her — Satan would be an intruder into the garden. He was NOT A RESIDENT OF THE GARDEN.
Satan had been cast out of Heaven … “bound” to earth to await eternal condemnation… OUTSIDE the garden’s gate.
Satan’ s purpose
Satan stalked Adam and Eve, hoping to ensnare God’s then-sinless creation and to persuade them to disobey “the Sovereign Will of God.”
Satan believed that if they sinned, he would triumph over the purposes of the Sovereign God of the Universe.
God’s plan was to have a people who would willingly love Him and serve God forever.
And that was exactly the relationship he had with Adam and Eve before their disobedience.
Just outside the gates of the Garden lay “all the world”… just as we live in it today!
A world where sickness, suffering and death awaited.
A world where Satan ruled and rules even now as “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience”…just as it is today.
This fallen “world” doesn’t get better, it gets worse.
It remains as it has been since Satan’s fall — corrupt… tormented… plagued… broken… faithless… defiled… mortal – a world where physical death awaits all.
The World and Mankind
Sadly, man has always had a love for the world… the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.
God has warned in many ways, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.”
He provides us advanced warning, “…the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.”
Today, we are facing many harsh realities.
But, the Scriptures reveal,
“In the world you will have tribulation;
but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Does that include COVID-19?
We have to face several stark realities about the COVID-19 virus.
The first reality
First, in times of fear of death, some men are moved to seriously consider their eternal destiny.
Outside of a faith in Jesus Christ, it isn’t a pretty story and people don’t like or want to believe there is a Hell to shun and a Heaven to gain.
It is nonetheless reality.
This Coronavirus may in truth be part of the Sovereign Will of God — using all means in creation to draw men to Himself.
The second reality
Second, “it is appointed unto man once to die…”
So — COVID-19 could be the means by which your physical death will be accomplished.
The Scriptures say, “…He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”
That means we may expect that COVID-19 will claim the lives of the “just” as well as the “unjust” (Matthew 5:45b).
The pandemic’s harsh realities intrude into the mind of both the just (believer) and unjust (nonbeliever) alike.
But … the big difference of the pandemic’s impact on individuals within the two groups is significant.
The Big Difference – Unbelieving Man
Today, unbelieving man seems aggressively angry at God for the COVID-19 virus. Most of mankind … in every nation, tribe, tongue… is afraid of death.
Right now, we are seeing the lives of people unexpectedly “cut short” — in our opinion — or dying in service to their fellow-man.
In body, heart and mind, the reality of DEATH stings.
All men can rebel against it but he cannot circumvent it.
The Big Difference – Believing Man
On the other hand, today, believing man seems to acknowledge that his Heavenly Father is in control of everything that goes on around us.
If COVID-19 should bring death to them — while it is painful and families and loved ones will grieve — the loving, eternal provisions of God will bear them safely over into the presence of Christ forevermore … where there will be no more pain, sorrow or suffering.
All the perfections of heaven’s protection will once again be their joy.
There is no gate in the garden of Paradise and no demon-devil lurking outside its walls.