神爱世人,甚至将他的独生子赐给他们,叫一切信他的,
不至灭亡,反得永生。(约3:16).

GOD AND HIS WORD CANNOT BE QUARANTINED

作者: 翻译:Elaina 来源:基督时报2020年08月11日 08:25
图片来源:Pixabay
图片来源:Pixabay

GOD AND HIS WORD CANNOT BE QUARANTINED

FRATERNAL WELCOME TO THE LORD'SCHINESE SISTERS AND BROTHERS

Is anyone among you in trouble?He should turn to prayer.

Is anyone with a good heart? Heshould sing praises! ...

The prayer offered in faithwill save the sick man,

the Lord will raise him fromhis bed (James 5:13; 15)

DearChinese Brethren redeemed in the precious blood of the Lord Jesus! Ever sincethe first news of the increasing devastation of the new corona-virus arrivedfrom Wuhan, and elsewhere in your ancient realms, we have seen an increase inthe number of infections and deaths at an alarming rate through moderninstruments of communication. In the first weeks of pandemic in Hungary, in thebarely infected population, in your Christian brethren, a very importantrecognition became clear. Namely: the trouble is so great that only Godcan help here - if he wants to do. And he wanted to dosomething. When the first prayer calls from the Pastors of Wuhan andthen from the Billy Graham Society in the USAarrived, it was expressed in me and others a saying in Latin, in the old,historical common Christian cultural language of Europe: Prima et ultima ratio - oratio - first and foremost -prayer! For only the prayer, or better: the Lord who hearsit, can help the suffering according to the holy Word of James. Only prayerfrom faith is a liberating, healing force. We have experienced with you thatthe Lord is our only refuge in loss and mourning, who can restore woundedsouls. The only resource in the stressful situationof healers besides the sickbed is the Lord, whether one believes this or not.Since the proclamation of the pandemic by WHO, I myself have asked too in manyof my writings the fundamental question that was formulated by our believers,confessors, and then reformators in the times of the great 15-17. centuryepidemics, the „black death”, the destruction of the plague. They saw very clearlywith their biblical faith: the question is not why we got this epidemic, butwhat we finally do with it, for what purpose? Are we learning from it,asking the Lord what He wants to accomplish with this worldwide plague? Withnearly 8 millions infected, nearly half a million dead, what does he want toreach with that, perhaps to shake the believers and the nonbelievers,Christians and non-Christians, at the beginning of the 21st century? After a lot of lessons, painful existentiallessons, here are one or two insights. The first is that we do not have avengeful, punishing God, but a Father who is loving, with heart lovingGod, who will saving us in time.

Thetruly sobering word of Calvin, the Geneva Reformer, evoked in me. In the Institutio,the system of Christian religion, he wrote several times amid the pains ofcontemporary epidemics. For example: God has in vain warned His people, whohave wandered with a good word, the Word, in stubborn warping, disobedience,unbelief, and a destructive way of life. Therefore, he finally decided, “I will step aside a little, I will leave insilence that the people will be afflicted. I will see if, after the great andlong tribulation, do I remember looking for my face ”? Calvinfound the real cause of the epidemic. Beyond the physical is the metaphysical,beyond the earth is the heavenly reason. He did not ask for what reason, but forwhat purpose. Because God has a bad purpose even for us, as a good forus. He does not want to lose, but to save, to save from eternal destruction. AsIsaiah proclaimed with lasting force: “A moment I forsook you, but withtender affection I will bring you home again” (54,7).  God loves hisown people with a “supra temporal” heart, with a heart overthe times (so Dooyeweerd, a Dutch Reformedphilosopher around 1938), his people and children migrating among the pitfallsof time. You too, dear Chinese Sisters and Brothers! The purpose of hisfatherly upbringing, his rigor, the fear of the coronavirus is awakening, repentance, turning to Him, praying to Him. The other greatteaching is that the created world is a living reality, a vastorganism whose secrets are still spelled out by modern science today. But as aliving reality, it can also defend itself. The virus is a signal of theoffended, the abused created world, who says: that's already enough! Think ofthe rainbow alliance with terrestrial civilization! After theflood, God entered into a covenant with Noah and his descendants,all living things, and the earth, so that there would be no moredestructive flood (Genesis 9,8-17). During the vigorous industrialization ofthe last centuries, the blind zeal of the greedy desire for profit exploitingnature, people did not notice that they were cutting the tree under themselves.They did not treat each other, living things, animals, plants, or treasure landas God-given covenant companions. An eco-cidium, a murder of nature was carriedout. The Earth is also protesting against this with the corona virus too. Agreat Word shone forth in the days of terror from the apostle Paul: “Weare free to do anything, but does everything help the building of thecommunity?” (1Corinthians 10,23). We got the freedom to build, forthe benefit of our fellow human beings. To prayer, to receive biblical visions,to believe, to renew, to spread the power of love. This approach, vision, andinterpretation of the epidemic cannot be quarantined. If the knowledge of theLord shines throughout the inhabited earth in the wake of the corona virus, thepandemic has reached its spiritual goal. Let our millions of Chinese brethrenbe living witnesses, advertisers, survivors of these precious, verbalrecognitions. The truth and light of the Word of the Lord willshine in your hearts and in the people of your great country. Your brother andsister, and allies with a prayerful heart:

Dr. Lajos Békefy and Klaudia Békefy-Röhrig

Reformed pastors, Budapest /Hungary

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