“In the interest of safety, and by order of the local governing authorities, as of today we will be closing and locking the doors of our church until further notice. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you and your family, but we believe that it is in the interest of all for us to comply. Please be aware that your pastor will be podcasting his Sunday morning service at the regular time, and all of you are encouraged to tune in, watch and listen to his message.
Although the church and all of its functions will be completely shut down for an indeterminate period of time, please know that we are available for video chats and phone calls at any time. When it is confirmed that it is both safe and legal to reopen our doors, we will of course do so, but please be aware that because of the new social distancing requirements, not all will be able to physically attend the services. They will of course be podcast until all restrictions are lifted. Again, we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you, but in the interest of safety for all, we must comply with the regulations placed upon us.
Please join the pastor this upcoming Sunday morning when his message will be about the Martyrs of the First Church, and the intense struggles and persecutions they encountered. Until then, stay safe.”
In the interest of what safety my friends, the life you were supposed to lose for Christ, (Matt. 16:25) the self that you are supposed to be dead to, (Gal. 2:20) the fear of God we are supposed to have within us, (Eccl. 12:13) or the forsake not the assembling of yourselves together unless the government institutions say you can’t on the possibility that you might die. In the interest of whose safety, I thought there was a promise of an eternal life, not one of long years here on this earth, were we not all just singing “Onward Christian Soldiers” just a short time ago, “Where He leads I will follow,” unless there’s a chance I might get the bug going around, or I am told by the secular society in whom there is “No fear of God before their eyes,” (Romans 3:18) that if we do, we will be placed in jail.
I commend the pastor who locked the doors of the church, called everyone up and said we will be meeting in an undisclosed location, information to follow. I lift up the brother or sister in Christ who knows for a fact that in “The interest of safety” means safety only in Christ, that all of His children will leave this mortal shell at the exact moment and in the exact way that He has predetermined. I give glory to God for the man who means what he says when he repeats Phil. 1:21 “To live is Christ, and to die is gain,” who replies with Joshua, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 25:15) Those who hide in constant fear do not know the truths held in 1 John 4:18 “Perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”
The Lord our God is at the threshing floor, he is winnowing out the chaff, the life that so many hold so dear will be shown for what it is, self-centered, not Christ-centered. Rationalizations, excuses, platitudes, all in the interest of personal safety, returning to the confines of the church building when the all-clear is given, to give praise and honor to the One who kept them safe, until the next time, the next time trials and tribulations appear, and they are told to cease from gathering, told to forsake the assembling of themselves together, informed that “In the interest of safety…”
When they return to the hallowed congregational hall, they will bring their masks, they will practice social distancing, and they will sit in rapt attention as the one behind the podium speaks of those in the Holy Word of God who “overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” (Rev. 12:11)