The advent of Covid-19 has changed lifestyles and united the entire world in a special way. While the entire world is gripped with panic and anxiety, only one group considers everything as normal. To them, nothing is unusual about what grips the entire world. Those people cannot be found in one location. Some may be sickly of the virus, but nothing is unusual with them. Of course, they comply with the governing authorities, in terms of lockdowns. But to them, nothing is unusual.
I am aware of those, calling themselves Christians, thanking God for protecting them from the pandemic. Such people claim that their protection is a sign of God’s promise to protect His children. That is partially true and partially false. The reason being that there is nothing that can happen to God’s children unless God allows it. But, that does not mean God’s Children will always be protected. Although, Jesus new the specific time when He would be killed:
“No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” For even his own brothers did not believe in him. Therefore Jesus told them, “My time is not yet here; for you, any time will do. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil”(John 7:4-7) (NIV).
God’s children are those having died at baptism:
“Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his” (Romans 6:3-5) (NIV).
This is why God’s Children are so daring as not to be scared of anything. They are willing to tread where others feel uncomfortable, as long as God leads them. In other words, these people listen to God, before listening to human beings. The most important datum is that they are hated by those of this world because, like Jesus, they are not of this world. At one stage those of this world attempted to kill Jesus, for claiming that He knew God:
“Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, ‘Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own authority, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him, but I know him because I am from him and he sent me.’ At this, they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come. Still, many in the crowd believed in him. They said, ‘When the Messiah comes, will he perform more signs than this man?’” (John 7:28-31) (NIV).
The point to stress is that His enemies could not do anything before His hour had come. The same applies to any of God’s children, not known by those of this world. If their time would have not yet come they cannot die of coronavirus. But if God wills, they may die, like any other person. The only difference between them and others is that they do not pity themselves. Instead, they thank God for liberating them from this turbulent life. All is well with them because they are God’s children.
On becoming God’s child, one becomes a new creation. The old has gone. That which is old fears death. But that which is new welcomes death. To them, death is outside their vocabulary. They would be alive, even though people observe their apparent demise. Their relatives grieve, like everyone else in this world, just like what happened with Jesus. At their death, God’s children assume having attained life in Jesus.
“I am not seeking glory for myself, but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge. Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys my word will never see death.’ At this, they exclaimed, ‘Now we know that you are demon-possessed! Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that whoever obeys your word will never taste death’”(John 8:50-51) (NIV).
The confusion gripping those people was caused by a lack of knowledge. Abraham, just like other God’s prophets, never died. Although, no longer observed in this world, God’s children would be alive. Ordinary people are limited, as unable to understand the significance of the resurrection. The only reason why Jesus was resurrected was for the testimony of proving the reality of the resurrection. See [The significance of three days and three nights].
Resurrection is just as certain as the rising son tomorrow. Resurrection is applicable to God’s Children who will be crowned to reign with Christ: (Revelation 20:4). The only thing that grips God’s children, during the coronavirus era, is humanity’s sinful condition. Their desire is to see many people repenting and accepting Jesus as their personal Savior.
Such lament is not, necessarily, limited to those dying of the disease. But those not appreciating that living life without Jesus is death. God’s children know that what is happening in this world is not new. Worse things are yet to come. So far, it is only God’s children who, even being observed as dying, have since escaped death. The only sign that reveals a person not to be God’s Child, if fear of death. God’s children cannot be intimidated by death anymore.
They are hated by those of this world, but God loves them. This is just as Jesus was hated, yet God loved Him. Some of God’s children are labeled as Satanists, and demonized for whatever reason. But they remain to be God’s children. Many people calling themselves as “Christians” have increased their time of prayer, soliciting God to stop this pandemic. Such people are known not to be as zealous when things appear as normal.
Their prayers are crafted as assuming that God is not aware of what goes on in this world. And yet God is, actually, more concerned and aware of what goes on, more than they believe they do. Their behavior is not different from every one of this world. Even though they also identify themselves as God’s children.
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray to stand in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him”(Matthew 6:5-8) (NIV).
God’s children have no appetite for being on the limelight, as to be credited by those of this world. No-one can credit them enough, because they are God’s children. There is no need to sympathize with them, in their dreadful conditions. But the most important thing is that it is not necessary for anyone to spend time looking for God’s children. They do not need anyone’s sympathy but are always connected to their Father in heaven.
What makes them angry, is exactly what makes God angry. What makes them happy, is exactly what makes God happy. The reason why they are not scared of coronavirus is that they are above coronavirus. This does not mean they cannot be attacked by the coronavirus if God decides that they should die of coronavirus. Below is an interesting episode, showing how different one’s mind can be, against God’s mind:
“When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’ Jesus replied, ‘Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me’”(Matthew 11:2-6) (NIV).
John the Baptist was the greatest prophet who ever lived, having, actually, also baptized Jesus. Aware of John’s prison condition, Jesus could have, actually, caused a miracle, for John to be released. But, Jesus did not even assure John’s disciples that He would pray for him. The only consoling words were: “Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”(Vs 6).
What went on, in the mind of John the Baptist, after receiving such a message is anyone’s guess. But, more-so, what currently goes on in the minds of those holding a different view of how Christians should behave, no-one knows? The reason why Jesus said: “Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” Is that this happens to be what easily offends many Christians.
John was the greatest Prophet, among those having ever lived, according to what Jesus said (Matthew 11:11). But one doubts whether John, actually, understood what went on, in his condition. Jesus knew everything, beforehand, as not to be surprised by what happened to John, whose ministry ended after Jesus had been baptized. But, why did John have to die in prison?
God’s children do not easily take offense and are not cajoled by pain or death. These are the ones who most people, in their environments, do not understand. There is a Shona term invariably used to dissuade people from applying what would commonly be viewed as right. “Unofira Mahara,” Literally, this is a warning that one should avoid dying for nothing. In other words, those of this world, assume that one needs to commit himself only for what can be compensated.
The persuasion is intended to deter anyone against sacrificing for the right cause. The term is, particularly, used in our current toxic political environment, designed to ensure that everyone remains submissive. Nothing is attractive in being God’s child. But God’s Children are not intimidated when standing up for what they consider to be right. They do not interpret dying in physical nature in the way that ordinary people interpret it.
“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven. Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:28-35) (NIV).
To God’s children, the physical body does not count. What counts is God’s will, which carries eternal life. Those fearing to die have no hope, except to assume that this physical life carries everything to do with survival. Yet survival is a principle, attainable only when one is connected to the life-giver. This is just as the apostle Paul also showed a willingness to die in his lifetime:
“I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body” (Philippians 1:20-24) (NIV).
God’s children are not perturbed by death anymore. To them, life does not change their behavior, as a result of coronavirus. Of course, the behavior of ordinary people may have been affected, but unchanged. God’s children are those not normally understood in this world. But committed to doing God’s will, even when staring death before them.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope.
The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99