Is the World Turning to God?
April 21, 2020
During times of dire need, there are only a few options that one can turn to. And at the end of the day, after all these choices have been exhausted and people are in desperation, they would usually turn to God for help. And so it is true today. We see on TV and social media how practically everyone seems to have suddenly become prayerful and, dare I say, spiritual. From Facebook posts that quote Bible verses about God’s protection and provision to photos of front-liners and even supermarket employees kneeling in formation as they pray. Some governments have even called for a national day of prayer.
Most will agree with me in saying that this can only be a positive thing. It seems that in times of crisis, people usually remember God. In some cases, even those who profess to be agnostics and atheists would turn to Him at the point of their despondency. And this is why many Christians take the opportunity to bring the gospel message to those who are suffering because it is during such times when they are more open to God.
But as good as these developments would seem to be, it is also in this light that we need to realize what kind of response God really wants from people whenever they are in trying situations.
“It’s incredible to think that we sometimes treat the God of the universe as some sort of a genie whose lamp we will just merely rub whenever we are in trouble and need something and then make Him go back to the lamp after He has done His work.”
For the Israelites of the Old Testament, it was not unusual that amid various crises that they’ve gone through, they would turn to God and cry out to Him for help. They would fast and pray and ask God to save them from their situation, and the Lord would often be merciful to them and answer their prayers. But when their problems have been solved, almost routinely, they would then turn away from Him, go their own way, and continue to live in sin. And as regularly as this happens, they would again fall into another disaster or catastrophe, for which they would once more turn to God. This became like a drill between Israel and God, and it was His big disappointment with them, to say the least. They would always go back to their sin despite the mercy that He would show them. In the first place, sin was the main reason that they get into problems. But instead of worshipping Him and being faithful to Him because of all that He had done for them, they’d forget about Him and would go back to their sin.
Today, we are in a very difficult situation because of the coronavirus, pretty similar to the tight spots that Israel would be in. And many of us are “turning to God” during this time because we need His help, just as Israel did. Many of us would sometimes even make promises to God to do this or that if He would only answer our prayers, just as Israel did. But think about it. After God does show mercy and He answers our prayers, then what? Would we finally be a changed person who will worship God and be completely faithful to Him? Or would we be going back to our own way and to our sins once our problems are solved, just as Israel did?
It’s incredible to think that we sometimes treat the God of the universe as some sort of a genie whose lamp we will just merely rub whenever we are in trouble and need something and then make Him go back to the lamp after He has done His work. And if our attitude is anywhere near this, I think it’s time for us to realize that this is tantamount to heresy. God is God, and He is not to be treated like a household help. He is that Lord of all that has been, that is, and that is to come, and He deserves mankind’s faithfulness, obedience, and worship.
Therefore, if we ask the question if the world is turning to God, the answer is it depends. The truth is, pandemic or not, community quarantine or not, people still have a big problem, one that is much worse than any virus or famine or war. It is the problem of SIN. Sin, which we often take so lightly and which goes against the very grain of worship to God, is the main reason why people are going to eternal damnation. It represents a great chasm between us and God. And there’s nothing we can do about it.
But God knew this. That is why in His love, He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, who sacrificed His life to save us, not just from death due to COVID-19 but from eternal death – an eternity without God. And the only way that we could be restored to Him today is to receive this gracious offer of salvation by putting our faith in Jesus Christ, making Him Lord and Savior of our lives. THIS is what it means to turn to God.
So, is the world turning to God? Or to be more personal, are you turning to God? It depends. If you have received Jesus as Lord and Savior, making Him the Ruler of your life, then yes. Otherwise, it’s time to think about it.
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