The Effects of COVID 19
Most of our ICCC churches around the world have been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many believers have suffered personally with the disease and some have gone to be with the Lord. Others have lost their jobs, leaving them in a state of poverty and suffering.
Churches everywhere have had to have their services online, through Zoom or other media. Although this can never replace the “assembling of ourselves together” in person, it has opened many opportunities for teaching and preaching that simply would not have been available otherwise. We praise the Lord that in some places, the churches are meeting in person once again, yet many churches, Christian schools, Christian publishers, etc., have been hit with great decreases in finances to pay the costs involved.
We must remember the promises of God’s Word: “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”
We also urge believers everywhere to seek to help those in need. Proverbs 19:17 tells us: “He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.”
“Having done all, to stand”
Ephesians 6:13-14 tells us: “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore.…”
In many countries, Christian persecution is greatly on the rise. In the United States, many Christians are now facing a choice between compromising their Biblical convictions, or being persecuted by the government. The situation is much worse in many other countries. We must continue to stand boldly, but kindly, for the Word of God. We need to remember the words of Joshua: “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”
The Rise of Socialism and Communism
Many thought that socialism and communism were on the decline, with the collapse of the former Soviet Union, and as people saw the terrible atrocities that always seem to accompany these political systems. Yet, a new generation seems set on bringing back these failed and ungodly systems in many places. Even the United States is heading deeper into socialism with control by the State.
The Bible teaches that man is to be free under God. “The Lord is my shepherd” has so often been replaced with “The government is my shepherd.” Socialism, instead, makes man a cog in a wheel, responsible to a totalitarian government.
As long as men are involved with government, there will never be a perfect one. We must advocate for justice in each of our respective countries. But we must fight anti-God socialism and communism, so our children can live in freedom, under God.
The World Council of Churches and the World Evangelical Alliance
The World Council of Churches is totally controlled by those who are seeking a utopian, socialist worldwide government. Many of their press releases and reports from their meetings speak almost exclusively of this. We must recognize the WCC as an apostate organization, and have no fellowship with it. The same can be said for the Roman Catholic Church. Particularly since Francis become Pope, the call for socialism has become even louder.
Much of the modern Evangelical movement is weak and ineffectual in our day. Since the 1940s, evangelicals have often compromised in order to be recognized by those in power in society and in the mainline churches. This compromise continues to this day. Many of these evangelical groups belong to the World Evangelical Alliance. This group has fellowship and joint statements with Rome and the World Council of Churches. These disobedient evangelicals have given up the Scriptural command to “earnestly contend for the faith,” and rather work with the “wolves in sheep’s clothing,” which the Scriptures warn us about.
“Preach the Word
The only remedy for the apostasy in the churches and in the world at large is the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Pastors around the world are urged to “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.” May each of us be found faithful!
Brad K. Gsell