By Joel Comiskey, check out: Living in Victory (May 2020)
Jesus said, “I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it”(Matthew 16:18). All the powers of hell won’t overcome Christ’s church. Not persecution, not warfare, not earthquakes, not famine, not materialism.
And not the Covid-19 virus.
Jesus has ordained his church to withstand and even flourish under crisis. He has prepared his body, the church, to be victorious in all situations, including life under the Covid-19 pandemic. Why? Because he is the risen Lord.
Throughout church history, the church triumphed in trials and difficulties. For the first three hundred years of the church’s existence, it endured horrible persecutions but came out stronger as a result. We read in Acts 8:1, “On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.” God ordained a crisis to spread out the church to make more disciples.
In my book 2000 Years of Small Groups, I highlight the most powerful small group movements in church history, which thrived under repression and persecution, including the house church movement in China today.
But let’s get really practical here. How can the church thrive in times of pandemics, like the one we’re experiencing today? How can believers connect when they can’t see each other personally? What is the role of leadership during times of crisis?