Our nation and the entire world is in high-panic mode at this time, and we here at Sunrise Chapel, will do everything within our power to help the local communities and people impacted by the restrictions put on us by our state and federal governments.
Our Pastors, Elders, Deacons and members have all agreed to “follow the rules” put upon us as we understand the dangers associated with this terrible disease. We will also continue, as best we can, to bring God’s Word to you in any fashion we can… such as our little broadcast here on Facebook this morning. We’re not going anywhere… we are here for you today and always will be!
Let’s start this morning by giving you an overview of what we do know as fact from the medical community. We know you’ve heard a million stories on what it is; what the symptoms are; and how you can treat it but, this is what we have come to find as “the truth” (as much as they really know) about this virus.
This coronavirus itself was first discovered in the mid 1960’s and named for the crown-like spikes on their surface. There are seven different strains of this virus known to man today.
The latest strain SARS-CoV2 initially called the Wuhan virus, as it was first discovered in China in 2019, was given its latest name of COVID-19 by the World Health Organization (WHO) on February 11th of this year. Officially called a pandemic on March 11th, 2020.
Terms to know:
- Outbreak – Refers to the number of cases (disease) that exceeds what would be expected.
- Endemic – An infection within a geographical location that is existing perpetually.
- Pandemic – A global endemic!
As of yesterday, March 21st at 12:55 PM
- 288,664 – reported cases. 20,083 in the US alone.
- 11,972 – Deaths.
- 93,641 – Recovered. What they’re not emphasizing!
I’d say that’s pretty global!
- Fever – as the immune system goes into overdrive… which can lead to organ failure.
- Coughing – starting out with very dry coughing (no flem) and could lead to more severe cases of pneumonia or acute respiratory syndrome which can cause death.
- Shortness of Breath – or breathing difficulties.
Symptoms usually appear between 2-14 days, during which time, you may not even know you’ve contracted it. This, is why the actions that have been taken, were taken. You could be infected, or carry the virus, and not even know it! You may have it yet never show the symptoms! Don’t spread it around!
- Stay at home when it is possible to do so.
- Avoid large gatherings and public places.
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue.
- Wash your hands consistently. (imagine that!)
- DON’T BE MACHO!
We think it is important to know that the majority of the age groups that have had the most serious results have been with our older community… this doesn’t mean that you cannot catch this virus, it simply means that, if you do, you will probably be fine when it’s all said and done.
Okay, we’ve described what we know, or what the medical community has informed us about but what about what is probably not associated with this terrible sickness.
- Skin Affliction – Nope, haven’t heard of that one being related. If you’re feeling itchy, you’ve probably got yourself a little rash going on.
- Runny Nose/Sniffles – Again, this is more associated with the common cold or flu (which is also going around).
- Diarrhea – Although you would think this might be a symptom of COVID-19 with the toilet paper shortage we’re experiencing all over the country. Nonetheless, it isn’t one of the surefire indications that you’ve been infected. You’ve probably simply over-indulged on Taco Bell!
What we’re suggesting here this morning is you be more aware of what COVID-19 consists of and its symptoms. Listen to the medical community and not some post you’ve seen on Facebook. Trust us here, those can scare you to death!
Here is an interesting little fact. It has nothing to do with the Bible or COVID-19 but, being a fan of Nostradamus myself, I thought I’d share this eerie prediction he made in 1551.
“There will be a twin year (2020) from which will arise a queen (corona) who will come from the east (China) and who will spread a plague (virus) in the darkness of night, on a country with 7 hills (Italy) and will transform the twilight of men into dust (death), to destroy and ruin the world. It will be the end of the world economy as you know it.”
Being we know that Italy has been one of the hardest hit countries, I did a little more research to find out about the “7 hills.”
The 7 Hills in Italy are:
- Aventine Hill (Latin, Aventinus; Italian, Aventino)
- Caelian Hill (Cælius, Celio)
- Capitoline Hill (Capitolinus, Campidoglio)
- Esquiline Hill (Esquilinus, Esquilino)
- Palatine Hill (Palatinus, Palatino)
- Quirinal Hill (Quirinalis, Quirinale)
- Viminal Hill (Viminalis, Viminale)
While Nostradamus is not called a “Biblical Prophet,” if you read about all of his predictions, it’ll kind of scare you! This one’s a little creepy all by itself and, being as though I found it right there on Google, you know it’s true! 😉
I have been asked if I feel this is part of the “End Times” as that happens to be a subject I like to talk about with a lot with the people I know. After all, look at all that’s been happening in our world these days.
I really don’t have an honest answer to that question but can only refer to what Jesus told us in Matthew regarding those days.
Matthew 24:7 – “Nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.”
Well, we already know about how “nations are rising up” against nations. We just have to look at the war on terrorism and…
- Yemen – A place of international lawlessness.
- Afghanistan – Part of the war on terrorism.
- Us-Chinese Tensions – Bitter trade wars and now the virus.
- Saudi Arabia, Israel and Iran – the list does on!
We’ve recently had earthquakes in Alaska, Nevada, Indonesia, Philippines, On March 21st of this year, there were over 13 earthquakes reported around the world.
So, could this be a sign of End Times, I really couldn’t absolutely rule it out.
It’s a scary world out there these days. A lot of people infected and quite a number that have died due to the complications associated with COVID-19. So, am I afraid?
Even with all that is happening in our world today, as children of God; followers of Christ; and believers in the word of God… we certainly shouldn’t despair over these recent events.
Instead, we should remember all our Bible has told us.
We’ve heard a lot about his virus. We know how deadly it can be and how easily it is for us to carry it to others, so Solomon tells us exactly how we should react:
Proverbs 27:12 – “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.”
That pretty much tells us right there what we are to do, we need to follow the path of wisdom; follow our local and national leaders’ instructions; and do what it is we should do! Be prudent (wise)!
DO NOT FEAR
(my biggest topic today)
We talked briefly about fear last week. Remember, there are 365 verses in our Bible telling us how “not to fear!” Yet, with all the strange things happening around us, I can certainly understand how we might be afraid.
We’re all “out-of-whack!”
- Professional sports have shut down.
- Major malls and shopping centers are closed.
- A lot of people are having to work-from-home.
- Many out-of-work!
- Roadways at virtually empty!
- Bars and restaurants aren’t open for business.
- Churches have closed their doors!
With all these things, completely out of our “norm,” who wouldn’t be frightened? After all, we are human!
Still, we know that fear is a tool of the devil and exactly what he’ll try and do with this virus…
- He will twist the facts!
- He will remind you over and over again of these things!
- He will try, in every manner, to distract you from what God has taught us.
Don’t let him in! Fight him with everything you know and stay focused on God and His words!
Again, in regard to fear, let’s remember what the Prophet Isaiah (old testament) wrote to us…
41:10 – “So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
God doesn’t give us this fear, we know where its coming from. Not from God, as the Apostle Paul tells us…
2 Timothy (KJV) – “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
Here is a little more and, I believe, most important… the best advice…again from Isaiah
Isaiah 35:4 – “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”
I like the beginning of that verse (be strong). It really tells us how we should be regardless of any situation in our Christian lives. After all, how much stronger can a man or a woman be with the Almighty God, creator of the Heavens and the earth, having your back?!
Another big one for us! We’ve got to continue to believe in our God. Do you remember when the Apostles were caught in the storm on the sea, afraid of drowning… Jesus calmed the storm and immediately chastised His Disciples…
Luke 8:25 – “Where is your faith?”
That simple! Don’t make Jesus ask you that question during these times.
- Keep your faith!
- Believe that God is in control
- Know that whatever happens, it is by God’s will!
Gee, it looks like all we’re talking about today are the “big ones!” The lessons we should never forget. We all know how big this one is, but does everyone else around us?
Here is what we know…
2 Chronicles 7:14 – “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
God’s got this! He isn’t surprised or sitting up in Heaven, on His throne, saying “Gee, I wonder where that came from?!”
God is fully aware of all things! He knows our troubles and our sorrows and, as we just mentioned, He hears us from Heaven and will heal our land!
Don’t be Like the “Others”
(In regard to prayer)
Last Friday afternoon, someone posted on Facebook that all “Christians” should pray together at 7:00 PM. I was, most certainly, up for that one as I know, just as you do, that it is most definitely what this nation/world needs!
Pamela and I sat at home, stuck in the house on a Friday night, patiently waiting for that moment. When the time came, we walked outside; sat in the grass and began our prayers.
Firstly, we gave thanks as this is how we believe all prayer should begin. We then asked for God’s guidance and mercy for all nations and for the people affected by this nasty virus.
We prayed together for about 10-15 minutes. When we were through (speaking), we simply sat and listened. We just wanted to see if God had any“specific” instructions for us. 😉
When we got back inside, I went back to Facebook and commented on our participation (We were there!) Sadly, aside from two friends, there weren’t any other comments. Didanyone do this at all?!
We know better, right?! When we say we’re going to pray, we pray? No, we don’t have to talk about with others, but we pray!
Unfortunately, I don’t think too many people really know how to pray. Guess what though? It’s up to us to teach them. We’ve got to remember (and remind everyone), when we talk to God, we have to be patient and let HIM finish the conversation.
Too many people simply say, “God, please help me with all that is going on in my life… Amen!” … and BAM, they’re done! We don’t do that!
As soon as we say, “Our Father in Heaven,” “Dear God” or however you may open your talk with God, we’ve started a “conversation,” and He IS listening. When you are finished giving thanks and asking for God’s blessing, DON’T HANG-UP! Let God finish.
What Good is Happening?
Here is another very important point for these times. We’ve got to stop focusing on all the BAD around us. We know we are Loved; we know we are watched over and we know God is in Control!
Instead, lets look at some of the good things…
- Healthcare Workers – Long, hard hours. How dedicated, devoted and into their work they are right now? They know the importance of their skills.
- Doctors/Chemists/Scientists (all nations) – Working together for a cure. All over the world, men and women are working together, avidly trying to help ALL people!
- Restaurants Supplying Meals to Healthcare Workers – All our restaurants are closed but, that hasn’t stopped them from joining in on the work needed. With all they’re doing, our healthcare workers need their meals as they probably aren’t allowed to leave their workspace! Local establishments are doing this… voluntarily!
- People, Helping People – Strangers helping strangers; strangers helping their elderly neighbors; organizations and citizens stepping-up to help those that have been displaced from their work (bartenders, servers, etc.). This, we all know, has been a rarity lately.
- Trump’s “Update” Friday – Our President said it himself in this past Friday’s update… “People who didn’t like each other before are coming together to fight this tragedy showing the greatness of the American people!” Yes, they are Mr. President, as these are God’s people!
(Please note, you must be logged-in to Facebook to view this video)
We’re God’s children; we are Brothers and Sisters in Christ and The Holy Spirit. Stop taking panic. Pay attention, be smart and prudent. Stop believing all the “fake” information.
- We’re all in this together… as a Country and as the World!
- Do what we’ve been told… we’re not “invincible” and we need to be considerate of others.
- If you’re sick, stay home… take care of yourself, take care of your family.
- Wash your face and hands… Back to basics!
- Fear nothing… God is on your side!
- Pray, and keep your Faith… Call on God, and He will answer. DON’T HANG-UP ON GOD!
- As a Christian… “Be” who Jesus has taught us to be, not as others would have it… take care of yourself; take care of others.
It’s going to be a different world out there when all is said and done. Our economy has, as well as other nation’s economies have, been hit hard and will suffer for a long time.
We’ve learned new things, bad things and good things… but, together, we’re going to make a better world with God!
Go with God; be good to one another; always stay humble; always be kind… God Bless (Amen)!