At least three separate pastors have died in recent days after testing positive for the new coronavirus, including two who raised concern that the virus was being used as a tool of the devil to manipulate the masses or silence Christians. One thought God would use His infection to spread the Gospel or give him “a little rest.”
Pastor Ronnie Hampton of New Vision Community Church, a Free Methodist Church Planting Project targeting the communities of Shreveport, Louisiana, and Washington, D.C., died Wednesday evening, a day after he tested positive for the new coronavirus also known as COVID-19, close family members told KSLA12 News.
Days before his death, he told supporters in at least two videos on social media, including one from his hospital bed, that Christians should not be afraid of the coronavirus and perhaps God was just using his infection to help him “get a little rest” or would use it to spread the Gospel.
“This virus that is out now, look at what it’s doing. It’s shutting down everything, which means that the physical connection of Christians is being ripped apart. We’re not able to fellowship. We’re not able to love each other. We’re not able to greet each other with a handshake or a hug. We’re not able to be in close proximity of each other,” Hampton said in a Facebook Live broadcast exactly one week before his death.
“We’re not able to break bread, sit down and eat with each other because Caesar is mandating how we conduct ourselves using the pretext of this virus to be able to conduct our lives and run our lives for us,” he continued.
He then began listing various discussions and conspiracy theories that have been circulating online and in discussion groups about the virus.
“Now, here’s a theory. It was brought to my attention that this virus thing, people die from the flu more than they’ve died from this virus. In my opinion, death is death. I don’t care what it’s by. But I listened and they say well, it’s something that’s come up. And now everything is being shut down, borders are being closed, and they’re gonna come up with a vaccine because they are keeping everybody away from each other just so that they can install martial law,” Hampton said.
“They’re gonna come up with a vaccine and in that vaccine everybody is gonna have to take it … and inside of that vaccine there’s going to be some type of electronic computer device that’s gonna put some type of chip in you and maybe even have some mood, mind-altering circumstances … and they’re saying that the chip would be the mark of the beast,” he continued.
He then noted that some people have even been saying that the coronavirus is a sign of the last days before urging Christians not to get caught up in the “paranoia” surrounding the virus.
“My theory is that we’ve been living in the last days ever since Jesus died on the cross and ascended in Heaven. What I’m saying is basically, keep your spiritual lives in order. Be truthful in your relationship with Jesus. Jesus is not meant for us to be in bondage. He is meant for us to be free and he said he that who the Son set free is free indeed.
He continued: “God didn’t make no cowards. God didn’t make people to be scared of any kind of circumstance that comes along that’ll shake your very foundation, but He will allow you to be able to come to yourself about it just like He did with that prodigal son,” he said. “Don’t let no coronavirus steal your praise. Don’t let no coronavirus steal your worship. Don’t let coronavirus steal your spirit.”
In another broadcast on Sunday, this time from his hospital bed between spells of dry coughing just three days before his death, Hampton revealed to his audience that he was suspected of having the deadly virus.
“I’m being treated. I’m in isolation, I’m being treated as a precaution to the coronavirus. And I just couldn’t let it get me down,” he said.
“I presented to the emergency room Friday afternoon because I had some abdominal pain and I had a chronic cough that caused me some abdominal pain that made me feel like my abdominal wall was being compromised. So I came here for that and they gave me X-rays and found out I had pneumonia in both my lungs,” Hampton revealed.
He insisted that despite his infection his faith remained strong and was confident that he would overcome the virus.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair