As the number of confirmed coronavirus infections in the United States surpasses 1 million, pastor J.D. Greear weighed in on the question of whether Christians should view the pandemic as evidence of a specific judgment from God.
In a recent episode of his “Ask Me Anything” podcast, Greear, pastor of The Summit Church in Durham, North Carolina, first acknowledged that, like other natural diseases and disasters, the coronavirus is a consequence of living in a fallen world.
Additionally, the pastor noted that in both the Old and New Testaments, Scripture clearly says that sometimes God uses disease or death as a specific punishment for sin —whether of individuals or societies as a whole. He referenced Acts 12:23, John 5:14, 1 Corinthians 11:30, and the entire book of Revelation.
“There are times when sickness and death is a specific judgment on sin,” he said. “But that is a level of interpretation about an event that the Bible does not encourage us to exercise in specific situations.”
“In fact, more often than not … [Jesus] is pointing people away from that conclusion,” he said. “He infrequently ties a sickness to something … it’s not wise for us to say, ‘This is happening because of this.”
Greear said that in the Old Testament, Job’s friends blamed his extraordinary suffering as the punishment of God for sin. However, God called Job’s friends wicked for saying his suffering was judgment, even calling them stupid for doing so.
“It’s not for me to know,” he said. “I think this is especially problematic to do right now with the coronavirus. Perhaps there are some situations out there where God is individually giving a specific punishment, but I think in general this is a call to the whole world to wake up.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett