Does COVID-19 provide us with unique opportunities to declare the gospel?
Yes, there’s absolutely no question about that. I was thinking back on the times when I’ve had to deal with some kind of a global or national problem, going back to a massive earthquake that we had called the Northridge earthquake. People came into our church panicked because this was a severe earthquake and we were able to address that. Then there were the Watts riots, which happened here in L.A. We addressed the evil of mankind and went to the gospel.
When the Gulf War broke out, I did a series on what the Bible says about war and how fragile life is. Then the big one was 9/11. I ended up not only preaching a message on that, but before I knew it, I was on the Larry King Show and was asked the question, “What is the lesson of all of this?” And I said: “The lesson is, you’re not in control of your death. It could happen any time and you need to be ready.” We were able to give the gospel on CNN and it kept going and going.
The fear of death is real, and it’s legitimate if you have no hope. If you’re just wishing for the best after you die and you’re not in control of your death, then death is a terrifying reality. This is a time for us to speak of the gospel, the security we have in Christ, and the eternal life that He promises to those who put their trust in Him. This is a great gospel opportunity.
Even though COVID-19 is not the kind of plague by which millions and millions of people are going to die, it still brings up the issue that you are not in control of your life and you could be one who dies in this situation. That specter hangs over people’s heads. This is a perfect opportunity for us to declare the gospel.
This is a transcript of John MacArthur’s answer from The Gospel, the Church, and This Present Crisis from our Made in the Image of God event and has been lightly edited for readability. To ask Ligonier a biblical or theological question, just visit Ask.Ligonier.org or message us on Facebook or Twitter.