How can we pray for those who are suffering? How can we love our neighbors even if they are physically distant? In this video, Pastor David Platt urges Christians to cry out to God for healing and salvation because tomorrow is not guaranteed. Pastor Platt encourages his congregation to pray specifically for the outbreak of the coronavirus in China. When we love those around the world as our neighbors, we will pray for God to meet them as Healer and Comforter. Furthermore, incidents like these can remind us of the frailty of human life and cause us to ask ourselves whether we have salvation in Jesus Christ.
- The Effect of Coronavirus
- Not Promised Tomorrow
- Receiving Eternal Life
Watch Full Message of A People Called By the Grace of God
Praying for China
I want us to spend a few minutes together in prayer specifically for the people of China, and really for people around the world in light of this Coronavirus that is spreading from there. My family and I have been following this with particular attention because I have a son who lives in China right now.
We were supposed to bring him home two days ago, doing everything we can to get to him as soon as we can. But I’ll be honest, it’s agonizing. I look at my kids in my home right now, my 13, 12, 9, 7 year old, and I just imagine, what if one of them was in China right now? I’d do everything I could to get to them, and that’s just it. In the process of adoption in a unique way, those of you who have adopted, you know God knits your heart together with a child even before you meet them, he’s your son. I have a three year old in China right now that I want to do everything I can to bring home.
How do we pray for those in China?
Anyway, I share that because it’s given me a glimpse into God’s heart for the people of China, because God loves every single person in that country. God desires every single one of them to be in his family. He feels like this in a sense for a billion people in China. So I want us to pray for tens of thousands who are being affected by this virus, for the church in China, for our brothers and sisters in Christ there, for those without Christ to know the love and hope of Christ and just for God’s mercy, for a cure to this virus.
So I’ve asked Sean who’s going to join me up here, he leads in our Chinese fellowship. I’ve asked him to lead in our campuses, across all of our campuses today in prayer. I’ve asked him to pray in Chinese, but we’re going to put the words that he’s praying in English on the screen so you can know what he’s praying and pray along with him. So normally we close our eyes in order to focus on what we’re praying about. For this one, we’re going to keep our eyes open so we know what we’re praying about. So let’s just go before the Lord on behalf of this whole picture of this virus in the world, but specifically in China.
So Sean, will you lead us now? Let’s pray. [Chinese 00:02:30]. Amen. Amen. Thank you brother. Number four, we open up the word in light of what we were just praying for. I need to ask everybody in this gathering, here in this setting, a question. Right where you’re sitting, if you were to contract this virus or something like it and you were to die in the next week or two, do you know for sure that you would go to Heaven? I can’t think of a more important question to ask and answer in our lives than that.
How Does this Relate to our Lives?
Because sure, we don’t live in Wuhan, China where people are thinking about this question all the time right now. But we need to be thinking about this question all the time because not one of us in this gathering is guaranteed tomorrow either, not one of us. I read an article this morning about a 16 year old girl in Leesburg who just died of the flu. Just talking with someone today who’s in the Naval Academy and one of their peers just doing regular exercises just died. Just like that. Healthy at least, so everyone thought. So I know. I know there are many people who are sitting here right now who if something were to happen to you today, you don’t know for sure you would go to Heaven.
Maybe some of you, this is your first time in church. Maybe this is the first time you’ve even thought about this question. Others of you, you’ve been in church before maybe all your life. I was talking with one of our members from out at [inaudible 00:06:03] yesterday, and he told me how he grew up in the church. He was sitting there week in and week out, but he hadn’t trusted Jesus with his life until one day, years later, everything just clicked, like on a normal Sunday, everything just clicked.
He was telling me his dad had the same story for years in the church, practically his whole life until he was late in life. And one day he just realized he had not answered the most important question and thankfully he still had time to answer it.
I was just talking with another man outside, I’m not sure exactly how old, I think probably 60, 70s. And he just came up to me and said, “Today was the day for me.” He said, “This has been a long time coming.” And I was just praying. I was praying last night. I was praying this morning. I was thinking about it as Sean was just praying for China right now. I want you to know, I’m assuming you want to know, and I know God wants you to know you have eternal life with him when you die.
And you may not have until tomorrow to get right before him. So I want to ask you that question today. And some of you are new to church, might be saying, “Well, how do I know I have eternal life?” Others, you’ve been in church, maybe you’ve heard this over and over again, but the reality is right now you don’t know for sure you have eternal life. So this is where I just want to encourage you. This is the essence of the Bible. What it teaches, that God is perfect and holy. He’s created each one of us. He loves us. Problem is we have all turned aside from God. The Bible calls us sin.
God Forgives our Sins
We’ve turned from God in his ways to ourselves and our own ways. We’ve sinned against God and we are separated from God by our sin. And if we die in this state of separation from God, we will spend eternity in judgment for our sin. But the good news of the Bible is the God has not left us alone in this state. God has come to us in the person of Jesus. And Jesus has lived the life we couldn’t live, a life of no sin. And then even though he had no sin to die for, he chose to die on a cross for your sin and my sin.
Jesus has paid the price for our sin. He died for our sin. Then he rose from the dead three days later in victory over sin so that anyone anywhere in China or in this gathering today or anywhere in between, anyone who turns from their sin and trusts in Jesus as Savior and Lord will be forgiven of all their sin and reconciled to relationship with God forever. Eternal life forever. This is John 3:16, just plain and simple. “God so loved the world. He so loves you that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him will never perish but have everlasting life.” Whoever believes in him.
First John 5:13, “I write these things to you who believe the name of the son of God that you may know you have eternal life.” How do you know you have eternal life? Not by being a good person, not by trying to have your good outweigh your bad, not by going church, like those who believe, who trust in Jesus as Savior and Lord. And today I want to give you an opportunity to do that, to get right with God, to receive eternal life and not just for the future, but starting today and lasting forever. And I want to invite you to celebrate that today.
That’s why I’m wearing this t-shirt for the last six months or so. Every Sunday, we’ve invited people to put your faith in Jesus and then proclaim faith in Jesus through baptism. Not that you have to be baptized in order to receive eternal life. There’s nothing we can do. Baptism is a celebration of life we already have. But every week we invite people to publicly confess faith in Jesus. We have shirts, shorts, towels, everything you need to do that today. So in a world of sickness and uncertainty, of virus outbreaks and vehicle accidents, the good news of the Bible is that we can know we have eternal life through Jesus. And I want to invite you to walk out of here today knowing that, and walk out of here living today like tomorrow’s not guaranteed.