Should believers follow the direction of the government and public health specialists to isolate themselves from each other; or follow the Bible that clearly says we are not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together?
It is a valid question that has plagued many Chrsitians in this season. Everybody should just stay at home oh! Ehen!
Brethren, are these things so?
Do you remember the pharisees who wanted to trap Jesus with His own words by asking Him a seemingly simple question? The accounts are in Matthew 22:15-22, Mark 12:13-17, and Luke 20:20-26
They asked Jesus “Should we pay taxes to Caesar or not?”
It was a tricky question. The Israelites were God’s free people (John 8:33) and had no other king but God. However, they were being ruled by Rome at the time. The emperor or world president was Tiberius Caesar. It was a conquered and oppressed Israel. As a vassal state, all taxes and tribute went to Rome. To Caesar. It was heavy taxation and tax collectors were hated (Mark 2:15-16)
If Jesus had said “Pay taxes to Caesar” they would have labelled Him a fake Messiah and a counterfeit Saviour and discredited Him before the people. And if He had said “Don’t pay taxes”; they would have labelled Him a rebel and got Him into trouble with the government.
“Should we pay taxes or not?”
“Should we meet at all, as a church or not?”
Jesus said “Bring me a coin”. They did
He asked “Whose image and inscription is this?” (Now, there’s a lot to say about this, but let’s move on.)
They said “Caesar’s” (Caesar’s effigy and name were on all currency just as Queen Elizabeth’s has been on pound sterling and other national currencies since the 1960s)
Then Jesus said “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s; and give to God what is God’s”
Those who asked were astonished at His answer. It was a masterstroke. End of discussion.
You see; they saw the deep wisdom in what He said. They knew that in that answer He was not telling them not to give to Caesar, but to obey governmental authority and live peaceably….BUT He was also telling them something deeper. …that everything including themselves, the whole of Israel, Caesar himself and the whole of the Roman empire – everything belonged to God!
He was telling them they had a lower responsibility and a higher responsibility; a lower allegiance and a higher allegiance; a lower accountability and a higher accountability; a lower physical authority to answer to and a higher spiritual authority to answer to
And this is the problem we have with some believers today; they know what belongs to Caesar, but they don’t know what belongs to God. They know what is Caesar’s, but they don’t know what is God’s. They know how to render to Caesar but they have no idea what it means to render to God
They understand politics, government, public health, economics; but they don’t know much about the blood, the Spirit, righteousness, grace, faith, and fellowship.
They believe CNN, but they don’t really believe the Bible
They know WHO, but they don’t know …by His stripes
They know the UN, but they don’t know the chastisement of our peace
They check everyday for updates on the pestilence but have no idea what the Spirit of God is saying to the churches
They read the news and watch the videos circulating but they do not really know the word of God
They know that if you come in contact with an infected person, you will get infected; but they don’t know that if you lay your hands on the sick, they shall recover.
They understand social distancing but they don’t understand where 2 or 3 are gathered, I am there.
They know how to put on face masks and gloves but not how to put on the armor of God. They rush for expensive and scarce sanitizers but they don’t know how powerful and precious the free and abundamt Blood of Jesus is.
They can rush to the mall to stock up but they do not know what it means to return to their company to build up, to pray and be comforted and strengthened.
They panic and stay home not just out of obedience but out of fear. They wonder what is the essence of going to church at all?
They have a lot to tweet, but very little to prophesy.
They have worldly intelligence, but have not the wisdom of God.
They understand social media, but they don’t understand the body of Christ
So when men are cast down, they cannot say there is a lifting up.
So they find it easy to render to Caesar what is Caesars, but very difficult to render unto God what is God’s.
But true believers understand both social responsibility and spiritual responsibility, in their proper places. They understand how to be hardworking and yet fervently praying; both healthy eating and necessary fasting; both government taxes and church tithing.
They engage the world in 2 dimensions. Spreading safety information and behaviour, and praying for the nation and the neighbor. They have common sense and spiritual sense. Certificates, degrees, knowledge, assets; and yet the actual weapons of their warfare are not carnal but mighty through God. They operate with the wisdom of God and the power of God.
They are good citizens of the nation but they are first children of the Most High. They comply out of a good heart and never out of fear.
They will obey the government but never forsake the assembly of the saints nor the highest allegiance to Christ nor to His body.
They will render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s