God’s priority is the preservation of our soul. He will not sacrifice the soul for the sake of the body. At the end of the beatitudes in Matthew’s gospel, Jesus said, “If your eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.” In order to cement this thought in the minds of His listeners Jesus shared another similar analogy in the following verse: read Matthew 5:29-30. Now we are confident that Jesus was using hyperbole in these two verses; but Jesus did not repeat His very important comments often, and rarely back to back. These two statements by our Lord do not mitigate the importance of the body; they just remind us that losing a piece of our body is not equal to losing a piece of our soul.
The fact is that God cares about “all” of you and also that the Bible often refers to His divine protection. In Psalm 105:14-15 we are reminded of God’s protection for His people during their wilderness journey. There we are told, “God permitted no man to oppress them, and He reproved kings for the people’s sake, saying: ‘Do not touch my anointed ones, and do my prophets no harm.’” In Psalm 121 we read:
“I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun will not smite you by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul.
The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth…
Of course the Bible also records how at times God’s people have suffered as well. So we see twin truths here; truths that are not however mutually exclusive: On one hand we have incredible immunity and protection from God until our time is up, and on the other hand it is yet normal to suffer for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Knowing that we are indomitable – untouchable unless God decides otherwise – gives us great boldness to minister in this world without fear. And when we do happen to encounter trials, COVID-19 or otherwise, we are assured that they are allowed by an all-knowing and all-loving Father. God promises that evil has no right to touch our souls no matter what it does to our bodies. Job’s story is a reminder of this.
We Believers are God’s children by adoption; and we are also children of His Promise to Abraham (way before Israel’s existence): “In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself according to the kind intention of His will” (Eph. 1:5). “For this reason it (the promise to Abraham) is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all” (Rom 4:16). “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God” (Rom 8:14).
So as the author of Hebrews reminds us, we “who take refuge in Jesus have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil of the Holy of Holies; where Jesus is our high priest forever” (Hebrews 6:18-20).
Our thought here is that faith, hope, and trust are all commingled for a true Believer; and that they all start and end with Jesus. Our faith in God, our hope for eternity, and our trust in God’s daily protection all revolve around Jesus Christ. We put our faith in Him. We put our hope in Him. And we put our Trust in Him. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
In this life, followers of Jesus will get sick, suffer, and die. But, they have full soul immunity from evil. They have an unbroken refuge in the presence of God because of what Jesus has done for us. However, they only have temporary seasonal body immunity. So are Believers immune to COVID-19? No, not really. This coronavirus is one of the illnesses that thrives in this fallen world; one that we all have to deal with and avoid if possible. So mitigate, separate, and fumigate. But first of all, put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ and the promises of God’s word, and then like many before you, you can live your earthly life knowing that a virus free life awaits you in heaven.
~ Carlos M.