Things That Are Not

by David Buffaloe

I was talking to a devout Christian lady just the other day about the so-called avian flu. This sister wanted to know what we Christians were going to do to help in the coming potential U.S. pandemic. I told this dear sister that my plans were to keep on telling others about Jesus Christ, and that faith in His atoning blood is the only thing that will keep a soul out of that place of eternal burning, a place Jesus referred to as "a furnace of fire where there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth" (Matt. 13:42).

May I ask this question: Why are Christians worried about things that are not? I had to look up the word "pandemic" to find out what it meant: "an epidemic occurring over a very wide area, crossing international boundaries and usually affecting a large number of people." In short, the difference between a "pandemic" and an "epidemic" is that the pandemic is supposed to wipe out whole nations. That in itself sounds frightening. Could the avian flu wipe out the United States? Sure it could—all things are possible.

It is also possible that Red China—which now, according to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has around 1,306,313,812 people—could decide to come in military force and overthrow the United States. According to the CIA, communist China could field an army of 342,956,265 if it so desired. The largest army the United States could field would be 67,742,879, if we drafted every male between the ages of 18-49 years old. In other words, the potential Chinese armed forces are roughly 19 times greater than the potential United States armed forces.

Why did I tell you all this? Was it just to frighten you? Absolutely not! But I do pray that you, as Christians, cease looking at things through the worldview of the lost, and begin to look at all things through the worldview of Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. When we look at what might happen or what "could" happen and begin to let our imaginations run wild, we are playing the devil's game. A recent article in Science and Theology News stated: "The avian flu, which has claimed more than 80 lives worldwide, could kill 209,000 to 1.9 million Americans, the Center for Disease Control estimates. The actual numbers will depend, in part, on how well public and private sectors work together."

The whole article talks about what "could" be. The reality is that more than 80 people to date have died worldwide from this thing. Certainly I do not want to diminish the death of even one soul, for all life is precious, but here are some real figures to look at. According to the Center for Disease Control the following REAL deaths occur in the United States every year:

430,000 - tobacco use

81,000 - alcohol

41,000 - motor vehicles

30,000 - suicide

19,000 - homicide

17,000 - AIDs

3,400 - unknown food-borne agents

Considering that the avian flu has only killed "more than 80 people" worldwide, I think we need to stop worrying about what is not and start worrying about the reality. Jesus said in Matthew 6:33-34 "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things [food, clothing, provision of your needs] will be provided for you.  Therefore don't worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

God is in control of all things, even the bad things. It is a reality that people can and do die. It is also a reality that 10 out of 10 people will die of SOMETHING. This present body we possess is not meant to be eternal. However, if we tell others about that wonderful salvation found only by faith in Jesus Christ then, no matter what may come, we will one day be with our Savior and Lord in heaven.  "Whosoever believes in Jesus will not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:15-16).

Certainly Christians should be at the forefront of helping others. However, we are never to follow the world in panic. This world is not our home. Our home is in heaven with Jesus Christ, for we have "believed unto eternal life, which God hath promised to them that love Him."

May God touch your hearts with these words.

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