No one who knows me well, has asked that question. They know better than that. They know what I am going to do. I’ve even had friends call from great distances and say, “I know what you’re going to do!” More on that in a moment. I want to get to something else.
What happened in Chico was Satan. Paul wrote, “Therefore we wanted to come to you—even I, Paul, time and again—but Satan hindered us.” (1 Thessalonians 2:18)
When people make up rules on the spot, you know that is Satan. When you are told you can’t have a gathering, but there is a car race going on in the background, that is Satan. When not a single case of Coronavirus is recorded within 200 miles, and you are accused of being irresponsible, that is Satan. When lukewarm churches oppose soul winning and miracles, then you know it is Satan.
The good people of Chico were robbed—not by a virus but by hate and fear. They were robbed by leftists prematurely spreading a panic. In my opinion, they were targeting Christians. Even now, Casinos are still open, while at the same time, churches are ordered to close. As if Casinos have some magical protection that churches don’t.
Satan wants to stop all of our crusades. Satan knew the momentum that would be generated by this crusade. Here is what really bites: Not one person would have gotten sick from the virus, but a lot of people would have been healed of serious diseases. I believe that cancers would have been healed, along with many other truly life threatening sicknesses.
But more importantly, the worst sickness of all would have been healed—sin sick souls! I just got off the phone with one of our board members. He was telling me how a friend he has been inviting to church for many years, but who would never go, had agreed to come to the Tent in Chico. Only God knows how many other souls would have come.
I had to calm down a fire-breathing army of soul winners who were all set to return to Chico today and hit the streets. At this point, they would have been unduly endangered, trying to pray for people. They would also be in direct defiance of the government’s orders. No, the devil may have won this battle. BUT NEVER AGAIN!
Do you still want to ask what I am going to do now? We were born in the fire of student riots. We waded through tear gas and protesters. During the A.I.D.S. epidemic we never backed down. Ten more epidemics have come and gone since then. What are we going to do?
We will not relent. We will reload. As soon as the ban lifts we will win more souls than ever. We are going to expand our outreach to the Highway 99 Corridor. Every aspect of our outreach will intensify.
I know the Coronavirus is a real crisis. I agree that getting America to lay low will help blunt the epidemic. I am not in disagreement with the call to limit this virus. I do not oppose the safeguards that are recommended now by health professionals.
Here’s what I do oppose. I oppose the Left which is creating a parallel crisis of fear and panic. They seek to divide and blame and inflame mindless passions. But, what else is new?
My other issue is this: closing down churches while leaving other places where people gather wide open does not look like an effort to stop a virus. It looks like an effort to stop the church. And what will California do after this virus passes? Will they let up on the church or have they created a pretext to stop the church any time and for any reason they want?
I remember how, during a major drought, they raised the price of water with a solemn promise that when the drought ended prices would return to normal. Instead, right when the drought subsided they invented one of the most insidious surcharges I’ve ever heard of. It’s called an elevation charge. They charge people for how high the water had to flow to get to them—even when there was zero evidence that it cost them anything extra to deliver the water.
This is an hour when discernment is crucial. The church must abide by rules that protect the public and help stop the pandemic. But the church must also be aware when being shut down is not happening because of a virus, rather, it is happening because the Left wants to shut down churches and stop the Gospel.
But they will fail.
“So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun; when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him. The Redeemer will come to Zion, and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,” says the Lord. (Is. 59:19-20)