I live in Dallas, Texas, where the first person with Ebola had symptoms (patient zero) while already in America. Suddenly a part of town that rarely gets attention (mainly impoverished) was flooded with a national media barrage. One sick man created frenzy around our nation. Everyone was on edge and many in Dallas still are. The local news has a calendar to count down to when the last person who rode on a plane with a nurse infected while treating patient zero has passed her 21-day observation period, and we can all feel safe. Then we should have nothing to worry about, right?
The degree of worry and upset that three Ebola victims in Dallas has created in our nation and around the world is astounding compared to what we really need to be worried about. The truth is, the number of our days here on earth is known by God. If we spend all our days on earth trying to get the best life possible—Ebola free, and that makes us feel safe—we will leave ourselves open to eternal damnation, which is what the whole world really needs to worry about.
I don’t like to use words like eternal damnation. It sounds so threatening and turns people off. But when we are talking about the effect of Ebola (a virus and disease that feels like hell and often leads to death) versus the sickness of our souls plagued by sin (a spiritual virus and disease that leads to a literal hell for eternity after death), the latter is the one we should be worrying about.
Jesus pointed this out in Matthew 10:28: Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. It is interesting to contrast this statement by Jesus to the frequency of times in the Scriptures that we are instructed not to fear or “Do not be afraid” We shouldn’t be in such a frenzy about Ebola that can only kill the body. What we need to fear is God, and how we can carefully follow His instructions for saving body and soul for eternity.
Spiritually speaking, I see a benefit of bringing Ebola to Texas in that we Christians have become more prayerful for the thousands of people who are suffering in West Africa. I’m truly sorry for the deaths of those who do not survive Ebola, yet each of us have an answer to our pain and suffering here on earth when we place our faith in our loving God and understand the way He made us to be reconciled with Him in eternity through the blood of Jesus Christ.
Salvation through faith in Christ is the true healing we all are offered during our time on earth. Without believing in His love through offering Jesus Christ as the only way of escaping the sickness of sin, our souls are doomed to death and eternal separation from the good and great God who created us. John 3:16-18 says:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
I know the media will not cover the spiritual disease plaguing the majority of the world. There will be no frenzy created because people ignore God’s love through Christ, but there should be.