April 21, 2021
This comes under the heading of: “I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am.” Officials in Mexico and Poland have discovered fraudulent vaccines for Covid-19. The ones in Mexico were being sold for about $1,000 per dose and the ones in Poland were thought to be an anti-wrinkle treatment. It makes sense though. People are fearful, many of them because a virus like this reminds them of how fleeting life is. It exposes the fact that they have no hope. Fearful people tend to be vulnerable, so you can see how this presents an opportunity for some to exploit this fear for gain. So far, it appears that about 80 people in Mexico were given the fraudulent vaccine and were not harmed by it, while in Poland, the discovery was made before they were administered to anyone.
It feels like the hustler on the western frontier selling his magic elixir from his wagon that will cure “whatever ails ya.” But worse than that, it is more like the Tetzels who, on orders from the pope, will sell indulgences (to those who can afford it) that promise to protect people after death from being accountable for their sins. This is double treachery and describes so much religion and vain philosophies. It takes money from people for a cure that is free, and gives them a cure that is no cure. The prophet Isaiah gave a preview of the true gospel when he said, “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” (Isaiah 55:1) In John 7:37, Jesus made it clear that He is the water. Then at the end of the book of Revelation, Jesus said, “To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.” (21:6) Do you see the point? It is not just available for those who have no funds to buy. It is also available for those who think they have funds, but their money is no good. This is a gift that is so perfectly and completely free that it will never be sold. Therefore, it can only be received by the needy who realize that they cannot pay for it.
But there is more. Five verses from the very end of the Bible (Revelation 22:17), the Church, the people of God, join with the Spirit, and together we get to announce this good news. We get to tell people to “Come!” And those who hear get to join us and say, “Come!” Do you see the point? The Spirit announces it, and we hear and respond. Then we join with the Spirit and announce it and others who hear also come. They join with us and now we all keep announcing to those who will hear to come. The news is almost too good to be true. There is living water for those who are thirsty, and it is free. Christ has provided fully, generously, and happily. When you get this living water, you want to announce it to others. You can announce it without hesitation because there is no shortage of this living water. It is 100% effective for eternity and it is available without cost to the needy. “Let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.”
Imagine being given charge of a multibillion-dollar philanthropic foundation. Your job is to help people by giving away someone else’s resources. Everyone you get to help gets to join you in helping you give more resources away. This is good because the foundation has so much money, that no matter how much you give away, there is always more to give. That is the heart of our mission. We get to invite needy people to come and receive Christ. He is free because He already paid the price. This message is worth guarding. It is worth sharing, particularly to people who are bound by their fear of a pandemic, because that is not their biggest fear. Their biggest fear is facing the truth about themselves. The gospel is 100% effective, forever. No booster shots needed.
Grace and peace,
Sunday’s Text: 2 Peter 1:5-7