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serving jesus christ the king

Plague of Plagues

In 2001 foot and mouth disease made us like a nation under siege. Police and army patrolled the borders. Vehicles were turned away. Everywhere you went there were mats down at doorways, soaked in disinfectant. Marts were shut down, imports and exports were hit, tourism suffered. Lives were lost as farmers despaired.

Who can forget the TV pictures of mountains of dead animals heaped up and set on fire, flames climbing heavenwards, a column of smoke rising high into the sky? All around the horizon was dotted with similar pillars of smoke.

Now it’s back.

It has the farming community terrified; the potential for loss is staggering.

Yet it seems so innocent—a few cold sores on the faces of animals. What could be so bad about that? Then we hear that if even the slightest infected particle comes into the country the results could be disastrous.

If you ever wanted a picture of the seriousness of sin we’ve had one this past week.

Sin is like foot and mouth disease. Except worse—it is the plague to beat all plagues. And yet it seems so innocent, a bit of ‘harmless fun’ at times, perhaps a flash of anger here or a pang of jealousy there, perhaps a few thoughts we wouldn’t be keen on others knowing, but sure what’s the harm? Sure there’s worse—murder, rape and the like—we don’t do those; we’re not that bad.

But to God it’s like the difference between being a wee bit infected and a big bit infected. You’re still infected. Even the smallest breaking of God’s law shuts the doors of heaven tighter than a cordon around an infected farm. Seemingly innocent, yet fatal.

Could you imagine people coming to the border and wanting to cross saying “Yes, but we’re only a little bit infected, ah go on, let us in”? Not a hope, not a chance. Or try taking an infected animal onto a local farm to see the reaction.

Transfer the scene now to heaven. The rules have been made equally clear. What chance will you have of getting in?

The experts in farming tell us that the future of the industry hangs in the balance. Outbreak could be calamitous. The bible is God’s expert witness on sin. It says we are all born infected, and add to it daily. Our future hangs in the balance, and the balance is already tipped against us. We are on the wrong side of the scales. In short, we are doomed, like the animals on an infected farm.

We deserve to be thrown onto the fire, but God offers to do what we can’t: remove the infection, give us a new start, make us clean in his sight and keep us clean, so that there can be no doubt about our entry into heaven. Will you take up his offer, or stay infected?