This article was written by Neal Scoggins, Evangelism Strategist on the Church Health team at the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.
On April 18, 2021, our nation recorded a vaccine milestone with 50.4% of adults being vaccinated. At first glance, this is a great thing that needs to be celebrated, regardless of how you feel about the vaccines. Behind the numbers this means that more than half of the United States population is in agreement on something.
During that same time period, Gallup released the 2020 results of American church membership. For the first time in 80 years there are only 47% of Americans that claim that they attend church at least once a month. This means that less than half of Americans are even concerned about being involved in a church community. These statistics lead us to ponder the following question: Why can’t we get on board with the Gospel just like we have with Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson? The real question is this, what assurance do these vaccine providers give that seems to be missing with what we believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ can give? As believers in Christ this should cause each of us a feeling of grief. In the words of the scientists themselves, vaccines only provide a little more than 90% of physical coverage from one virus. However, the book of Romans records the 100% guarantee of the Gospel; “… It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes …” (Romans 1:16 NLT).
COVID-19 vaccines were designed to remedy a recent global problem that, even to this day, lists casualties that rival that of a major war. But wait, hasn’t sin done more damage? Even prior to the current pandemic, sin has wreaked havoc in lives, minds, and communities around the world. Sin has robbed people of their joy, created separation from each other and our Creator God, as well as hindered our prayers. The pandemic of sin is an ongoing problem. However, the vaccine for the penalty of sin is wrapped in the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ.
That famous epidemiologist, the Apostle Paul, who was a pretty good letter writer as well, began to promote a vaccine for sin centuries ago. In his official letter of concern regarding the pandemic of sin to the Gentile Christians in Rome, Paul says this about this new vaccine; “For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes…” (Romans 1:16 NLT). Hold it! Paul not only shares the manufacturer of the vaccine, but he also shares the efficacy rate. Manufactured by a veteran creator responsible for daily sunshine and the periodic rainbow, this vaccine of “The Gospel” works 100% of the time. The only activating ingredient is belief. This is life-changing – literally.
Why is there no red ribbon government commission on the effects of “the Gospel” on the sin of the land? Why have we not heard of the research and development department of the power of the Gospel? Why are there no associations committed to the advancement of the Gospel vaccine? There is one. It’s called the church.
If this is the case, why are we only at 47% penetration in America? Could it be that those that are commissioned to vaccine the community have abandoned the active ingredient – belief? Maybe we believe that it works on some, but not on others. With a 100% efficacy rate, the least we can do is share. Just something to think about.