In mid-February, Canadian Pastor James Coates was imprisoned for refusing to keep his church at 15% capacity, per his area’s mandates. He is still in prison, and the church owes hefty fines.
He is not the only Pastor being sent to jail for keeping the Godly mandate to “Don’t stop meeting together with other believers, which some people have gotten into the habit of doing. Instead, encourage each other, especially as you see the day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25). One church in San Jose has been fined 1 million dollars in administrative fines, while pastors Carson Athereley and Mike McClure have narrowly escaped jail time.
While many people feel differently about this, it is true: we need to continue meeting together with other believers. We need to continue to encourage each other as the days grow darker, and the time Christ comes back comes closer. Hebrews is God-breathed and inspired by the Holy Spirit, and was written because Jesus knows that we need community and encouragement in our lives.
As we see the time of Jesus coming back, meeting keeps our “oil filled.” This means we keep ourselves ready for when Jesus may come back– focused on Him and knowing that it could happen at any moment. COVID has made this difficult, but Christ is the One strengthening us.
Please pray with me for these pastors and congregations. May they be able to safely meet together, and may Christ reward them as He sees fit for not budging under the hand of the law.
Do you know Jesus?
Church should not be a mere social gathering. The church is the Body of Christ, whom Christ died for. Learn more about Jesus’ death, resurrection, and what it means for you here.
Please pray for…
- Churches to remain strong under pressure from authorities.
- Churches to also have wisdom and guidance from the Holy Spirit on how to proceed.
- Churches to be able to continue to meet in one form or another. The Church is not a building; it is the people within it!
- The COVID-19 pandemic to end soon.
Thank you for your prayers.