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I appreciate the words of encouragement I have received from many concerning Sunday’s message. One point of clarification that has been asked for concerns those who are sick or suffering from a medical condition. That is a valid question.

James 5:14 carries this directive: “Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the Church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord”. My point here is the word “call”. Notice that the expectation is that the person is sick and at home, not in the Church, otherwise the command would be “go to the elders”.

That being the case, I am not speaking about those who are sick or have medical conditions. Each one of us must measure that out for ourselves as a matter of personal conviction. But my core thesis remains unchanged. To anyone who might be going to work or running your business or going to the store yet staying home from Church, I would challenge you to prayerfully review the references I provided during the sermon and ask yourself if your actions align with Christ’s teaching and if you’ve prioritized your life by the standards He left for us.

I realize these challenges are new to us, but I also believe that they are not without precedent in the history of the Church. I realize that what I said might be perceived as controversial or even offensive to some. I ask every one of us to consider this: For 2000 years the Church that was founded by Jesus Christ the Messiah has suffered persecution. The advancing of the Gospel has been watered in the blood of the saints who loved not their lives even unto death. When the day comes that we are called to lay down our lives for the sake of the Gospel will we be prepared to do so? Will we be prepared to stare down the bullet if that is what we are called to? And if it does not happen in our time, will we leave a legacy and example for the saints to come of what it means to pick up our crosses and follow Him? The decisions we make now will determine the answer.

As always, my love and prayers are with you all. If anyone would like to discuss this topic with me further, I would encourage you to contact me (John McCully) directly at (608) 312-3696. I would be happy to discuss this as Brothers and Sisters in Christ. To Him be all glory, honor and praise, now and forevermore, Amen.