Pandemic Takeaway Message: “Prepare for Eternity”
By Ayi Rayos-Guinanao
This pandemic is sure to leave unique memories to humanity. While we find ourselves in the middle of entirely new experiences (such as prolonged lockdowns), we are also reminded to revalue the all-too-often taken for granted essentials of life (such as keeping our hands clean).
All these are takeaways from this period, which would remind us in the future how life had been through a pandemic, circa 2020.
For many members of the Jesus Is Lord (JIL) Church Worldwide, attending online Worship and Healing Services Sunday after Sunday has been a new experience. In the Philippines and across the world, community quarantine and community lockdowns have forced church activities, including worship services, to go entirely online.
JIL members—characteristically enthusiastic in listening to the teaching and preaching of the Holy Word—share their takeaways from the online Worship and Healing Services that they had attended. And it is no surprise that the heart of these takeaways is about valuing our eternal life, as JIL’s Founder and Spiritual Director himself, Bro. Eddie C. Villanueva, had launched a series of teachings on “Prepare for Eternity.”
The better life
Bro. Rowell Otucan, 20, from JIL U-Belt, remembered Bro. Eddie’s preaching about life in heaven being better than life on earth. He said, “We should not settle for less here on earth because there is a better [life] waiting for us [in heaven].”
“We need to have a mindset that we would all one day leave this world,” Bro. Rowell added.
He said that Bro. Eddie’s messages reminded him that rapture is the blessed hope that God gave to Christians.
Sis. Clavel De Castro, 60, from JIL Pola in Oriental Mindoro, said that she continues to catch online Worship and Healing services even if their area has started transitioning to allowing public gatherings, including church services.
According to Sis. Clavel, Bro. Eddie’s messages reminded her that we are in the last of the last days. She said, “We need to prepare. We need to nurture our relationship with the Lord, live a life of holiness before God, and ensure being included in the rapture of the Church – the ‘grandest reunion in the air’ with God.”
She also said she liked that the messages highlighted the importance of obeying the commandments of God.
Back to our calling
Bro. Clark Santos, 21, from JIL U-Belt and Nueva Ecija, recalled hearing from Bro. Eddie about the purpose of the ongoing pandemic. That it is to correct humanity from its ways apart from God and to redirect us back to our calling. He recalled hearing that “it is high time for believers to rise for the advancement of God’s Kingdom and to shift the destiny of our generation back to God.”
As an insight, Bro. Clark said that it’s hard to share God’s Word with other people when the believers themselves are not even sure about their life in eternity.
Sis. Helen Dallorann, 87, from JIL San Mateo in Isabela, said she learned from attending the online Worship and Healing Services that as Christians, our final and most important goal in our existence is to be with our Lord Jesus Christ in eternity. That is why we must be prepared for it.
Sis. Helen said, “We learned in the teachings the urgency of this preparation for eternity, and the fundamental ‘hows’ in order to prepare.” According to her, the messages she heard encouraged her to seek God even more through prayer and fasting, reading the Bible, and listening to more spiritual teachings online. “I enjoy being part of the church service even if it is online,” she testified.
These are takeaway messages from JIL’s online Worship and Healing services that are indeed timely not only during this pandemic, but more so as we continue to wait for the rapture. This is a crystal-clear essential message.
For millennials Rowell (L) and Clark (R), hearing the messages Sunday after Sunday atthe online Worship and Healing services leads to an introspection: "How prepared am I for eternity?"
Sis. Clavel, 60 (L), and Sis. Helen, 87 (R), took time to learn using technology to make sure to still attend Sunday services in this “new normal.”