Back in the 1980’s, a large quilt was made to remember those who passed away from AIDS. It seemed like it became a symbol of sympathy, pain, heartache, and memorial. The names and words to remember them by, tied people together. For it is there that the pain of their suffering is there and, perhaps, it may even serve as a place of trying to heal, obtain some sense of closure, or just to freeze a moment in time where that person remains alive.
It is very easy to be emotional about a quilt and the people that died to make this quilt possible. Sometimes, our emotions can cloud the true meaning behind their deaths.
The sin of homosexuality leading to acquire AIDS.
But the quilt of memorial also serves as a reflection of how tragic, and how deadly a disease could be.
Every 39 minutes, a person is diagnosed having contracted the HIV/AIDS virus. It is no longer an isolated incident. It is a worldwide pandemic that shows no sympathy to those contracting the disease by sexual immorality or women passing the disease to their child through pregnancy. Intravenous needles by drug use and transfusions. Accidental needle pricks, and other means.
This makes this disease a very unforgiving disease should acquisition takes place.
Several years ago, I ministered the gospel of Jesus Christ for salvation to my cousin. He contracted AIDS. I didn’t know what were the circumstances that brought about how he contracted the disease but there is always a God connection with every human story.
As a side issue, but important to note. I didn’t know this until after my mom passed on a bright sunny Sunday afternoon on August 23, 1998. Several years before her passing, she never went to church. But one day, the Lord saved me and my backslidden mother (please do not assume that this a disrespect when I mention my mother’s spiritual condition but until you read a situation correctly and call it what it is, you will never be truthful), returned to the Lord.
Incidentally, while my mother was recovering in the hospital after giving birth to me, her first son born out of wedlock, I was told by my mother that a preacher came into the room and he told her that I was going to be a preacher. This prophetic word came to pass on Saturday, September 7, 1979 at 7:30 PM in the lower level of Zion Baptist Church, in Brooklyn, NY. during a divine prayer encounter with the Lord during our Young Adult Evelyn Lowry Choir rehearsal.
For years during and after her backslidden condition, my mother was in search for her long loss sister. Earlier in her search, my mother didn’t know how close she was to ending her search because the lived in close proximity in Brooklyn and they didn’t even know it.
But God knew and that’s all you need to know sometimes.
A little background about my mother. She, Aunt Millie, and my late Aunt Leona were a church singing group that went around Blacksburg, VA, singing in various churches.
Anyway, Aunt Millie eventually moved to Wyandanch, New York and my mother Shirley, remained in Brooklyn, NY. Aunt Millie served the Lord and was either a Missionary or a Deaconess, but more importunely, she knew Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Anyway, after years of searching, the long lost sisters finally met.
Aunt Millie told my mother about her son in the AIDS ward and my mom asked me to go see him, so, I went.
The one thing about the Lord is that intersections of life always lead to an encounter ordained by God for one specific purpose. To win them to the Lord and to make sure their name is written in heaven.
I led him to the Lord and he is in heaven, with Jesus.
What do you do when a loved one has HIV. It turns into AIDS, and other complications come. What do you do?
The first thing that you have to do is be true to Jesus.
In Matthew 10:34-39, Jesus said……
“ Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to “set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter- in- law against her mother- in- law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household. ’ He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.”
You cannot love your siblings, parents, or anyone else more than Jesus. It doesn’t mean that we be cold, callous, distant, or disrespectful. It means that you love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind (see Luke 10:27).
To love the Lord means that you love truth. Truth comes from God, not from man. So to love God, you must love truth from God. Sinful man will always attempt to separate truth from God.
If man could make up his own version and call it “truth,” there would be no need for God. Therefore, whatever a man does, apart from God, is his own version of truth. But when you are not true to God, there can never be any truth in you. Just like the devil (see John 8:44).
When making up your own version of what you think is truth, you deny the Word of Truth. It’s the only way people can continue in sin or attempt to “make sense” of their condition senselessly.
Therefore, there must be absolute truth that comes from the Absolute God, which puts man either absolutely correct by grace, or absolutely incorrect and without grace.
Grace is unmerited favor or unearned favor that God lovingly grants to everyone that accepts the terms of salvation through Jesus Christ.
If a man refuses to come to this conclusion, no matter how emotionally attached to your version of “truth” you are, and, quite honestly, no matter how emotionally attached to the loss of your loved one or others, in the face of the Absolute God and His Word, there is no hope unless you accept the provision of salvation, made possible by the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul said this in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14…..
“But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.”
Those that have no hope will sorrow forever. But if you do not remove yourself from such sorrowing, and look to Jesus for the expectation of salvation, you are squandering any chance for eternal life.
As with many people that wonder why people die of this disease, few will conclude that it’s because of sin that this disease is contracted. We are not talking about collateral contraction. We are talking about a direct, deliberate, intentional act of sexual immorality that resulted in the contraction.
What few people understand is that the devil lied to you, your free moral will to do as you please worked against you, and as a result or consequence, the acquiring of a deadly virus is the body judging you for committing sin. When you insist on your way, apart from the ways of the Lord. When you engage in sexual immorality, your body will open up to STDs.
Because you were not made for sexual immorality (see 1 Corinthians 6:13b). You were made for the Lord.
Sin is a willful act of departure from the Lord and the body is now open to the price of sin. Just like when a burglar is caught robbing a store, when caught, not if, the judge sends you to jail as punishment. When a person commits a crime in the natural, it’s no different when a spiritual crime takes place.
What tends to happen is that a person becomes so emotionally distraught about a person contracting and dying of a disease that they lose sight as to how a person contracted that disease. The emotional state of people is what is behind their stance against the truth of God’s Word.
When there is no clear acceptance of the fact as to how a person contracted HIV?AIDS, it is easy to never assume responsibility for sin.
So what happens is that a person denies the sin part, looks only at the disease and death of a person, and disassociate themselves from anything that has to do with God and His Word. And they directly attack those that speak the truth in love. They are so emotionally attached to the person or persons that died, that no amount of truth is acceptable.
Such denials blinds a person and they are found fighting against any truth no matter how you put it over to emotionally driven people.
We are not talking about collateral contraction of the disease. The collateral argument is a real issue, but we must never let what may have happened as a collateral, deflect from the truth of the matter. Neither should we let collateral become the main topic or issue.
Such distractions or switch and bait kind of substitutions is a overt attempt to deflect from the truth.
Because it is an attempt to reverse the truth and develop your own version of truth.
They refuse to let the person that died go. As long as this “connection” to the person exists in some way, they may never accept the fact that sin is the true cause of the contraction.
And as cold as you think this may be, the Bible, in hot truth, says…. “The wages of sin is death…”
But it is a cold hard fact. Otherwise, the graveyard is unjust. Death is unjust. And God is unjust. But why did death come about in the first place? Because two individuals decided to disobey God. And Paul said….
“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.”
That’s the truth of the matter. Now, should you remain attached to those that have passed away of the AIDS virus, there is nothing that I, or anyone else will be able to do to persuade you. Online and in most book stores, the Bible is available. The Absolute God, and His Absolute Word is there as plain as day for all to see what God intended and what man intended to do in disobedience. But there is a solution and the solution is yours to accept or reject.
We are all saddened when a love one passes away. In particular, those that have passed away of the AIDS virus. But if we fail to look at the reason why they passed away, and accept the Bible as the only solution to death, if we reject the conclusion of the matter, no amount of human emotionalism, and emotional attachment will change the inevitable outcome.
As a sinner, Luke 13:1-5 comes to mind….
“There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answered and said to them, “ Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”
As a saint, the best and highest form of compassion is to minister the gospel of Jesus Christ. To get their names written in heaven.
As a child of God, I cannot be careful about this and should we fail to tell the truth, we are negligent in our responsibility. Such negligence is intolerable to the Lord and God would not be pleased.