How can anything be worse than 30 million American workers being out of work? Or, losing our liberties and freedoms due to the demands brought upon our society by a socialistic government that utilizes a crisis to gain greater control over its citizens? Or experiencing the "stalker of death" invading our homes by taking mothers, fathers, children, loved ones and friends to an untimely demise?

What can be of greater trauma than to observe the economy of the greatest nation in the history of the world flounder in uncertainty and potential disaster brought about by accident or intention? And, while the pandemic is serious enough, the repercussions may be even more devastating.

While the citizens of this remarkable nation have rallied and responded to the demands of health authorities there is something over which they are either ignorant or over which they are neglectful as the proverbial ostrich that when trouble comes covers his head in the sand. There is a disaster far, far worse than the pandemic under which we suffer.

Unfortunately, most folks laugh this disaster off as supernatural nonsense or biblical folklore. While the bodies of men and women are essential to enjoy life on this planet, the existence of the soul (life) within the body is eternal and will live on as long as God, the Creator, lives.

That which is far worse than the suffering and death of the body is the eternal suffering and eternal death of the soul of man in hell.

Make no mistake about it, there is a hell. There is empirical evidence that Jesus Christ is God in fleshly form; the greatest proof is His physical, bodily resurrection, Romans 1:4, and Jesus spoke more about hell than He did about heaven. All mankind are born into this life as sinners before the Holy God of heaven and upon physical death will experience hell unless they (each one) acknowledges the fact of his or her sinfulness and will repent (II Corinthians 7:10) of it.

This verse states, "For godly sorrow works repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world works death." There is a kind of sorrow/regret over sin that accomplishes nothing spiritual. It results in death. But, a sorrow of a "godly sort" works the repentance that results in salvation.

Being sorry for one's sinful behavior is not sufficient in seeking forgiveness. Many manifest a sorrow over being caught, but give little thought as to how their sin of unbelief affects almighty God. What is the quality of your repentance, reader?

Moreover, there is one more truth mankind must believe and act upon. Jesus, in His perfect righteousness, became man's substitute.

II Corinthians 5:21 states, "For He (God) made Him (Jesus) to become sin for us ... that we might be made the righteousness of God through Him."

At the death of Jesus, God was satisfied that this payment of man's sin had been met and that the believing man/woman might be forgiven of his or her sin of unbelief.

While concern over COVID-19 that can destroy the body is justified, it is minor compared to the destiny of the soul, that is eternal.

"Prepare to meet thy God," Amos 4:12. Is He your God? He is if you have repented of your sinful nature and have turned to God who has sent Jesus to die for you. When you know God through faith in His Son's merit (as God in the flesh) and His work (on the cross and in Resurrection) you are prepared for life or death.

Clarke Poorman is interim pastor at Pine River Baptist Church.