God is using Covid-19 to 'prune the Church' - Francis Chan

(Photo: YouTube/RZIM)

God is using coronavirus to "prune the Church and cut off branches that aren't bearing fruit", Francis Chan has said. 

The pastor and evangelist told the Q 2020 Virtual Summit that the Church would become a lot more fruitful because of it. 

In a bold address, he said that Christians can still be "fearless" in the face of death because even if they die from coronavirus, they are going to Heaven to receive their reward. 

Livestreaming from his home in Hong Kong, he addressed the question of whether the Church will survive the pandemic.

The Crazy Love author said that where the Church is true, it is "going to be fine".  He added that even in such a time as this, Christians are still called to "move forward and go". 

"I hear a lot of talk of people being concerned about whether their church is going to survive," he said. 

"The illustration I think of is, if I had a diamond right here, and I just smash it with a hammer, what would happen to that diamond? Nothing. If it's a real diamond, if it shatters, it wasn't real."

Referencing Matthew 16:18, in which Jesus says, "I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it," Chan said it was important to trust in these words.

"This is going to be a group that the gates of Hell can't stand against," Chan said of Christians.

"No virus, no government, no economic this or that, life, death, nothing.

"And so we as believers are supposed to trust the words of Jesus and go.  The Church is going to be fine. If anything, this is the time where God is going to prune the Church and cut off branches that aren't bearing fruit, but it's only going to become more fruitful.

"And so with that type of confidence, we have to move forward and go, what's the worst thing that happened to me? I die and receive the award I've been ... longing for my whole life. We can be fearless."

Chan went on to suggest that it is in such a crisis as the coronavirus pandemic that Christians can shine.  Likewise, the outbreak hasn't come as any surprise to God, he said. 

"We were literally made for this, prepared for this," he said. 

"Jesus promised that there would be this Church that would rise, and He told us that in the latter days, there would be the signs and wonders and that that this Church really would be that unified and that in love with one another."

He added: "God knew this day was coming. And here it is. And so let's move forward. And trust the change."