God, Aids and You! (Zacharias T. Fomum)
A young man of about 34 years of age came into our Clinic for Spiritual Diseases to be prayed for.
He was intelligent and well-mannered. He was a part-time lecturer at an institution of higher learning and owned a prosperous business in town. Physically, he was lean and complained of not feeling too well. We prayed for him and he left. He felt much better after that. Many months afterward, I was asked to go and pray for him at home because his condition was getting worse. I went to his home and found his two children playing in the yard. On inquiry, I was informed that he had gone out. Three months afterward, word came to me that he was dead. He had been suffering from AIDS, had hidden this fact from most people and had informed his parents of it only towards the end of his life. He told them that he had had a blood transfusion some fourteen years earlier in a neighbouring country and that that was how he had come in contact with the disease! Oh, he had got in contact with the disease fourteen years earlier but had lived as a normal person until the year in which he died!
AIDS stands for Acquired Immune-Deficiency Syndrome. It is a disease which, when contracted, causes a breakdown or destruction of the defense mechanism of the body against various infections, eventually resulting in death. AIDS is caused by infection with the Human Immune-Deficiency Virus (HIV).
AIDS is transmitted through the following:
Use of unsterilised infected needles, blades or knives.
Use of infected razor-blades or tooth brushes.
Use of infected instruments for making traditional marks on the body or for piercing ears.
Transfusion of infected blood.
An infected mother to her unborn baby.
The following people stand a high risk of contracting AIDS:
Those who practise homosexual activities.
Those who practise bisexual activities.
People who practise sex with people who are not their married partners.
People who practise sex with people whose health condition is not known.
People who receive a blood transfusion without thorough examination of the blood.
People who are involved in intravenous drug abuse.
People who receive injections from unqualified persons.
People who receive injections given with unsterilised equipment.
YOU ARE IN DANGER
An honest look at the list of those who stand a high risk of contracting AIDS makes it clear that, with care, the possibility of contracting AIDS through blood transfusion, use of unsterilised equipment and the like can be eliminated easily. It is also evident that the cases of AIDS contracted through these sources are negligible. This leaves us with sex as the main means of spreading AIDS. Of the tens of thousands of AIDS patients in the world, and the over ten million carriers of the AIDS virus, the vast majority contracted the disease through sexual activity. The way to keep totally free of the disease is to keep away from God-forbidden sexual activities.
You may ask,
“Which are God-forbidden sexual activities ?”
They include the following:
Sexual activities with someone of your sex.
Sexual intercourse with someone of the opposite sex who is not your legally married partner.
Kissing someone who is not your married partner.
Caressing someone who is not your married partner.
Looking lustfully at someone who is not your married partner.
Desiring to have a sexual relationship with someone who is not your married partner.
You may also ask: “What have the issues raised in 3–6 above got to do with AIDS?”
Let us explain: If you have a wound in the mouth, and you kiss someone who has AIDS and is bleeding around the gums of the teeth, you may catch the disease and later on die from it. One kiss may cost you your life! Also, there is the tendency for the desires in a person’s heart to become reality. The person who entertains a forbidden sexual relationship in his thoughts may later find that his thoughts have been translated into action. Thoughts are powerful. They lay hold on people and compel them to act. So, the person who entertains the desire to have a God-forbidden sexual act is planting seeds that will destroy him. When the thoughts or the desires of his heart get hold of him, he may commit sexual immorality with someone who has AIDS and, thus, expose himself to the disease that may bring him to premature death.
The Bible says:
Each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. (James 1:14–15)
Listen, the God-forbidden desire in your heart is certainly the beginning of your ruin unless you do something about it.
The other thing is this: You can commit sexual immorality only once and destroy yourself permanently. Yes, one sexual encounter with a man or a woman who has AIDS or the AIDS virus could cost you your life. You do not need to commit sexual immorality with several people in order to catch the disease. One act, a few minutes of illicit pleasure, could cost you everything.
YOU MAY BE DYING
When there is a sexual relationship between a healthy person and a person who has AIDS or the AIDS virus, one of the following things will happen to the healthy person:
He may not contract the AIDS virus.
He may get the AIDS virus but not develop the disease at all.
He may get the AIDS virus and develop a mild form of the disease.
He may get the AIDS virus and develop the full-blown disease.
Because you do not know which of these four possibilities will happen to you, the one way of safety is to avoid every form of God-forbidden sexual act. Also, the time that elapses between the sexual act and the manifestation of the disease can vary from a few months to over ten years. If you have had sexual intercourse during the last ten years with a person you were not certain did not have the AIDS disease or the AIDS virus, it could be that your casual or frequent sexual partner had the disease or the virus. It could also be that you contracted the disease and the virus is developing slowly in you, even though the last God-forbidden sexual act was many years ago, and may soon be manifest. You may be a dying man. In a sense, that day when you had that God-forbidden sexual relationship, you died and only time separates you, thereafter, from the grave!
ALL HUMAN BEINGS ARE DYING
Not all human beings have the AIDS virus or the disease. However, all human beings are dying. The grave is certain. Those with the disease, AIDS, will die and those without the disease, AIDS, will also die. They will all die because of various diseases. The only difference between the person with AIDS and the person without AIDS is that the person with AIDS is likely to die sooner. So, physical death is certain for all human beings. You are dying, physically. You began to die the day you were born. Your disease has only come in to accelerate the process of dying.
YOU HAVE A DISEASE MORE DANGEROUS THAN AIDS
We have said that all human beings will die physically. If all ended with physical death, then the worry about AIDS would be limited. The problem is that all does not end with physical death. The grave will not bring your story to an end. There is more beyond physical death.
The Bible says,
“People are destined to die once, and after that to face judgement.” (Hebrews 9:27)
There is physical AIDS. It is incurable. It will lead to premature physical death. It will ruin all that God had in store for you in this life. Some people have physical AIDS and others do not have it. Those who have it will suffer physically for it.
There is Spiritual AIDS. Spiritual AIDS is far more dangerous than physical AIDS. Spiritual AIDS has the power to destroy people spiritually and eternally, while physical AIDS has the power to destroy people only physically and only in this life. Spiritual AIDS destroys its victim forever and ever. Spiritual AIDS is the disease called SIN. Those who have the SIN syndrome manifest the following: independence from God, passive or active rebellion against God, wickedness, greed, hatred, envy, murder, criminal abortion, bribery, fighting, lying, bitterness, anger, gossip, backbiting, hatred of God, insolence, pride, jealousy, drunkenness, idol worship, magic, witchcraft, ancestor worship, adultery, fornication, falsehood, gluttony, self-exaltation, self-advertisement, etc.
Spiritual AIDS (SIN) separates a man from God, puts a barrier between God and man, and exalts man instead of God.
All human beings have Spiritual AIDS. There is no human being who loves God as he should. There is no human being who hates all that God hates as he should. There is no human being who is not caught up with the worship of himself, even if this is done to a limited degree only. These are some manifestations of spiritual AIDS (SIN).
Spiritual AIDS (SIN) will lead to the eternal separation of its victim from God. It will lead one to a terrible future beyond this life. It will lead one to the lake of fire. This means that anyone who does not get treated of his spiritual AIDS will be cast into the lake of fire and he will burn there for ever.
The Bible says: Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:14–15)
The Bible again says: But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practise magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulphur. This is the second death. (Revelation 21:8)
Dear reader, you are going to this lake of fire unless you do something at once to change your situation. God is holy and He cannot have a proper relationship with those who practise SIN. God is holy and He must punish sin permanently. That is why He will throw those who have sinned, continue to sin and do not turn to Him, into the lake of fire.
There is a difference between physical AIDS and Spiritual AIDS that is remarkable. Physical AIDS will lead to sure physical death. Spiritual AIDS, on the other hand, has a remedy. The person who has Spiritual AIDS can be rescued from the punishment that he deserves!
Although all human beings have sinned and, thus, have Spiritual AIDS and deserve to go to the lake of fire, God in his wondrous love has provided a way to escape the lake of fire. That way to escape the lake of fire is the Lord Jesus Christ.
God loves you and does not want you to reap the full consequences of your sin. He loves you and does not want you to die the second death which entails being thrown into the lake of fire. God intervened to ensure that you are rescued. He showed His love for you by sending Jesus Christ, His only Son, to die on the Cross for you and, thereby, suffer eternal death for you. Jesus took upon Himself the dreadful punishment for the disease, SIN, which you ought to have suffered. He bore your punishment for you in a final way.
Because the Lord Jesus died for you, you can be set free from spiritual AIDS (SIN) such that even if you die physically because of physical AIDS, you will not suffer the penalty of Spiritual AIDS (SIN) after the grave. If you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and receive Him as your personal Lord and Saviour, you may die physically but you will never go to the lake of fire. If you receive the Lord Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour, God will act on your behalf in such a way that it will be impossible for you to go to the lake of fire. In addition to ensuring that you will never go to the lake of fire, God has provided for you in heaven, a wonderful eternal home. This means that if you receive the Lord Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, when you die from whatever cause and at whatever age, the Lord Jesus will take you to heaven, which is His dwelling place, and there with Him you will live in unending happiness, joy, peace, love and all else that is good, for ever and ever.
This is wonderful news for you who have physical AIDS. This is wonderful news for you who do not have physical AIDS. This is wonderful news for everyone.
RECEIVE THE LORD JESUS AS YOUR PERSONAL SAVIOUR NOW
You surely want to escape the lake of fire and go to heaven to spend eternity in the wonderful home, called heaven, which the Lord Jesus has prepared for you. All you need to do now is to receive Him. To receive Him, you should do the following four things, represented by the letters A, B, C, and D:
A) ADMIT that you are a sinner. Say to God, “God, I have Spiritual AIDS. I have sinned against you and I have sinned against people. I have been independent of You, at least in part. Sometimes I have rebelled against You actively or passively. I have committed sin in thought, word and deed. My life is not right before you. I deserve to be punished by You for ever. Lord, although I deserve eternal punishment, please do not punish me.”
B) BELIEVE that Jesus died on the Cross for the sins of the whole world, in general, and for your own personal sins, in particular. Believe that because Jesus died for you on the Cross, He is the only one who can save you from the lake of fire and give you a place in His heaven.
C) CONSIDER the cost of following the Lord Jesus. If you receive Him, you will have to forsake all sin and all sinful practises in your life, at any cost to yourself. Yes, you will have to forsake all or else Jesus cannot save you! In addition, you must be prepared to follow Jesus for the rest of your life, at any cost to you. If you are not prepared to live for Him, come sun, come rain, then He cannot save you.
D) DO. If you are prepared to forsake all sin and to follow Him, at any cost, just say to Him in prayer, “Lord Jesus, come into my heart and my life. Be my Lord and Saviour. I now turn my back to all the sin in my life and I will follow you for ever, at any cost to me.”
If you have received the Lord Jesus according to the steps above, then you have become a child of God and your sins are forgiven.