“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” – Matthew 25:40

These two terms, “essential” and “nonessential,” have become mainstream language in the last several weeks. As our nation and our world has been rocked by COVID-19, hard decisions have been made to determine just who needs to be out in society and who ought to stay sheltered inside their homes. The terms used to distinguish these two groups of people that we’ve all been lumped into are “essential” and “nonessential.”

Many people are having to stay home from work. All of us, right now are having to stay home from church, and many changes are being made. Precautions and restrictions are implemented to keep the vast majority of people from being out in public places. 

The call for our day is a call to stay socially distanced from everybody else. You hear it all the time, “Are you essential or nonessential?” I cannot confirm this as I didn’t see it with my own eyes, but I heard from a source that police officers were even pulling folks over who were traveling on the highways and asking why they were traveling and where they were going and determining if their being in the road was nonessential according to the government standard. I wonder as you read this article if left up to the government standard, are you essential or nonessential?

I don’t know about you, but I believe it is troubling to begin distinguishing people as essential and nonessential. It almost seems like they’re saying that some people are more important than others. I do understand the need to flatten the curve and to do what we can to curtail the effects of the virus and hopefully shorten its impact and duration; however, I want us all to understand that there is no such thing as a nonessential with God.

Every person who is breathing air at this moment matters to God. You were created on purpose. You were a thought in the mind of God. You were on His heart. God took time to create you. God took time to write a plan for you. God took time to design a perfect will for your life. In fact, you are so essential to God that He sent His only begotten Son into this world to die on the cross to pay for your sins. The Bible tells us that Jesus died for the sins of the world, but I daresay that if you had been the only person here that needed to be saved, Jesus would have still willingly and happily died just for your sins. Now that’s essential if you ask me. 

As we go through these strange days and as we hear these new terms tossed about so flippantly, I want you to understand that you are essential to God. He wants to hear you pray. He wants to meet your needs. He wants to care about your cares. He wants to lift your burdens. He wants to put the food on your table, provide the shoes for your feet, and take care of you every single day. You are not a number to God. If you have been saved, you are His child. He knows you by name. Thank God for the truth that with God there is no such thing as nonessential, but all of us matter to the Master. You might feel like “the least of these,” but I’m here to report that you are essential!


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Justin Cooper

Justin Cooper, Assistant Pastor

Since 2006, Pastor Cooper has served as an evangelist and as a pastor, traveling across the nation holding revival meetings and preaching in Bible conferences. Pastor Cooper moved to join our staff in 2019 and is building the Tabernacle Bible Class. He and his wife, Desarae, are an incredible blessing to both the college and church families. Pastor and Mrs. Cooper have one son, Lincoln.