In 1980, the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) officially declared the terrible disease, smallpox, eradicated. For those born before this year, smallpox was a feared disease with high morbidity and mortality. It was highly virulent, rapidly spread by direct contact and airborne particles. Because an effective vaccine existed, the W.H.O. began a dedicated effort in 1950 to complete eradicate the disease. In 1977, the last reported case was isolated in Somalia. Three years, later, the disease was declared eradicated.
As hideous and terrible a disease as smallpox, one missionary chose to use it as a metaphor to depict God, the Holy Spirit, working to convert a sinner into a believer in Jesus Christ. C.T. Studd was born into a wealthy upper-class family in England at the beginning of the 19th century. After his father was converted to Christianity, the younger Studd soon followed, giving up a promising career as a star cricket player for England. He completely devoted his life to the missions field, working in China, India, and Africa. “True religion is like the smallpox. If you get it, you give it others and it spreads.” While this quotation offended some, he knew it would be understood by his contemporaries.“Got the smallpox?” was a stirring metaphor to compare the work of the Holy Spirit to convert unbelievers to Christianity.
…But the word of God is not bound!
2 Timothy 2:9 (ESV)
As virulent as smallpox was, it will never compare to the power of the Holy Spirit. At the first sermon preached by the Apostle Peter on the day of Pentecost, three thousand souls came to Jesus Christ (Acts 2:41). The infection was beginning. The Gospel of Jesus Christ was being given out and it was contagious and rapidly spreading!
As the great missionary, C.T. Stubbs exuberantly declared, “Got the smallpox?” The Word of God is never bound because God, the Holy Spirit, can never be contained!
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.