More Than Just a Looming Pandemic :: By Edwin Tan

When our Lord Jesus walked the earth in His First Coming, He was quick to cite the lack of faith amongst the planet’s inhabitants. Such were his chastisements: first with his disciples when a storm threatened (Matthew 8:26) and then again in Mark 9:19 when faced with a near-impossible situation concerning a seemingly incurable case. Our dear Lord was pulling no punches when he alluded to the paucity of faith when the Son of Man returns to the earth (Luke 18:8).

Fast forward to the current situation: any brave faces in the face of the terrifying scourge of the coronavirus? So many faces hidden by surgical masks tells you something. What about airlines slashing their routes as tourist and business travel dives? On the other hand, there are many instances of hoarding up of essentials in a spree of panic buying. Rock concerts and other major events are cancelled in droves as the fear of contagion compels many to shun large gatherings. This is even the case where churches have postponed services.

Without a doubt, the coronavirus has a hefty mortality rate besides making many people very ill. The consequences of such a trend have resulted in lockdowns, which in turn have severe socio-economic ramifications. Such is the case with global equity markets reeling from a gloom and doom outlook that has produced losses to the tune of five trillion dollars!

While the physical toll of the coronavirus can be quantified, what about the psychological impact which is difficult to compute? More like the bark being worse than the bite! The turmoil that is rapidly evolving is primarily a product of fear – countless souls are simply running scared. Such is the case of normalcy as many know it being “out the window.” Routines are dispensed with while the unfamiliar takes the forefront, like the case of temperature checks followed by the recording of contact information before entering a public facility.

There are a few quarters who claim that the current malady is the pale horse so mentioned in Revelation 6:8. But these individuals got it terribly wrong because we are not yet in the seven-year Tribulation. The Age of Grace is still in existence. However, everyone is given a kind of sneak preview of what will be the case in earth’s worst moments. But what is happening pales in comparison to that trial which will be coming to people who are in the Tribulation.

A few days ago, the head of the World Health Organization made a telling remark while choosing not to declare a full-blown pandemic. He spoke of the utilization of every effort to effect a successful containment. With an educated guess, it could translate into a host of iron-fisted measures: stringent contact-tracing protocols, which implies monitoring every human being across the continents. Whether the present problem is dealt with effectively or not, the justification for a global-monitoring framework will very well gather wind in its sails. As for the shell-shocked if not panic-stricken masses, there is little need for a brute-force cajole. Many will inadvertently subscribe to this mantra as an accepted practice.

The way things are playing out only points to the shaping of things the scoffers poked fun at – that is, if they took matters seriously. Shadows of the hour of testing are fast and furious as the case for a one- world government gathers pace. This concept is no longer material for a comic book but could be hard reality in a matter of years!

Then, there is that remnant, myself included, who see the silver lining in what is fast evolving. While more than a sizeable number of hearts fail because of that which is coming, we look up as our redemption draweth nigh. Why?

We do not just have cognizance but a bigger note we believe strongly, as demonstrated by our faith.

Do not be surprised if the current state of play foreshadows the delusion that will plague those without faith, who are mired in unbelief.

Because of the Blessed Hope, we are out of the picture when things get nasty.