In the last fifty years, the world has seen its share of economic, social, and geopolitical unrest. While events like the Vietnam War, the assassination of JFK, and Black Monday had the collective attention of only segments of society, there are primarily two events that have galvanized the attention of the entire planet for an extended duration. One is September 11th, 2001, and the other is the current global onslaught of the Coronavirus (Covid 19). Both of these events and their effects have literally captured the attention of the entire planet. Much of what is occurring on the world stage is a rapid convergence of events that will ultimately culminate in the second coming of Christ. We can’t afford to be lukewarm or apathetic when it comes to eternal matters because everything that can be shaken will be shaken (Hebrews 12:25-28).
The writer of Hebrews is reiterating (Haggai 2:6) and warns that a stronger shaking is coming in the future. Many people that God created continue to spurn his loving gift of salvation through Jesus. Even now, the unrepentant masses are in denial about how global events are pointing toward the soon return of Jesus. As a Bible teacher, I often use end-time Bible prophecy as a primer to witness to people and to turn conversations toward important matters of salvation and eternity. It is no different given the current Covid 19 crisis, as people want to know what, if anything, this situation has to do with the biblical end-time scenario.
Regarding the Coronavirus, these are my thoughts and conjecture, and I’m in no way saying, “Thus saith the Lord” except for what is clearly written in his word. In Luke 21:11, Jesus gives us a series of events that will certainly take place before his return, and one of the signs mentioned is pestilence. Plagues and pestilence have assailed humanity for centuries including the recent SARS and MERS outbreaks. Unlike those recent outbreaks, Covid-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus) has the collective attention of the entire planet. There is a multiplicity of reasons for this, specifically, its impact on the global economy. The Stock Market and global markets are reeling in recent weeks, and words like recession and depression are now common on Wall Street.
What do these recent events have to do with Bible prophecy and the return of Jesus? Everything, because we are just beginning to see conditions that could easily set in place the events Jesus mentioned in Matthew 24:4, Luke 21:7-11, and Revelation 6:5-8. One thing we should be diametrically opposed to is unbiblical nonsense including the sort of hype that defined Y2K, Bible Codes, and supposedly knowing the day of Christ’s return. But we also want to avoid the equally unbiblical knee-jerk response of completely ignoring end-time Bible prophecy.
A lot of people and, unfortunately, some ‘Bible teachers’ are speculating this is the start of the Tribulation, which it is not. First, in the Bible, the word tribulation means trial or trouble (thlipsis) but the Great Tribulation is mentioned. It is the latter half of the seven-year period Daniel mentions that will end history as we know it. This seven-year period begins with a peace accord with Israel and Antichrist, not with any preacher’s special revelation.
Here’s the thing: Coronavirus may come and go. I don’t know if it is one of the end-time pestilences Jesus warned would come, but I have no reason to believe it isn’t one. We may very well be approaching the birth pains and beginning of sorrows Jesus warned about as these events are increasing in frequency and severity like never before.
One thing is certain; for years, the world, and especially those of us in the West have had a sense of invincibility, self-reliance, and insulation from events that wreak havoc in other parts of the globe. That rose-colored optimism was obliterated in recent months. We’ve witnessed global markets in a nose-dive, governments struggling to cope, events canceled, schools and churches closed, and food scarcity unheard of in the West in recent history. Governments are pumping billions into faltering economies with little effect.
A time is coming and may soon be here when these pestilences and other conditions Jesus warned us about will render the world economy, governments, and infrastructure unrecognizable. A global leader will soon emerge, and he will be able to bring about a one-world government, economy, and religion in the wake of catastrophic geopolitical events. When I read Matthew 24, Luke 21, and Revelation 6, I don’t feel like I’m reading about the distant future, but rather current news headlines.
As a believer, I’m deeply troubled and saddened about the human toll and the effects of Coronavirus. No one should be cheering this on as a catalyst for end-time hype; but amid all of the deprivation and suffering, our hope should be in Christ. Saints of old would greet one another with the word Maranatha. It’s an Aramaic word which means, “Come, O Lord,” or “The Lord is coming.” True disciples are looking for end-time Bible prophecy to be fulfilled because it culminates in Jesus’ return as the Prince of Peace, and he will put an end to human suffering, sin, and death.
So, what do Christians do as we see events leading up to Christ’s return?
Jesus told us what to do in his word. We are to be salt and light in this dark world. In just the past few weeks, we’ve seen the best and worst in humanity. Although there have been pockets of compassion, the sheer lack of human kindness is appalling. 2 Timothy 3:1 comes to mind as we are witnessing what Paul warned would come. As believers, I want to exhort you toward personal holiness, prayer, and time in the word. I also want to encourage you to witness to others. People are desperately looking for peace at a time when peace is hard to find. We have the gospel of peace. We can keep a safe distance while praying with people, distributing Bibles, and telling others about coming judgment, repentance, and what it means to be wretched before a holy God. Explain to them what it means to be born-again and to come to saving faith in Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8).
This is no time for apathy, business as usual, or ignorance and arrogance toward Bible prophecy because everything that can be shaken, will be shaken. It’s a dereliction of duty for anyone in Christian leadership to neglect the teaching of end-time Bible prophecy. If you fail to protect and warn your flock, you are a hireling, not a shepherd.
Dear Christian, the Coronavirus didn’t catch God by surprise. He isn’t in heaven pacing the floor wondering what to do. He is in control, and his concern is saving sinners. You can be a bold witness for Jesus at a time like this. Although we can’t meet for church, we are still the church, the Body of Christ. I want you to understand that it’s a loving thing to warn people. I’m giving you a loving warning and exhortation based on biblical authority that things won’t always continue as they have been (2 Peter 3:4). In a day when many professing Christians are sinking into apostasy, I want to encourage you to keep oil in your lamp and contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. This is certainly the time to love as Jesus loves, as people are in desperate need of salvation. Go into all the world and preach the gospel. Maranatha! (Revelation 21:4)
A personal note of encouragement:
Many people are worried and anxious about the coronavirus and all the uncertainty that it brings. Jesus said he would give us his peace. Dear Christian friend, I want to invite you to contact us, and we will certainly stand in prayer with you. *We have believers from all over the world visiting our site, so please comment below this same article on our site at www.concerningthetimes.com; that way other Christians can encourage and pray for you as well. If you want to know about Jesus and what he says about eternal life, please contact us.
All for Him,
Concerning The Times Ministries