Much of the World is currently living in fear: ‘Will I be exposed to the Coronavirus? Will I be able to keep my hands clean enough? Will I have enough money to pay my bills? Will I have enough food and water? Will I be able to pay the mortgage and the car payment? Will I be homeless? Will my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren be ok? Will the wrong political party use this uncertainty for their advantage?’
‘Will I have enough toilet paper?’
As Christians, we should be able to see this as a time of excitement and anticipation rather than of fear and trepidation. Many of us have been believing that we are living in the End Times, the time just prior to Jesus Christ’s return for His Church at the Rapture. What we are seeing around us are ‘signs of the times,’ events and circumstances that are unfolding just as Jesus said they would.
We, more than any others, should be able to recognize the ‘signs of the times,’ but, unfortunately, many of us do not.
In 1 Chron 12, we read of, ‘the sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do…’
Jesus upbraided the Pharisees, the religious leaders of the day, because they failed to recognize the prophesied signs pointing to His birth in Bethlehem and then His later miraculous ministry. He said, “Whenever you see a cloud rising out of the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming’; and so it is. And when you see the south wind blow, you say, ‘There will be hot weather’; and there is. Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time?’” (Luke 12:54-56).
Paul wrote, “But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober” 1 Thes 5:1-6).
As Jesus and His disciples were near the Temple, they asked Him what would be the sign of the end of the Age and His return. He gave them several things which would herald His coming and the End Times. Among other signs, He said there would be wars and rumors of wars, great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences. He then said, “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”
Jesus was not speaking of His Second Coming, when He will come back to Earth. That will not occur until all the events of the seven-year Tribulation and the reign of the Antichrist culminate in His return at the Battle of Armageddon, when all the armies of the Earth will be arrayed against Him. Here, in Luke 21, he is speaking of our redemption in the Rapture, when the true Church, the Body of the Lord Jesus Christ, will be removed in an instant. That will happen at any moment from now without any other prophecy needing previous fulfillment.
One of the signs to look for, that when it only begins to happen, are pestilences. A pestilence is defined as: a usually fatal epidemic disease, especially bubonic plague. The Wuhan Coronavirus is a pestilence.
The World is drowning in fear and darkness. Jesus said that we are the light of the World; we have the answer for the fear in the World. Jesus said, “Fear not for I am with you; I will never leave you or forsake you; I Am with you always, even to the end of the World.” Through Peter, He told us to always be ready to give an explanation of the hope that is within us. Paul said that our ‘blessed hope’ is our soon-coming deliverance in the Rapture. That is the hope we are to be able to explain to others: though the World’s economies and governments are clearly falling apart, we can have hope and peace for the present and for eternity; we are the children of God.
God is sovereign; He is in control of everything; we have nothing to fear.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:6-7).
Even though we see turmoil all around, “…but now He has promised, saying, ‘Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.'” Now this “Yet once more,” indicates the “removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain” (Heb 12:26-27).
Coronavirus is shaking the World and has its full attention. We are all watching whether or not we become sick, and we are all watching as the bottom falls out of the World’s stock markets and economies. We may be looking at a Worldwide recession or even another great depression. We are seeing the World shaken by things which could eventually destroy its entire economy.
The things that cannot be shaken, however, are our faith in Him, our eternal salvation, our homes with Him in Heaven as well as on the New Earth and in the New Jerusalem, and His love and care for each of us, His children, whom He loves to the utmost.
We are watching and waiting for our deliverance in the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The rest of the World is watching and waiting for their hoped-for deliverer who will turn out to be none other than the Antichrist himself.
To any who are watching with an eye on eternity, it is becoming clearer every day that what we are watching is the type of Worldwide event that could easily lead to the one-World government, economy and religion of the Antichrist.
“… for when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them…” (1 Thes 5).
Just a few weeks ago, many around the World were believing they were living in peace and safety.
We are in the End Times. The Coronavirus may be the thing that leads into the Worldwide economic upheaval that opens the door to the Rapture and the rise of the Antichrist. Or… this, too, shall pass, with the World’s economy coming back to some semblance of normality, leaving us with some weeks, months or years before the end. We don’t know for certain; what we do know for certain is that God has the entire World and especially us, His children, in the palm of His hand.
‘Rejoice in the Lord when you encounter trials, rejoice in the Lord, knowing you are in His hand. Since He cares for the flowers and He cares for the birds… don’t you know that you’re far more precious to Him than any one of those… rejoice in the Lord, knowing you are in His hand.’ (one of my choruses)
The World is drowning in fear and darkness. We are the light of the World. We have the answer for the fear in the World. Jesus said, “Fear not for I am with you; I will never leave you or forsake you; I Am with you always, even to the end of the World.”
Rest your hope in Him; look up for His soon return, in the clouds, for you; always remember, you are the light of the World while it lies in darkness and hopelessness. Know how to explain the hope you have; they will only come to salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ if you have the love and the courage to tell them the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. That means sin, death, hell, Jesus Christ, His shed blood on the cross, forgiveness, resurrection, the Love of God, Heaven and Eternity.
Find and study clear, concise explanations of the Gospel; memorize them; you won’t always have your Bible with you.
“Be diligent [study] to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim 2:15).
Study: there will be a test; there will be many tests; this is just one, just the latest but He will whisper to us the answers; He will never leave us.