Is COVID-19 the End of the Beginning of Sorrows? :: By Joe Southerland

“And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:3-8).

“This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” – Winston Churchill (November 10, 1942)

Where does the COVID-19 birth-pain sorrow fall?

As stated in my previous COVID-19 articles, I believe this pandemic is but one of many sorrows in a long line of birth pains. Jesus prophesied that these sorrows would increase in intensity and frequency until His two distinctive returns; first in the Blessed hope of the Rapture, and then later in His triumphant return. However, where exactly does this birth pain, COVID-19, fall within the prophetic timeline that the Holy Spirit provides us in GOD’s WORD?

A First for Me – a non-Biblical Quote 

I have never previously quoted anything but GOD’S WORD to begin my articles, teaching, and sermons.  However, I open with an oft-quoted phrase, from one of the greatest modern statesmen in the history of Great Britain, Prime Minister Churchill. This quote is uniquely suited to help us consider the prophetic timing of COVID-19 as we await the imminent return of the Bridegroom, Jesus Christ, for His Bride, the Church, at the Rapture, and Jesus Christ’s triumphant return as the KING OF KINGS and LORD OF LORDS.*

The Second World War was arguably the greatest global threat to modern Mankind, in terms of ideology, treasure, and blood. During this turbulent time, Prime Minister Churchill provided these weighty words during The Lord Mayor’s Luncheon, Mansion House, on November 10, 1942. It was given after a series of defeats from Dunkirk to Singapore. Churchill could finally tell the House of Commons that “we have a new experience. We have victory – a remarkable and definite victory.” Alexander and Montgomery turned back Rommel’s forces at El Alamein, thus winning what Churchill called “The Battle of Egypt.”**

Amidst this backdrop of struggle and hardship coming upon the United Kingdom, and in order to provide a perspective timeline on the arduous days that lay ahead for his people, Prime Minister Churchill coined the phrase, “This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

So, with these famous words in mind, let us further examine Matthew 24:8 scripture, “All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Since the beginning of sorrows had a starting point, that naturally implies there will one day be an end of sorrows. Which means between the beginning of these sorrows and the end of these sorrows there exists a timeline, a period of sorrows, if you will.

Given this period of sorrows, just where do we place the COVID-19 plague/pestilence/pandemic in the period of sorrows on the prophetic timeline God presents in His Holy Word? Where does this pestilence fit in terms of the End Times? Are we nearing the two returns of Jesus Christ?

Considering Biblical Prophecy against Prime Minister Churchill’s event categorizations:

  • Is COVID-19 the end of the period of sorrows? Which would mean after COVID-19 there are no more sorrows prophesied in the Bible.
  • Is COVID-19 the beginning of an end period of sorrows? Which would mean COVID-19 triggers the beginning of a prophesied End-Times schedule of events.

3)   Is COVID-19 perhaps the end of the beginning of sorrows? Which would mean COVID-19 represent the final birth pain before transition into other events specifically prophesied in the Bible.

Is COVID-19 the end of the sorrows?  

According to God’s Word, no. For that to occur, you would have to dismiss the End-Times prophecies of Jesus, the beloved Prophet Daniel, the beloved Apostle John, Peter the Rock, and Paul the Apostle to the Gentiles, and many of the other writers of the Bible. The sorrows shall continue.

I fully understand in my earthly flesh that Mankind desires that COVID-19 shall pass and all will return to normal, but the signs of the times and the unfolding of other prophecies say otherwise. Though sorrows shall not end until Jesus Christ returns to earth and makes His enemies His footstool (Psalms 101:1, Isaiah 66:1, Hebrews 10:3) and He creates this fallen earth anew.

“Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (2nd Peter 3:12-13).

Is COVID-19 the beginning of the end of the sorrows?  

No, for the scriptures tell of two other times of tremendous sorrows coming upon Mankind. The first period of horrific war, famine, and pestilence shall occur during the first half of Daniel’s prophesied Seven-Year Tribulation of Daniel 9:24-27, which commences in Revelation Chapter Six.

This second period of tribulation will unfold in the later three- and one-half years of Daniel’s Seven-Year Tribulation, and is called the Time of Jacob’s Trouble. It will further escalate the violence, carnage and horrors to an unimaginable level. Both of these climactic End-Times events each have specific triggers indicated in prophesy, but a COVID-19-like pandemic is not indicated in scripture to immediately precede these unparalleled times of sorrows.

Is COVID-19 perhaps the end of the beginning of sorrows?  

Perhaps this is the case. Perhaps we are transitioning into a new phase in God’s prophetic timeline.  However, that knowledge resides within the realm of God the Father which I have previously stated will remain at least partially veiled from Mankind by God.***

If COVID-19 is indeed the end of the beginning of sorrows, we will be transitioning from the time of unspecified prophetic fulfillment of Matthew 24:3-8 into the specified End-Time prophetic events the prophecy watchers know are yet to be fulfilled…the Rapture of the Church, the Psalms 83 Battle, Isaiah 17 Destruction Oracle, and the Battle of Ezekiel 38-39.

Sorrows Coming on Us Like a Flood

In terms of continuing sorrows impacting upon our normal lives, the best we can hope for is to remain within the prophetic words of Jesus in Matthew 24:8, “All these are the beginning of sorrows.”  Considering the global impact of COVID-19, what lies ahead if the birth pains are continuing in magnitude is nearly impossible to imagine.

Especially when we consider the beloved prophet of God, Daniel, relaying this portion of the angel Gabriel’s prophecy… “the end thereof shall be with a [ flood] and unto the end of the war desolations are determined (Daniel 9:26). At this point, it sure does feel like a flood is upon us.

Accordingly, let us focus on what Jesus told us in Matthew7:24-25, “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.”

Jesus Christ is our blessed Rock; only those who build their lives upon the Rock shall endure.

My next article will provide an overview on what the scriptures say is yet to pass, which shall make COVID-19 appear to be but the calm before the coming storm. Perhaps not immediately, but God’s Word will be fulfilled according to His pleasure.

Time is short! The harvest fields are ripe! Shine forth with the light of Christ.

Come, Lord Jesus, come!


J&J Ranch Ministries “But as for me and my <ranch>, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15).


*** Other teachings in the COVID-19 series:

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