The Coronavirus Global Pandemic… What’s Next? :: By Britt Gillette

In less than three months, COVID-19 (a.k.a. the coronavirus) has spread from Wuhan, China, to over a hundred countries and six continents. To stop the virus, Wuhan went into full lockdown mode on January 23. The drastic measure led to a drop in cases, but the city still remains under quarantine to this day. On March 9, the entire nation of Italy followed Wuhan’s example. The government closed all businesses except grocery stores and pharmacies. Since then, France and Spain have announced similar measures. As mobs of panicked shoppers strip store shelves bare, and police and military personnel impose forced quarantines and border checkpoints, other nations around the world are expected to follow the same course of action. So, what’s next? How will all this end? Is this how the world ends?

The World Will Survive This

These are difficult times, but the coronavirus pandemic doesn’t herald the end of the world. In fact, the first chapter of my most recent book The End Times, presented a scenario just like the one we’re facing now. Here’s what I wrote about the multiplying threats to humanity:

“Consider just one of those modern-day threats – a global pandemic. Could a contagious disease kill a billion people? Yes. History is filled with stories of plagues that kill on a mass scale. The 14th Century Black Plague is probably the best-known example. But we’ve had others. For instance, one hundred years ago, the world struggled against a relentless enemy – H1N1, also known as “the Spanish Flu.” Rising from the trenches of World War I, it spread to every corner of the globe in 1918 and 1919 – even remote Pacific islands… When the global pandemic finally came to an end, it had taken more lives than the Great War itself. H1N1 killed an estimated 50 to 100 million people – approximately 3% to 6% of the world’s population. Today, if a disease killed 3% of the world population, it would leave 230 million people dead. That’s almost the entire population of Indonesia – the fourth most populous nation in the world.”

A global pandemic like the one we’re experiencing now isn’t unprecedented. It’s terrible, but it’s happened before. The world will survive, and the human race will survive. How can I be so sure? Because God says so. Through the Bible, God describes our future. He’s told us what’s coming. And the Bible says the world will NOT come to an end – ever. The earth is eternal (Psalm 78:69), and the human race will exist for all eternity (Psalm 23:6).

What will come to an end is this present age. The world as we know it will not go on forever. All the things we hate about this world – war, greed, lust, murder, jealousy, injustice, and evil – will all come to an abrupt end. A new age will begin. One of love, peace, justice, mercy, and kindness. An age where Jesus Christ physically reigns as King of the earth (Revelation 20:6).

Expect Trying Times

Until that day comes, the earth will experience great hardship. When this global pandemic ends, odds are you’ll know someone who died from the coronavirus. Compounding the problem, the economic impact will be massive. Airlines have already canceled thousands of flights. The cruise ship industry is fighting for its life. Thousands of restaurants are closed. If things don’t change soon, countless businesses will go bankrupt, and millions of people will lose their jobs. The economic pain will be severe. How long will it be until everything returns to normal? It could be months. It could be years. No one knows.

But you can be certain of one thing. If you know Jesus, you’re equipped to handle it. Jesus said, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Through Jesus, not only can you gain the strength to endure this pandemic (Philippians 4:13), but you can do the work of God (1 Corinthians 15:58) and transform the lives of those around you.

Take Action

While authorities recommend social distancing to stop the pandemic, that doesn’t mean you should sit around and do nothing. God hasn’t given you a spirit of fear and timidity, but a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7). You can take three bold steps now:

1) Pray – Pray to God. Never underestimate the power of prayer. When the Lord’s people cry out to Him in their trouble, He delivers them from distress (Psalm 107:28). The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power (James 5:16). So be persistent in your prayers (Ephesians 6:18). Have faith, and you will receive what you ask for (Matthew 21:22). Pray for those nations hardest hit. Pray for all nations. Pray for good health and recovery for the sick. And most important, pray God uses this event to bring people to faith in Him.

2) Help Others – Find ways to help those around you. You obey the law of Christ when you share other’s burdens (Galatians 6:2). When you give generously to others (Matthew 25:35) or take care of those in need (Luke 10:25-37), it’s as if you’ve done those things to Jesus Himself. If you have an abundance of food or other supplies, look for opportunities to share with those in need (Hebrews 13:16). If you know someone who falls into a high-risk category (those who are elderly and/or with an underlying health condition), find a way to bring supplies to them so they don’t have to go out in public and risk infection. Do the same for anyone else who lacks transportation or can’t get around easily because of a disability.

While you’re doing these things, take every precaution you can to avoid infection. Use the proper personal protective equipment (N-95 mask, goggles, gloves, etc.). Otherwise, you risk spreading the virus to those you’re most trying to help. And that leads us to another important step you can take.

3) Self-Isolate – Self-isolate as much as possible. Even if you’re young and healthy, and you think the coronavirus won’t harm you, stay away from crowds. The best thing you can do for your community and those around you is avoid infection. If you’re not infected, you can’t infect someone else. We all have a role to play in slowing the spread of this virus. If it spreads too fast, our hospitals will be overwhelmed. We won’t have the resources to take care of the sick, and people will die unnecessarily. So if you can, stay home. If you have no reason to go out in public, don’t. If you can work from home, do it. Slowing the spread of the coronavirus will save countless lives.

Take Refuge

While governments around the world issue orders “to shelter in place,” you should take shelter as well. Turn to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Take refuge in Him alone. Psalm 91 says trust in the Lord your God, and He will “rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease” (Psalm 91:1-3). Make the Lord your refuge, and “no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home” (Psalm 91:9-10).

These are difficult times. Many are fearful. But you don’t have to be. Trust in God. Make Him your refuge. He will see you through this time. Fix your eyes on Him alone, and don’t lose sight of our blessed hope (Titus 2:13).

When asked to describe the signs of His coming, Jesus cited pandemics just like the one we’re experiencing now as a major sign (Luke 21:11). The other signs He said to look for are all around us. The Jewish people are back in the land of Israel (Jeremiah 23:7-8)… The Jewish people are once again in possession of Jerusalem (Luke 21:24-28)… And the Gospel is being preached to the ends of the earth (Matthew 24:14)… This means Jesus is coming soon! So take comfort in this time of distress, knowing the rapture of the church is near.

Britt Gillette is author of the free ebook Coming to Jesus as well as the books Signs of the Second Coming, Racing Toward Armageddon, and The End Times. Receive his book 7 Signs of the End Times for free when you sign up for his monthly newsletter.

The Coronavirus and Bible Prophecy :: By Britt Gillette

Sometime in late 2019, a mysterious virus emerged in the city of Wuhan, China. Easily transmissible, it spread through the city like wildfire. By late January 2020, local hospitals were overwhelmed with critically ill pneumonia patients. China ordered a quarantine of the entire city – a city of 11 million people. Experts named the virus COVID-19 (a.k.a. “the coronavirus”). The quarantine of Wuhan, which now includes dozens of cities and over 700 million people, is implemented with the hope of ending all spread of the disease. If it fails, a global pandemic will strike the world.

This isn’t without precedent. One hundred years ago, the world faced a similar enemy – H1N1. Also known as the Spanish Flu, it rose from the trenches of World War I and spread to every corner of the globe in the years 1918 and 1919 – even remote Pacific islands. When the global pandemic finally ended, it had taken more lives than the Great War itself. Estimates say between 50 and 100 million people died – about 3% to 6% of the world population.

Will History Repeat Itself?

Since the 1918/1919 Spanish Flu, we’ve avoided a similar pandemic. We’ve had a number of scares – bird flu, swine flu, Ebola, Zika, and other diseases – but we’ve avoided a global pandemic. Some of this is because of what we’ve done. We have better knowledge of how viruses and bacteria spread. We know how to quarantine areas, disinfect treatment centers, and provide more effective medical care. But the number one reason we’ve avoided a global pandemic is luck. That’s right. For the past 100 years, we’ve just been plain lucky. Unfortunately, our luck is about to end.

How can I be so sure? Because what we know indicates the coronavirus is every bit as infectious and deadly as the Spanish Flu, if not more so. For instance, early studies are showing for every person who contracts the coronavirus, they give it to at least three other people. For comparison sake, only 1.8 persons contracted the Spanish Flu for every one person who got it. The coronavirus also has an incubation period as long as up to 24 days, and a person can be contagious throughout that entire period. So far, the case fatality rate (or number of people who die after contracting the coronavirus) is at least 1% and could end up being much higher.

Expect a Global Pandemic

Unless a sudden mutation makes the coronavirus harmless, expect a global pandemic. Why? Unlike more recent pandemic threats such as Ebola or SARS, the coronavirus spreads even when infected people show no symptoms. And once symptoms do appear, they’re similar to the seasonal flu. This means the coronavirus can silently spread through an entire community without raising suspicion. Only when local hospitals see a spike in severe pneumonia cases will it become clear how widespread the infection is.

In all likelihood, the silent spread of the coronavirus is already taking place. While government officials try to convince the public the virus is contained, it’s not. And they know it. Notice how every new case outside of China merits the official government response, “Don’t worry. The risk of wider spread in the community remains low.” This isn’t necessarily a lie. The key word is “remains.” The risk does remain low – until it doesn’t.

So what is the true risk? Professor Gabriel Leung, the chair of public health medicine at Hong Kong University, is one of the world’s leading experts on coronavirus epidemics. He played a key role in containing the 2002/2003 SARS outbreak. According to Leung, if the coronavirus can not be contained, it could infect up to 60% of the world’s population. Dr. Robert Redfield, current Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said, “I think this virus is probably with us beyond this season, beyond this year, and I think eventually the virus will find a foothold and we’ll get community based transmission and you can start to think about it like seasonal flu. The only difference is we don’t understand this virus.” Marc Lipsitch, a professor of epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said, “I think it is likely we’ll see a global pandemic. If a pandemic happens, 40% to 70% of people world-wide are likely to be infected in the coming year.”

A Sign of the Times

Hopefully, the coronavirus will die off and won’t spread to the entire world. But whether it does or not, what does it have to do with bible prophecy? After all, the Bible doesn’t mention COVID-19 or the coronavirus by name. So how can it be related to the end times? While no bible prophecies specifically point to the coronavirus, I believe it’s yet another sign the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is near. How can I be sure?

When His followers asked Jesus to describe the signs of His coming, one of the signs He told them to look for was “pestilence” (Luke 21:11). What is pestilence? Merriam-Webster defines it as “a contagious or infectious epidemic disease that is virulent and devastating.” Jesus said this pestilence will arrive like “birth pains” (Matthew 24:8), meaning it will increase in frequency and intensity in the time leading up to His return. This means, as the end approaches, we should expect infectious disease outbreaks to occur more frequently, impact more people, and be more deadly. This is exactly what the coronavirus threatens to bring – a global pandemic with the potential to kill tens of millions.

Are You Prepared?

Regardless of its role in end times bible prophecy, the emergence of the coronavirus should force you to ask this question, “Am I prepared?” Now when I say this, I don’t mean are you prepared to go off grid and wait out a global pandemic. I’m talking about something much more important. If the worst case scenario plays out, are you prepared to die? After all, it shouldn’t matter whether you die of coronavirus or peacefully in your sleep. Regardless of the circumstance, your odds of dying are quite high. After all, how many people over the age of 100 do you know? Maybe a few. How about people over the age of 150? None, right? They’re all dead, and that means you’ve got a good chance of dying one day too. When you die, do you know where you’re going?

If you place your trust in Jesus Christ and accept His sacrifice on the cross as payment for your sins, you’ll go to heaven. The Bible says if you confess Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9). The Bible says all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13). The best preparation for the coronavirus is to know where you stand. Jesus says you’re either for Him or against Him (Matthew 12:30). There’s no in between. So if you haven’t ever made a decision to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, I encourage you to do so right now. Do it before it’s too late. Because one way or another – Jesus is coming.

Britt Gillette is author of the free ebook Coming to Jesus as well as the books Signs of the Second Coming, Racing Toward Armageddon, and The End Times. Receive his book 7 Signs of the End Times for free when you sign up for his monthly newsletter.