It takes only a new type of virus to disrupt the millions of people around the world that many times ignore the presence of an Almighty God. This virus affected the stock market of many businesses around the world almost bringing it down to its knees. It changed the activities of people overnight in the western and eastern world. It discontinued many government meetings, office projects, visiting amusement parks, watching various sports events like soccer, basketball, and rugby, and even the attending of important religious gatherings.
A number of Greek Orthodox Churches had to advise their faithful members not to kiss the icons. While some Roman Catholic Churches had to modify their form of giving Communion. Nowhere in church history did Evangelical Christian believers shifted into social media to meet virtually because they also need to observe social distancing. This is to prevent the spreading of this new type of virus through cough, sneezing, and touching that sometimes severely affects the respiratory system of humans. It basically changed the religious observance of many churches.
This virus was first discovered in Wuhan, China that has now become a pandemic affecting more than 200 different countries, areas, or territories combined. Medical authorities have discovered that this virus is one of the strains of coronavirus that has taken more than 33,000 lives around the world especially the older ones with almost 700,000 confirmed cases. There are also reports that say the medical experts are dealing with eight strains of coronavirus. As of this writing, a vaccine has yet to be discovered to fight this coronavirus scientifically labeled as Covid-19. The testing kit can only do as much by detecting the presence of antibodies in a person’s body to declare him as infected. The world is struggling with this contagion that has paralyzed the activity of millions of people forcing them to stay at home to further prevent the spread of this disease.
Because of what’s happening many are asking. Why is this happening? So are we in the last days? Is the Lord God judging the nations? Is the Lord setting the stage for His coming? Some so-called predictions are even popping-up from non-Christians like Nostradamus and Sylvia Browne who allegedly predicted the coming of this virus. These people can be easily dismissed as false prophets because real prophets’ prophecies are fulfilled a hundred percent, not a portion of what they’ve stated.
If a prophet speaks in the LORD’S name and what he says doesn’t happen or come true, then it didn’t come from the LORD. That prophet has spoken on his own authority. Never be afraid of him. – Deut. 18:22
These are some of the valid questions many Christians and non-Christians are asking. I believed as Christians we cannot just brush these things aside. There are narratives in the Scripture that informs us how the Lord uses pestilence, plagues, war, famine, earthquakes, among others in judging the people or nations. And we cannot avoid reading these things from the Scriptures. As the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary states, plagues are “disease interpreted as divine judgment.” These were experienced by the Egyptians when they refused to let the Israelites free.
For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD. – Exodus 12:12
The Lord sends the tenth plague which is the angel of death that caused the death of their firstborn. His command to the Israelites was to quarantine themselves inside their own homes until the next morning while having their door post brushed with the blood of a lamb or young goat if they want to be spared from this plague.
Then Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go and select lambs for yourselves according to your clans, and kill the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. None of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning.” – Exo. 12:21-22
In an almost similar manner, the Lord moved many government authorities around the world to order their citizens to keep themselves inside the safety of their own homes so they will not be affected by this virus that infects so many people. Unfortunately, there are still many who do not heed, including Christian believers who moved in hyper faith.
Currently, many people around the world are infected by this coronavirus that is spreading so fast even as I write this article. Whether this is a judgment to the nations, testing for God’s people, or a showcase of the Lord’s power so people would know who He is, no one knows except Him and Him alone.
And he said, “Tomorrow.” Moses said, “Be it as you say, so that you may know that there is no one like the LORD our God.” – Exo. 8:10
But on that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, where my people dwell, so that no swarms of flies shall be there, that you may know that I am the LORD in the midst of the earth. – Exo. 8:22
For this time I will send all my plagues on you yourself, and on your servants and your people, so that you may know that there is none like me in all the earth. – Exo. 9:14
But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth. – Exo. 9:16
Moses said to him, “As soon as I have gone out of the city, I will stretch out my hands to the LORD. The thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, so that you may know that the earth is the LORD’s.” – Exo. 9:29
One might think that it’s God who directly sends the calamities and plagues. But a careful study of the Scripture will reveal that He allowed the spiritual enemy to do these things for a divine purpose so our eyes will focus on Him and continue to do His will. This is what happened to Jehoshaphat when he was faced with a huge army of Moabites, Ammonites, and Meunites. (see also the story of Job 1-2)
“O our God, will you not execute judgment on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” – 2 Chron. 20:12
For the believers not to be led astray, I hope we will heed the words of Jesus Christ when he explained what’s going to happen even before He comes back. Be reminded that no one knows when Jesus Christ will come but there will be signs in connection with His coming. And these things have been happening for several years since the time of the apostles. There have been wars, earthquakes, famines, and even pestilence in the past. But this doesn’t mean the end has already come.
And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. – Matt. 24:4-7
“There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.” – Luke 21:11
“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.” – Matt. 24:36
We could not say for certain that the coronavirus is the “pestilence” being referred to in Luke 21:11. We can be wrong. But I can assure you the gospel must be preached and proclaimed to every nation, and once this happens then the end will come.
But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. – Matt. 24:13-14
I understand that seminary educated Christian believers differ in their eschatological views. There is nothing wrong if one chose to embrace a certain view. But let us not focus so much on eschatology that we miss out on what the Lord Jesus Christ wants us to do which is to make disciples of all the nations. Instead of not doing anything by just waiting for Christ to come why not busy ourselves with discipling the lost people. After all, Jesus Christ commands every believer to go and make disciples.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” – Matt. 28:19-20
Dr. David Jeremiah explained, “The coronavirus teaches us the vulnerability of everyone; the credibility of the Bible; the uncertainty of life; the scarcity of hope; and finally, the sufficiency of Jesus.” I believed Dr. Jeremiah is right. No, this is not yet the end of the world! Rather, this is the best opportunity for Christians all over the globe to be salt and light in this world by declaring the love, grace, peace, and gospel of Jesus Christ through service in a world plagued with Covid-19 virus.
Surely, God can turn this evil around meant for good for His greater glory and honor.