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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Is the Coronavirus a Bible Prophecy?

COVID-19 has resulted in the most apocalyptic crisis that most of us have ever witnessed. Grocery stores are hauntingly bare, the streets are empty, our medical professionals work around the clock, schools are closed, and the stock market went into free fall.

Are we living in the last days before the return of Christ? Is this laundry list of bad news a sign that the world is coming to an end?

In the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, there is a section usually referred to as “The Olivet Discourse.” In this portion of God’s Word is Jesus’ discussion with four of his disciples about the signs of the end times. The disciples asked Jesus three questions: 1) “When will these things be?” 2) “What will be the sign of your coming,” and 3) “What will be the sign of the end of the age?” 

Matthew 24:4-8 & 36 records this exchange between our Lord and his disciples.

“And Jesus answered and said to them: ‘Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, “I am the Christ,” and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows… But of that day and hour, no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” (NKJV)

Jesus refers to what will happen at the end of the age as a “pestilence.” Merriam Webster defines pestilence as “a contagion or infectious epidemic that is virulent and devastating.”

Jesus said this pestilence would arrive like “birth pains,” meaning it will increase in frequency and intensity until the day of his return. This means that as the end approaches, we should expect infectious disease outbreaks to be a regular occurrence, and be more deadly. This is what the Coronavirus threatens to do.

In the last 100 years, we have had ten pandemics: The Russian Flu (1889-1890), The Spanish Flu (1918-1919), The Asian Flu (1957-1958), The Hong Kong Flu (1968-1970), HIV/AIDS (1981-present), SARS (2002-2003), The Swine Flu (2009-2010), Ebola (2014-2015), MERS (2015-present), and COVID-19 (2019-present).

Let me remind you that in Scripture there are clearly no signs for the rapture. And while the Coronavirus may not perfectly qualify as a prophetic sign, it is none-the-less a sign. Not so much perhaps a sign of the future, but a sign for today and a reminder of things we too easily forget.

Throughout the Bible, Jesus’ sufficiency is never more seen than in his communication to his disciples as he was preparing to leave them and return to Heaven. He cared about these men and his concern echos in the words he spoke in John 16:33:

”These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

These are familiar words to most of us, but I want you to look at Jesus’ words through a fresh pair of eyes. Notice his promise to the disciples was the promise of Himself. His peace was to be found in Him! 

Our circumstances now remind me of a pastor who was on a long cross-country flight when some turbulence developed. Then a storm broke, and cracks of thunder could be heard above the roar of the engines, lighting up the darkening skies. Within moments, the plane seemed like a cork tossed around violently on the open seas.

The pastor who was on this plane confessed that he shared the same worry and fear of those around him. “As I looked around the plane,” he said, “I could see that nearly all the passengers were upset and alarmed. Some were praying.”

Then he noticed a little girl. Apparently the storm didn’t phase her. She was reading a book and everything in her world was calm and orderly. Sometimes she closed her eyes, and then she would awake and begin to read again. But fear and trepidation were nowhere evident in this little girl’s life.

As the pastor watched this unfold, he didn’t know what to make of it all. When the plane finally reached its destination, all the passengers hurried to disembark, but the pastor lingered to speak to the little girl whom he’d been observing throughout the flight. He asked her why she had not been worried up there in that storm like everybody else was. And she said to him, “Cause my daddy’s the pilot, and he’s taking me home.”

This young girl was in perfect peace because she knew her father was trustworthy, and that he would get her to her destination safely.

I hope we can all use some of this required quiet time to reflect on our lives and remind each other that we are in good hands with our Captain, no matter how violent the storm.

Copyright © 2020 Dr. David Jeremiah, used with permission.

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