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Saturday, April 25, 2020

Is Coronavirus signaling the end of the world?


My home lot is small. My neighbors are very close by. This time of year, people are in their yards or have their windows open. Their conversation on a recent afternoon went like this: 

“This is the end, no question. We’re at the apocalypse. They aren’t going to fix this, I don’t care what they promise,” one of them said. 

The others agreed. No one argued. No one said, ‘Oh, we’ve seen worse.’ No one said, ‘It won’t come in my lifetime.’  

Are they right? Is Coronavirus the end? Is this a punishment from God, a biblical plague, to be followed in short order by darkness, hail, locusts, and the oceans turning to blood? The short answer is, No. 

But does that mean the Coronavirus pandemic has no biblical significance? Not at all. It would be very unwise to ignore it.  

Coronavirus is absolutely not a punishment from God, as a born-again man tried to tell me a couple months ago, being visited on those heathen Chinese for destroying ‘Christian’ churches. God simply doesn’t work that way. Long ago, Abraham said to God: 
  • “It is unthinkable that you would act in this manner by putting the righteous man to death with the wicked one so that the outcome for the righteous man and the wicked is the same! It is unthinkable of you. Will the Judge of all the earth not do what is right?” (Genesis 18:25)
It was a rhetorical question; of course the Judge of all the earth will always do what is right. 

So if the Bible does not teach that the pandemic is a punishment from God, does it explain why random people are dying while others are surviving unscathed? Yes it does: 
  •  “The swift do not always win the race, nor do the mighty win the battle, nor do the wise always have the food, nor do the intelligent always have the riches, nor do those with knowledge always have success, because time and unexpected events overtake them all.” (Ecclesiastes 9:11)

“Unexpected events.” There is no fate; no one is destined to die because of Coronavirus. It is more likely to kill those with weakened immune systems. But it isn’t a death sentence. Millions of people have survived it so far, and millions more will come in contact with it and survive while others die. The ‘mighty don’t always win the battle.’ 
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There are, in fact, things you can do to improve your chances of survival.

Adam’s and Eve’s bodies were wonderfully made by their creator with multiple lines of defense against disease. But with each generation we get further and further from that perfect start. On top of that, within one century we went from virtually everyone eating farm-fresh organic food, breathing clean air, drinking clean water, and staying physically active all day; to a generation that sits in front of a computer all day and thinks mac-n-cheese and ‘Impossible burger’ is food. 

If you’re a health nut who buys organic food, filters your water, filters the air in your house and walks two miles a day, you still won’t live forever. We all inherited death from Adam. But whose chances of warding off Coronavirus rank higher: the health nut, or an overweight smoker living on diet soda and pop-tarts? 

We’ve come, in one century, from a generation that took responsibility for their own health, to a ‘herd mentality’ that thinks we’re all going to die if science doesn’t come up with a solution.

If the ‘health service’, so called, was really interested in saving as many as possible, it seems like their message should be: 'Build your immune system! Get more sunshine, keep moving, get plenty of rest, take vitamins C and D and E, eat fresh food, and don’t stress!' If everyone did some or most of these things, everyone’s immune system would improve, and far fewer people overall would be in danger from the virus.

Instead, the message is, ‘You won’t be safe until WE develop a vaccine! Stay home, don’t move, binge on Netflix, wear a mask, and use plenty of hand sanitizer. '

Is the pandemic the end of the world? No. There have been many plagues down through history. But that is not the point. Jesus said the last days would be marked by wars, “great earthquakes, and in one place after another food shortages and pestilences.” (Luke 21:10, 11)

In the war between Napoleon and Wellington – called the Peninsular War, between England and France in the early 1800s – many wondered if it was the end. All those signs were being seen: War, food shortage, pestilence, even great earthquakes. Serious Bible scholars, however, knew it wasn’t the end. How? Because Jesus added, “And this good news of the kingdom will be preached in ALL the inhabited earth, for a witness to ALL nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14) Matthew Poole, for example, pointed out that in his day, the 1700s, the gospel had barely reached America, let alone India or Australia, and certainly couldn’t be said to have been preached in every nation. (See Matthew Poole for Mark 13:10)

Today, however, all the pieces of Jesus’ warning sign are in place. Since World War I broke out, the world has been constantly at war; has been bouncing from the Spanish flu to polio to heart disease to ebola to cancer to AIDS; the world has seen food shortages all over Africa and Asia and even in more affluent lands; has endured a barrage of earthquakes in one place after another; and, most significantly, has witnessed the Good News of the Kingdom being preached in literally every nation and language. The most widely translated website on the internet, by a huge margin, is not Google or Facebook; it is JW.org, in over 1,000 languages.


Coronavirus may not be the end of the world. But the end is certainly not waiting for some other sign to be fulfilled.


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Bill K. Underwood is a columnist, consultant, photographer and author of three bible-friendly novels available in either ebook or paper at Amazon.com.






1 comment:

  1. Good read, brother.
    Looking forward to this evening though, not the virus on general, this old system.

    ReplyDelete