I mentioned Sunday that there are two scenarios people within Christian circles are suggesting about Coronavirus:
- It’s a sign of the end of the world, hence, the Tribulation/Apocalypse is coming soon.
- It’s a judgment from God.
So, let’s respond to the first one.
- How is this a sign of the end of the world? (i.e. where does the Bible tell us that a virus is going to usher in the Rapture and then the Tribulation?)
- What about all the other mass viruses, diseases, plagues in history? Why didn’t Jesus show up then?
- Since the Bible speaks nothing about Coronavirus being a precursor to the Tribulation, we should not make this alarmist assumption.
- Note: Jesus could come back at any moment because the Rapture is on Histimetable, not ours!
- Also, if Jesus doesn’t come back at this time, those promoting this idea as pointing to the end of the world will have had their witnessing testimony damaged because people won’t listen to them anymore.
- In fact, the Bible is clear about prophets giving unbiblical prophecies (Deuteronomy 13:1-5 called for Old Testament false prophets to be put to death! And the New Testament gives us instructions as well, such as I. John 4:1 and Galatians 1:6-8).
- Remember the damage that Harold Camping caused just a few years ago by broadly proclaiming Jesus would return in May of 2011, and then having to respond to reality when Jesus didn’t come back? The media had a heyday with him!
- Thus, it is irresponsible and unbiblical to make such a false claim. It also does nothing to comfort people.
- But, don’t think this isn’t a good time for witnessing as it is. Just don’t create any added/unnecessary fear and anxiety in the process.
For the second suggestion, this is almost in the same camp as the first one:
- God does use diseases, wars, and disasters in the Old Testament to judge people. He will do the same during the Tribulation.
- Notice, the prophecies of the Old Testament to “my people” means Israel, not America. We are not “His people” with regards to those prophecies and promises.
- However, there are absolutely no specific prophecies in the Bible related to our current (or the past 2,000 years-worth of) disasters, famines, diseases, or wars.
- Most that you hear are mere speculations or misapplied Scriptures.
- Note also, we are sinners in a sinful and fallen world with the effects of sin that we must live with. That includes viruses.
- Every case of large-scale problems and disasters, whether from weather, animals, and even diseases, are all a call for repentance and seeking God’s grace.
- Jesus did this in Luke 13:4-5 where he discussed a disaster that had occurred. He moves from discussing “them” and then directs His hearers (‘you”) to repent. Read it and see what I mean.
- So again, natural disasters will occur because God has a purpose and a plan, but we cannot state biblically that Coronavirus is a judgment from God as we do not know that for certain since He has not included us in on His sovereign decision-making.
Sadly, pastors are going public claiming such nonsense. Then others are going public denouncing those statements. Wouldn’t it be better to just give out the Gospel? Wouldn’t it just be better to tell people that the reason for any virus is sin, and that Jesus is the answer to the sin problem?
As Christians, I feel we need to demonstrate the hope we have in Christ, the love of Christ to those who are maybe afraid or even sick, and we need to spread the Gospel as we should at all other times. We root our confidence in God’s unchanging, authoritative, infallible, inerrant, and all sufficient Word. We show the world that even if death should come, we are not afraid because we know Who holds the future.
- In your Bible reading today, what has God shown you that demonstrates His sovereignty, His protection (especially of your soul), His care, and His authority over life and death? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- “How could God let this happen?”, “Where is God?”, and even “Why doesn’t He stop this if He really exists?” are questions you might encounter. How would you biblically and sensitively answer people who might pose such questions to you? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- Peter 3:15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;
- Does the world see your hope? ________________________________________________________
- If one person who knew you asked another as to why you’re not gripped by anxiety and fear, would it be said of you that it’s because of your faith in Jesus Christ? ___________________________________________________
- Notice the end of the verse, “with gentleness and reverence”. Be careful as our hope and confidence often appears to others as conceited.
I Will Trust Him Hymn by Mrs. H.F. Thomas and A.W. Lawrence
- Tho’ He slay me, I will trust Him, Trust Him in the darkest day;
Trust Him tho’ I cannot see Him, Trust Him, trust Him all the way.
I will trust Him, I will trust Him I will Trust Him every day;
I will trust Him, I will trust Him, I will trust Him every day.
- Tho’ He slay me, I will trust Him, Clinging closer, closer still;
Closer till the cross shall lift me, Nearer, nearer to His will.
- Tho’ He slay me, I will trust Him, Faith shall leap the bounds of life!
Hid with Christ in God forever, I shall dwell above the strife.