The Bible and the Pandemic

A World of Uncertainty - by Terry Hilsden | 20th November 2020

Who can you trust when government fails? When advisors are just guessing, when businesses are failing, when jobs are lost, when savings diminish and banks are not safe, when everything seems hopeless, What can you do? Find out about God and His promises. That’s what! What have you got to lose?

We are all familiar, too familiar with the Coronavirus, or Covid 19, this pandemic that has swept across the globe. 

Coronavirus infographic

Maybe some of us are totally fed up with the continual news coverage, nonstop broadcasting, and perhaps we decide to go into isolation just to avoid the news! All other news seems to have been swamped or blotted out by the latest statistics, government regulations and guidelines. Since March when the lockdown began in the UK, people’s lives have been transformed. The lockdown has been of necessity, we have been told, to prevent the virus spreading, and causing many deaths, to protect the NHS, and save it from being overwhelmed, and so on. This lockdown has been all about minimising contact between people, so that families and friendships have suffered, paused, interactions reduced. SomeOld lady with face mask people have found this very difficult. The young, enjoying the freedom of youth, struggle to abide by the restrictions, their social lives curtailed, the elderly, already lonely, face virtual prison, safeguarding without seeing a soul.

Division and suspicion in society 

As the lockdown and other restrictions grind on, people, so typical of human nature tend to become judgemental or intolerant of those perceived to disregard the official advice or guidelines, and legislation. Some get very worried and selfish as a result with much panic, hysteria and stockpiling, supermarket shelves being stripped bare, people thinking only of themselves. Others are attracted by conspiracy theories, people become labelled, such as anti-vaxers, or mask rebels, indeed society has in many ways become divided. From an economic viewpoint as well, a complete disaster, in some respects, with many small businesses suffering, the government racking up huge debts to sustain and support the population, which will take several generations to pay back. Not just in the UK, but across the world such a catastrophe has engulfed all nations. A huge price has been paid, some 1.1 million deaths, with many more suffering the effects of the disease in loss of livelihood, or ongoing symptoms. On a brighter note, the pandemic has highlighted the ability of mankind to show kindness, understanding, patience and courage, as seen in the way many people are willing to help their neighbours and risk their own health. This is all in spite of the lack of direction and knowledge by governments and scientists.

Virus Graphic

Mankind caught out unawares 

Where were we just one year ago? Did the world imagine such a thing could just appear literally out of the blue? Although some philanthropists notably Bill Gates and others could foresee the international damage such a pandemic could cause, very little notice was given and even less planning was carried out by governments around the world. Instead the focus as always has been on economic growth, competitive trade, defence, and here in the UK endless Brexit negotiations. No one predicted such a global event. No one imagined such a transformation, such a calamity, such deep changes in behaviour being enforced on mass populations in such a short time. 

Social DistancingSocial distancing – who ever would have guessed this would be one of the most well used phrases of 2020! No one envisaged the helplessness of governments and scientists, and their inadequacy to react swiftly, and efficiently to the threat. Put simply, no one knew what to do, or understand the consequences of this pandemic, and still don’t really know, even after months have passed. Yes, the limits of the ability and knowledge of mankind has been exposed. No one knows when life will return to normal, or what normal actually will be. Instead the general feeling is that of confusion – how can everything which seemed so stable and sure one moment, be totally turned on its head, the next? One thing that some might have noticed is that despite the huge advancements in technology and medicine, and increase in knowledge and science, mankind is at its very essence still very vulnerable

This vulnerability is felt especially keenly in those who are suffering as a result of the effect of this virus. As it stands today, over 1.3 million people have lost their lives being attributed to Covid 19, and it is not known how many have contracted this invisible disease, which is highly contagious. The effects of the disease in on going symptoms, grief from loss of loved ones, loss of jobs, security and quality of life and left many people scrambling for answers. Some insist that it is a clear sign of the times, and quote the book of Revelation in the New Testament, that it is one of the great plagues to come (Trumpet: The Wuhan Coronavirus and the Bible’s Prophesied Disease Pandemics) from the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, and is prophesied in Luke as being a direct sign of Christ’s return: Revelation 21:7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

Coronavirus tweetOf course in the face of such claims, and outlandish inaccurate tweets like the one here, what the Bible really teaches is ignored, and instead many use the example of this pandemic as evidence that there cannot possibly be a God if he allows such terrible suffering. The view of course, of some, is that this pandemic is perfectly natural, and completely normal – Richard Dawkins for one, who wrote: The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference. So what’s the fuss, survival of the fittest isn’t it? However - it does not appear that people really believe this, seen in the huge investment in brains and finance, in the international rush for a vaccine…

So how do we sift through all these competing and counter claims, conspiracy theories, and ideas?

We believe the answer is indeed in the Bible, which does provide answers and reasons, and gives security and hope, and explains why we see morality and not blind indifference in human beings, but more importantly that the God of the Bible is in control of the future of mankind, not governments, not scientists, and certainly not the virus. It is true that this virus, this pandemic has shown the rational and thinking person, that the institutions of government and even the NHS cannot provide security, that in fact, nothing can really be trusted, that such phenomena can come out of the blue and completely reshape society.

Been here before!

Many commentators point out that in fact pandemics are nothing new. To claim that this particular virus is a direct fulfilment of Bible prophecy is most unwise, and distracts from aspects of geopolitics and international events, which actually are direct fulfilment of prophecy of scripture. There have been many pandemics, and some recently: 2 million people died of Asian flu in 1956 – 58, 1 million died of the Hong Kong flu in 1968 -69. HIV/AIDS has a death toll of around 32 million. Were all these signs of the near return of Jesus Christ? The Spanish flu is perhaps the deadliest pandemic in relatively recent history. From 1918 to 1920 it infected 500 million people around the world, including people on remote Pacific islands and in the Arctic. 50 to 100 million people are thought to have died from the strain. Going back a little further cholera has historically seen multiple outbreaks, between 1817 and 1860 it is estimated that 15 million persons died in India, as well as pandemics in both Europe and North America. Was this direct fulfilment of Bible prophecy? 

Going back even further, maybe the most famous pandemic is that of the Black Plague, which between 1346 to 1353 killed an estimated 75 -100 million people living in Eurasia. Pandemics have been a part of the history of man, just as epidemics which he had to learn to live with like typhus, tuberculosis and cholera, as part of normal life. Going back 800 years before that, there was the Plague of Justinian, anotherbubonic disease where it is thought 25 million perished, the Antonine Plague killed around 5 million people, in AD 165 -180.

Egyptian SteleThus to think that the times in which we live are the most significant, and to identify a pandemic and insist it is fulfilling scripture, just highlights how self-important some people think they are, thinking that the ages they live in are somehow the most significant, or the most dreadful, with the worst problems. As we can read in Ecclesiastes 1:9-10 That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which it may be said, “See, this is new”? It has already been in ancient times before us.

3,400-year-old Egyptian stele depicts a man known as Roma the Doorkeeper, whose shrivelled leg suggests he was a survivor of paralytic polio, another ancient epidemic.


Who is to Blame?

It is true that there have been great medical and scientific advancements, huge leaps forward in technology, and wealth has abounded in the developed world, the current generations have not suffered as previous generations have, enduring two world wars. Instead we have been living through an age of unprecedented riches, especially in the West, protected from disease, and suffering. In the developed world to a greater degree, over the past few decades, there has been a stability, and sense of security, society is confident, and there is no longer a need for God, religion is an inconvenience. Man has a new god – money. The Scripture tells us, the love of money is the root of all evil. It is the greed of man which is fuelling another crisis in the world today, environmental and ecological disaster, where man is slowly destroying the earth, causing mass extinctions, big business refusing to take responsibility, governments looking the other way, fearful of not being elected, or because their fingers are in the cash till. It is because of man’s mismanagement of the earths resources that has caused this particular pandemic, with pathogens from animals passing to humans, due to poor hygiene, bad practice, and again, quite simply – greed. As if to emphasise the point, mink have also contracted a mutated form of the virus and passed it back to humans. Bats, pangolins, farmed caged mink, wildlife all abused and exploited by greed, have ultimately been the cause of this pandemic… and yet some people say, Oh there can’t be a God, if He allows such things….How can there be a God if he allows suffering?

Pain and Suffering

This age old question has been answered so many times before, and so once again, we remind our readers that pain, suffering and evil is a necessary part of the human existence, but it was not always the case. As opposed to the theory that we and the environment in which we live is just some random accident, with no plan or purpose, the Bible teaches that from the very beginning, God, created the earth, and man upon it with a plan and purpose in mind. The God of the Bible claims all sovereignty, and that good and evil originated from him: Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things. The evil referred to here is not moral evil, as in wickedness, but natural peace and natural calamity and catastrophe, God has permitted to exist. The environment has been built to provide a suitable polarised world, to suit created mankind which possesses an intellect and intelligence which appreciates good and evil, light and darkness, and things which are morally good, or righteous and the opposite – wicked, and sinful. 

In the beginning, scripture tells us, that God created the earth, and behold it was very good. Man lived in harmony with God, the creation, and nature. Yet at the same time, man did not experience or appreciate the goodness of God, as he had nothing to compare it with, and was instructed to simply be obedient, and trust in the commands given. God did not want to create mankind to be robots, or automatons, but rather that out of their own free will, they would choose to obey, choose to love. Love that is forced cannot be love. In order to have free will, and choices, consequences had to be provided also. The first man Adam was warned, that the consequences for disobedience would be death. For obedience would be life. He chose disobedience. This was sin. The introduction of sin, meant death. Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:…. But the Bible teaches a loving God, not the evil God, that atheists like to portray, for Adam, the first man did not immediately die, he was permitted to continue to live for rather a long time, before dying, in order to give him the opportunity to think again – or repent. Yet the process of death was introduced – Dying thou shalt die, is the phrase used. Decay, suffering, and pain were introduced as part of that process, by-products of a dying sinful world, as the consequences of moral evil, or sin. The state of perfection was spoiled. Genesis 3:17,18…cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee… This included “bad” viruses. 

Bad viruses, good viruses?Virus molecule

Viruses are not living organisms, they are just bits of genetic matter – DNA and RNA covered in protein, that act like parasites. There are 21 viral types that are so damaging to the human body. Yet this number pales into insignificance with the estimated 100 million other viral types that can be found in the world, most of which, scientists tell us are vital for our existence, as it is the combination of high bacterial growth and viral infection that keeps ecosystems functioning, and are a critical part of recycling inorganic nutrients within the food chain.

Examples of good virusesA few examples of good viruses

Viral ecologist Marilyn Roossinck of Pennsylvania State University says that viruses are essential to life, but that at most only 1% of them are pathogenic – that is harmful to hosts. So, we can see that they are mainly beneficial, but why have the harmful ones at all? Of course, other similar questions could be asked, why not have fire that does not burn? Or electricity that is not dangerous, or gravity that doesn’t make us hurt when we fall… Such a world which includes the negative as well as the positive is to continue to provide man with the necessary balance of life, of experience, a choice – to choose life, to obey the laws of God, and promote righteousness, or to choose and continue the state of sin, and its associated consequences. Even “bad” viruses are part of that process.

Reason for Suffering

The existence of suffering then, is not because God is a sadist, but is a direct consequence of a decaying and fallen world. However, suffering and pain is designed to make intelligent people think, to assist in making their own choices, to do good or continue in sin. Pain is caused by humans pushing themselves beyond their limits, pain exists also as a protective mechanism, to prevent someone from being burnt for example, pain and suffering also are essential for character formation, and exist to promote learning, and enhance empathy, sympathy and above all love. These negative aspects by their very existence are crucial to develop the noble aspects of the human mind, and capacity, to show kindness, selflessness, generosity, compassion, emotional intelligence, the ability to focus on a better future, and to remind us all, that this life is not necessarily the end!

The Bible teaches us that if we have faith and believe in the good news God has given to mankind, that this life is but a probationary period. A life of learning, testing, forming our characters, experiencing everything that makes us human, - how we react to those experiences determines our character – if selfish or selfless - our character determines if this life is all we live, or if God in seeing a character of love, joy, goodness, selflessness, mercy and compassion, sees a reflection of Himself, and grants, as He has promised a new life. How can we know love, if there is no such thing as hatred? How can we experience joy, if we do not understand sorrow? Selflessness, if not aware of selfishness? How can we know mercy, if we have not experienced the sting of pain? How can we truly know compassion if we have not felt the burden of suffering? 

It is a fact that all experience suffering. As we have seen with this Coronavirus, there is no discrimination. It has affected young and old, black and white to a greater of lesser degree, everyone is affected in some way. There are some who believe that pain and suffering is endured because of a proportional response to the amount of sin a person commits, or how bad and wicked they are. This is not the case. Jesus taught this in the gospel record according Old paintingto Luke 13:1 – 5 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

Here Jesus explains that both disasters caused by nature, and disasters caused by men, afflict anyone and anybody, at any time, without discrimination, even though God is sovereign over the creation and the world. He permits this to occur as previously explained, it is part of the fallen world that man has chosen to live in. As explained also in the Ecclesiastes 9:11, …time and chance happens to all… Again, returning to the protest of atheists, or indeed anyone – as it is a valid question, if God exists, why does he allow suffering? So, in response, Jesus, the Son of God, tells us, that unless there is repentance all will likewise perish. There is a God, and he has created a way in which suffering can end. For many, yes, unless they repent and think again, a life of suffering and pain will be all they know. But God does exist, and is a God of love, and has provided a way, in which this life of probation will cease, and to those who repent and who have shown faith and belief, will be given a new life free from suffering – that is the gospel message, the good news. There is a way out of pain and suffering. In this the Bible teaches the resurrection of the dead. We will return to this point shortly.

A worse pandemic than Covid-19

Let us return to this pandemic we are currently enduring together. This example of suffering and pain, the restrictions, the loss of freedom. Let us think about the social distancing, the loneliness. Let us think about the testing, the tracing of contacts, the pronouncement of the diagnosis, the social isolation, the medication, and the slow recovery perhaps. Maybe even a vaccine. All of this is a grim reminder of life today, which has all but consumed the news headlines. But surely friends, we should be used to this. If we consider the life as we know it, we are already suffering a pandemic of which we are so used to, we do not even think about it.

 It is called sin. We have referred to it already. But it is deadly, and very contagious. Once infected it never leaves us. It is because of sin, and the immorality we practice and even think, that has caused us loss of freedom, why we die at threescore years and ten, why we have restrictions and limitations. It is why we are isolated, separated from God – cannot see him, or communicate freely as old friends, instead barriers are in the way. Mankind is locked down, contained, by his circumstances, - by natural disasters, his environment, disease and death, to limit the damage he causes to himself. We can chafe and complain, about the rules of this, the commands of that, disagree with the edicts which come from above, we can protest and shout and say we don’t need a mask, don’t need to keep to the rules. But a covering for our sin has been given for a reason (Habakkuk 1:13). Rules are there for a reason. God has given those rules in His Holy Book as guidelines and regulations, advice and practical examples how to survive and cope with this pandemic of sin. Some people think they can buck the trend and get away with being a rebel. They might think they can cheat the government, but they can’t cheat God.

Jesus - a Spiritual VaccineCoronavirus vaccine

Yes, it is true this pandemic is very bad news, but look at the euphoria and rejoicing when people listen to the announcements of a vaccine, and life going back to normal – to people pleasing themselves! Such celebration is understandable. But why are people not joyful and content that a cure is available for the pandemic of sin? 

A vaccine is based on a tiny sample of the virus being introduced to an individual to encourage the immune system to react in a specific way to overcome the disease. It is preparing the body in advance for what may come in the future. The Lord Jesus Christ also inherited the propensity to fall victim to the pandemic of sin (Hebrews 2:14). However, he prepared his mind and body in advance of what he knew could come upon him. His intellect was fortified against the scourge of the disease, and its symptoms did not manifest themselves in him. He fought against the disease of sin successfully, in that he stopped the contagion in its tracks in his own body. He displayed none of the symptoms, that others do, nevertheless the fight took its toll. He died because he inherited human nature, and was a son of Adam, but not for his own sin. God being a God of love and justice, raised him from the dead, death having no hold on him, (Acts 2:24) because he had done no sin, (1 Peter 2:22) and had not displayed the symptoms. He had lived a perfect life, of love, joy, goodness, selflessness, mercy and compassion, despite the hatred, sorrow, selfishness, pain and suffering he had experienced at the hands of other men. Jesus was raised from the dead and given eternal life, free, completely free from the disease. His life has been made available for others to share in. He is the cure, the remedy the vaccine (Isaiah 53:5, 1 Peter 2: 24). Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. The good news of the gospel teaches that if believers take on the life of Jesus, acting, and thinking as he did, he will be a covering for their sins (Romans 4:7, Matthew 26:28), and will fortify their minds, to prepare them against future attacks of the pandemic of sin. Those attacks will come. And as with Coronavirus, having antibodies does not guarantee complete immunity.

Checking for the disease

As already mentioned, mankind has always lived with pandemics. In fact, the Bible speaks about infectious diseases, and the measures that scientists and doctors have recommended today show a remarkable similarity to what the Bible recommended 3500 years ago. We can read of this amazing similarity in Leviticus 13. When an individual showed signs or symptoms of an infectious and contagious disease – described as leprosy – and it was suspected, they had to leave their living quarters, and go and see the priest. The priest had to look and examine the patient. If the suspicion proved to be true, the individual had to go into self-isolation for seven days (13:4) After the seven days, the symptom would be checked, and the self-isolation would Lepercontinue for another seven days (13:6). Fourteen days of self-isolation – exactly the same period of time imposed by the government legislation today. If after the quarantine period, the person’s symptoms have not spread and he had stabilised, then it was not the dreaded disease after all, he had to wash his clothes, and he was declared clean. Free to re-enter society. However, after 14 days, the symptoms may have got worse, and spread, the person was then declared a leper, and he was required to completely separate from society, without the camp (13:46) Chapter 14 of Leviticus describes the unlikely event of a person being cured of this disease. Again, it was for the priests who had to examine the patient and look closely to determine whether there had been a change. If the person was genuinely clean of the disease, a ritual sacrifice had to made, of a lamb as well as others. Blood from this sacrifice had to be dabbed on the right ear, the right thumb and right great toe. What did all this mean?

Dealing with the disease

It is very interesting of course that aspects of dealing with this disease: identification, separation and isolation are very close to what happens today. Much of what was described took place for the same medical reasons as today, showing of course the advancement of the society in those days of ancient Israel, who followed the law of God. Leprosy features very often in scripture, and does so because it is a graphic illustration of sin’s destructive power.

Today people, living under the fear of Covid 19 may well develop symptoms. It is the law now, that an individual must go and obtain a test. There is no argument about the result. If it is positive, then isolation for 14 days is compulsory. Not only experiencing loneliness, the victim of the disease is filled with dread, as there is a possibility they could die. Everything at that moment has changed, their life, their relationships, it could affect their job, they will miss their friends. It was the same as in the Old Testament; if someone was told they had leprosy, it was effectively a death sentence. So while in isolation, for 14 days, there is much anxiety and time for deep reflection, and self-examination. 

Lung infectionOf course, the disease is attacking the body. With Covid 19, the respiratory system can be affected. With severe infection, pneumonia can set in, the body reacts to the infection by its immune system releasing inflammatory molecules, which in turn rally more immune cells to kill the virus infected cells. The fallout from this ongoing battle between the immune system and the virus leaves behind excess fluid and dead cells in the lungs, causing shortness of breath, and oxygen starvation.

This is similar of course to what is happening in the mind when we become submerged and overcome by the pandemic of sin. There is a battle going on inside our minds, a combat between to do good, or to choose to do evil Romans 7: 22-23…For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin.

Is there a cure?

It is because we become morally unclean, because of the infection of sin, that we are in a state of isolation, separated from God. The realisation of our own vulnerability, and the impending sentence of death, and the possibility of no escape has confronted many Covid 19 patients, and it is no different with the curse of sin. The awareness of our own weakness, that we are not in charge of our destiny after all, that things can change overnight, out of the blue as it were, rendering us helpless, feeling useless, trapped, frightened even, is time to think that we should not just be looking for symptoms of the coronavirus, but to examine ourselves, use self-diagnosis honestly, but to face up to the truth of our own moral sickness. In the same way those with leprosy had to go to the priest for an assessment, is exactly what is required of those who want to know the truth about their spiritual condition. Identifying the disease is the first step to finding the cure. Seeing ourselves as we really are is the first step to repentance.

Jesus Christ is The Priest who is there to provide the standard to measure against, to give the true and right diagnosis, and has the advice and guidance to aid recovery. It is useful also to remind ourselves that the whole of our life should be a period of reflection and self-examination, for one day as the scriptures teach, those responsible will have to face the judge 2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. If the virus of sin has overcome us, and the proscribed remedy freely offered has not been taken, then death will certainly follow, but if the daily recommended dose of the gospel has been faithfully partaken, then the virus of sin will be destroyed. Back in the Leviticus, under the law, we recall how an individual when examined and found free from the disease was to offer amongst other things, a lamb. In this it is recognised that the cure is found spiritually in the Lamb of God which has taken away the sin of the world (John 1:29) The blood being put on the right ear, thumb and toe (Leviticus 14:17) was to teach the recovered patient, that their new life is possible through the blood of that sacrifice, now it is the law of God which they hear which directs them, their actions and their walk are influenced and aligned with that of Christ Jesus.

The way of escape

So in the same way scientists are working hard to provide ways and means of finding a way out of this grim lockdown, and to relieve the population of the dread of catching this horrible virus, and in the same way, doctors are working hard to save their patients, so is God working hard, as a God of love to save mankind, and provide a way of escape from this scourge of sin and death. He has provided the means, He has provided clear instructions. All that is required for us as the victims of this super – pandemic of sin, is to make the effort in following those instructions. Scientists are boasting about 90% or 95% effectiveness of their vaccines. The God in heaven does not have to claim this, the proof has been there for 2000 years in showing 100% effectiveness, as Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead, and given eternal life, and lives evermore. The same liberty and the same release from the bonds of sin and death are 100% guaranteed to those who trust the Great Physician, and in faith believe enough to obey and to Baptismwash and be clean, just as the suspected leper had to. The first act of obedience is baptism, which symbolises that new life in Christ Jesus. Is this just too difficult to do? It requires humility. It requires that self-examination, and to think again, repent, and seek that covering for our sins, forgiveness, if we can do all of this, we will be victorious, more than conquerors. (Romans 8:37).

Reign of sin or of Christ?

Coronavirus is so called because in the Latin, corona means an encircling structure that resembles a crown. This virus is just one of thousands of diseases that have come and gone, and maybe will soon be forgotten about by many. Right now, this corona virus appears to be ruling the world. But as we have attempted to emphasise, it has been King Sin which has been ruling over men for thousands of years. However, as we can read in Daniel 2:32 It is the most High that rules in the kingdoms of men. It has been, and still is, God’s purpose to allow people of their own free will to choose – to choose to love God, by knowing and understanding His character, and to end the isolation and separation caused by the imposition of the virus of sin. This is the promise that God has made, that He will send His son again to this earth, to judge the world, and then to establish a Kingdom of peace and harmony when God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain. (Revelation 21:4)

Is this Covid-19 Crisis a Sign of Christ's Return?

Earlier it has been pointed out that making bold predictions is dangerous, unless it is expressly described in the word of God. There are many other prophecies that show us that we are indeed living in the end times, such as the fulfilment of the return of the Jews to their homeland, the establishment of the state of Israel, the rise of atheism, humanism, communism, the power of democracy, the power of Catholic Europe, the rise of Russia, and many more. It is true that the Lord Jesus made predictions in Matthew 24 of the end of the world and gave signs including: 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. However, on close examination, the context reveals that Jesus was speaking to his same generation, who would witness the end times of the Jewish nation, by the compete destruction of their country and city by the Romans war machine in AD70. Nevertheless, Jesus did go on to explain what else would happen and gave a brief description of events preceding his second appearing, revealing that history has a habit of repeating itself. For example in the parallel passage in Luke 21, Jesus refers to the conquest of Judea and Jerusalem by the Romans and says: 24-26 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: Jesus is using prophetic symbolic language here, sun, moon and stars refer to political powers, and among the general population – the earth, distress of nations, men’s hearts failing them for fear. Such is the state of things that Jesus describes just before he returns to earth. Distress of nations. Men’s hearts failing them for fear. Is that not an accurate description of the state of the world today? With unease and uncertainty increasing for a variety of converging reasons. No one predicted such a global event as this pandemic. A pandemic which has been caused by a virus, of which it has been estimated that the total amount infecting humans could fit onto just one teaspoon! A Teaspoonteaspoon of bugs which has transformed the world, enforcing deep changes in human behaviour, and has made people aware of their misguided dependency on governments, scientists and experts, all who have been helpless in the face of this biological onslaught. It may occur to the thoughtful among us, that if such a change can be brought about by such an insignificant catalyst, imagine what kind of change is possible with the population of the world under the direction of the wisdom of God, and the leadership of Jesus Christ. In many ways, this pandemic has prepared the world for further, and deeper changes, again which the world’s experts have no way to predict or avoid.

As Bible prophecies indicate, and which have proved accurate thus far, the world will not be allowed to continue as it is, being destroyed by the greed of big business, and the commercial materialism of the global population. The times of the Gentiles will come to an end, and Jesus Christ, the Son of God will return. He will bring redemption to those who have trusted in him, and salvation to those who have stood firm against the scoffers in the last days, who have resisted the corruption, the pandemic of sin, and have availed themselves of the vaccine of the victor, who have truly examined themselves, taken action and submitting to the rules from above. The Lord Jesus will award the corona – the crown of glory to these, (1 Peter 5:4) these will be given positions of rulership and power, replacing the corrupt governments and rulers of this world. The world will be cleansed, and no more will there be fear and trouble, the greatest pandemic of all, sin will brought under control.

Right now, believers do not need to be anxious, and overly concerned, Philippians 4:6,7 Do not be anxious for anything; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 

Terry Hilsden | 20th November 2020