Living on the Brink of Eternity
Christian Security in the Face of Viral Fear
The world is currently grappling with a threat that has long been discussed and dreaded — the outbreak of a disease that has become a global pandemic.
Widespread epidemics have occurred throughout human history. The Old Testament recorded an outbreak of disease as one of the ten plagues that befell Egypt — both on livestock and on people (Exodus 9). Israel itself was inflicted with a plague as a punishment for King David’s sinful census (2 Samuel 24). Seventy thousand men died from the plague before David repented and offered a sacrifice that brought the plague to an end.
Second Kings 19 recounts one of the most devastating and extraordinary incidents of divine plague in biblical history. The king of Assyria had encircled Jerusalem with a massive army. The Jewish king, Hezekiah, went to the Lord in prayer, asking for deliverance. “That night the angel of the LORD went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning — there were all the dead bodies!” (2 Kings 19:35).
In the Middle Ages, a widespread outbreak of bubonic plague in Europe killed 25 million and led to the persecution of the Jews because they miraculously seemed impervious to the ravages of the disease. They were accused of poisoning the wells. It did not occur to anti-Semitic Gentiles that the Jewish dietary and hygienic laws helped insulate them from the ravages of the contagion’s spread.
In more recent times, an outbreak of Spanish Flu in 1918, during the last year of World War I, quickly spread worldwide. It resulted in more deaths than those who were killed in the war. It is estimated that as many as 40 million people died from the disease worldwide, making it the most devastating epidemic in recorded history. More people died of influenza in a single year than in the four years of the bubonic plague which swept Europe from 1347 to 1351.
The reason for the high death toll of the Spanish Flu is that it produced pneumonia, and there were no antibiotics in existence to counter the pneumonia. The first antibiotic, penicillin, was not discovered until 1928.
As medical scientists have come to understand the nature of viral and bacterial diseases, they’ve made incredible strides preventing and treating them. Vaccines and treatments are able to mitigate most of the threat to modern societies.
But doctors, scientists and government leaders alike have realized that new strains might elude our vaccines and be easily transmittable from person to person. Given our global economy and the ease and frequency of international travel, the potential for an explosive outbreak of deadly disease has long been feared and anticipated.
A Renewed Threat
In late 2019, a new type of virus officially known as COVID-19 emerged in the Wuhan province of China. Much media attention has been devoted to speculating about the nature of its origin, but it is likely that an animal virus mutated into a form that could be transmitted to humans. Once that new virus strain began to infect the local population, it was only a matter of time before it spread throughout China and the world.
In late February 2020, medical experts began warning that this coronavirus outbreak could become the global pandemic that has been feared for many years. On March 11, the World Health Organization declared it to be so. All over the world, nations began to shut down their borders. And quickly thereafter, they began to institute draconian measures to stop the spread of the virus. Normal everyday life changed drastically as businesses were closed down and people lost their jobs. Those who were able to keep their jobs started working from home. Almost overnight the world went on lockdown.
Significance to Bible Prophecy
What is the significance of this development to Bible prophecy? Why is it worthy of comment? Because the Bible teaches that the curse the Creation has been groaning under since the fall of man will become even more pronounced prior to Jesus’ return. Natural disasters will occur with greater severity and frequency as the Day of the Lord draws near.
As billions of people find their daily lives completely disrupted, they will come to recognize the insignificance of most of the things that clamor for the world’s attention. Many people will be motivated to grapple with their own mortality — what the Bible describes as the precariousness of this life (Psalm 144:4; James 4:14). When they do, it is our great hope that many will turn to Jesus Christ and embrace Him as Savior and Lord.
If you are reading this because you are waiting out this epidemic, please know that the Light of God’s truth is shining even in this dark moment. All of the signs of the times we are witnessing were foretold by Bible prophecy. God’s Word reminds us to:
- Recognize that the Lord told us the world will deteriorate.
- Realize that the timing of His return will be perfect in the flow of human history.
- Receive with gladness the opportunity for testifying about our Savior and Lord, even in “such a time as this.”
Christians are both pessimists and optimists. We are pessimists because we believe what the Bible teaches about the fallen and corrupt nature of Mankind. We are optimists because we also believe what the Bible promises about the future — namely, that Jesus will be completely victorious.
But most of all, we are people of hope, and not just hope as an idea or an unattainable wish like “I hope I get a pony for my birthday.” Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus Christ — our living and personal Blessed Hope. Or, as hymnist Robert Critchley wrote:
My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
At Lamb & Lion Ministries, our mission is to boldly testify to the Light in the midst of darkness, telling people that Jesus Christ is coming soon.
The old adage says it is “darkest just before the dawn.” The Bible affirms that it will indeed grow darker before the Lord once again declares, “Let there be Light!” and bursts from Heaven in radiant splendor. That’s why Pastor Adrian Rogers once said, “The world is growing gloriously dark!”
Realizing that his time on earth was drawing to a close, the Apostle Paul wrote:
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing (2 Timothy 4:7-8).
Are you a candidate to receive the “crown of righteousness” that is mentioned in this passage of Scripture? I hope so.
The Importance of an Eternal Perspective
Do you love Christ’s appearing? Do you look forward to the Rapture (when believers in Jesus are caught up to Heaven to be with Jesus). Are you anxious for His glorious return when He will begin to reign over all the world? If so, you will not be paralyzed by the current outbreak of fear and panic descending upon the world. Instead, you will see it as an opportunity to proclaim Jesus Christ as the world’s only hope.
If you do not already know Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, don’t delay another day or hour. Place your trust in Jesus Christ. Accept His offer of forgiveness and His promise of eternal life with God. Simply pray:
Lord Jesus, I believe that You were born without sin and lived a perfect life, that You suffered and died for my sins, that You were buried and raised again to life, and that You ascended to Heaven to prepare a place for those who put their trust in You. I confess my sinfulness against You and ask You to forgive me and draw me to Yourself. I welcome You into my life and ask you to change my heart. I commit to following You in obedience and look forward to Your glorious return. Amen.
Follow-up this prayer by seeking a Bible believing church where Jesus is exalted as the only hope for this world. Confess publicly before that congregation your faith in Jesus and manifest that faith in baptism. Then get involved in a Bible study group so that you can begin to grow in the Lord.
If you have believed upon the Lord Jesus Christ, your salvation is secure. You will become a fruit-bearer for the Lord. Then, come storm or famine or war or pestilence, your song can be:
When He shall come with trumpet sound, O may I then in Him be found, Dressed in His righteousness alone, Faultless to stand before the throne.
Refrain: On Christ the solid Rock, I stand, All other ground is sinking sand, All other ground is sinking sand.
“Amen. Come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20).