The Coronavirus Pandemic
What is God Saying?
Let’s get one thing clear right up front: God is sovereign, and that means the current coronavirus was let loose with His permission. Satan may have been the agent, but it would be unbiblical to blame it on Satan. The Bible never blames Satan for natural disasters.
So, what is God doing? What is He trying to say to us? I believe He is warning us of impending judgment, and therefore He is calling the world to repentance. The Bible teaches that God never pours out His wrath without warning because He does not wish that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and salvation (2 Peter 3:9).
How God Warns
God warns in two ways. First, He raises up prophetic voices who identify the sins of the people and issue a call for them to repent. Then, if they dismiss the prophets and refuse to repent, God will send remedial judgments — again, for the purpose of calling people to repentance.
Deuteronomy 28 contains a detailed listing of the types of remedial judgments God will place on a nation that becomes rebellious against Him and His Word. They include:
- Cities in chaos (verse 16)
- Crop Failures (verses 16-18,38-40,42)
- Livestock diseases (verses 18,31)
- Loss of children (verses 18,32,41)
- Confusion in all undertakings (verse 20)
- Pestilence (verses 21-22)
- Diseases (verses 27,35)
- Insanity (verses 28-29,34)
- Drought (verse 24)
- Troubled marriages (verse 30)
- Defeat in wars (verse 25)
- Foreign domination (verses 33,43-44)
God specifically warned the nation of Judah that if they ignored His prophets and His remedial judgments, the ultimate result would be the destruction of their nation and the exile of their people worldwide.
One of the prophets God raised up to deliver His message of warning to Judah was a man named Jeremiah. God told him to survey the nation and compile a list of the people’s sins. God was well aware of the sins. He wanted his prophet to become aware of them.
Jeremiah reported back an incredible list of sins — incredible when you consider the fact that God had blessed Judah more than any nation that had ever existed up to that time. He had given them great leaders like Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah and Josiah — the king who was ruling when Jeremiah was called. Yet, the people of Judah had turned their backs on their Creator and Sustainer, the very One who was the source of all their blessings.
Jeremiah’s report to God contained a very dirty laundry list of sins:
- Lies and blasphemy (5:2)
- Immorality (5:7)
- Arrogance (5:12-13)
- Social injustice (5:25-28)
- Religious corruption (5:30-31)
- Closed minds (6:10)
- Greed (6:13)
Jeremiah proceeded to sum it all up in three breathtaking statements:
- “They have made their faces harder than rock” (5:3).
- “They have a stubborn and rebellious heart” (5:23).
- “They do not even know how to blush” (6:15).
Jeremiah went forth and began proclaiming the sins of his people while calling for their repentance. Needless to say, this did not make him a popular person. The people of Judah turned against him big time when he began to prophesy that if they refused to repent, God would pour out His wrath upon them (6:22-26).
The people accused the prophet of being full of wind (5:13). And they taunted him by chanting, “The Temple, the Temple, the Temple” (7:13). What they meant by this was that they did not believe God would ever allow Judah and Jerusalem to be conquered and destroyed because His Shekinah Glory resided in the Temple.
But the destruction prophesied did come at the hands of the Babylonians who completely destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in 586 BC. All of which led to the writing of two of the saddest verses to be found in the Hebrew Scriptures (2 Chronicles 36):
15) The LORD, the God of their fathers, sent word to them again and again by His messengers, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place;
16) but they continually mocked the messengers of God, despised His words and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, until there was no remedy.
Back to the Question
So, what does all this have to do with today’s worldwide pandemic?
Ever since the mid-1970s, God has been raising up prophetic voices around the world, calling people to repentance. Additionally, He has been sending remedial judgments to get people’s attention in order to motivate them to repentance.
Take our nation for example. In my book, God’s Prophetic Voices to America (2017), I identified 13 prophets God has raised up (four in the past and nine in the present) to call our nation to repentance, one of which was a foreigner — Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. This great Russian author was kicked out of his homeland after he revealed the Soviet persecution of the Russian people in the gulag concentration camps located mainly in Siberia.
He came to the United States and settled in Vermont. In 1978, Harvard University invited him to be their commencement speaker. He arrived on campus a hero and left as a pariah. Instead of delivering an address condemning Communism, he focused on the sins of America, denouncing our materialism in no uncertain terms. He prophesied that, like the Communists who had put Russia through a living hell, our leaders had forgotten God.
The Harvard intelligentsia was outraged. They booed him and wrote him off as a “Tsarist reactionary.”
God has continued to send us prophetic voices, and we as a nation have continued to turn a deaf ear to their pleas for repentance and their warnings of impending destruction. God has also sent remedial judgments like the Vietnam War, Hurricane Katrina, wildfires, ungodly leaders and now the pandemic that is killing people and ravaging our economy.
Remedial judgments have also been occurring around the world. Consider, for example, the wildfires in Australia, the locust invasion in Africa, the epidemic of earthquakes along the Pacific “ring of fire” and now the virus pandemic.
Worldwide Rebellion and Indifference
The rebellion against God and His Word has also become a worldwide pandemic. This is the fulfillment of Bible prophecies about the end times. Jesus Himself said that He would return at a time when society would become as evil as it was in the days of Noah (Matthew 24:37). If you read Genesis 6, you will see that the two fundamental characteristics of Noah’s society were violence and immorality. That’s exactly what we see in our nation today and all around the world. In short, we have arrived.
I believe God is speaking to us through the virus pandemic — warning us of His impending wrath. He is shouting from the heavens that we are on the threshold of the Tribulation when He will pour out His wrath on all the rebellious people and nations on the earth.
That, in turn, means the Rapture is about to occur — the event that is described in detail in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 when Jesus will come for His Church, both the living and the dead, to deliver them from the world before the wrath of God is poured out (1 Thessalonians 1:10).
Is anyone listening? Does anyone care? The world is scoffing at the prophetic voices and the remedial judgments.
The American Attitude
Americans are among the worst. Thus far, we have responded to prophetic voices like David Wilkerson with mocking and to remedial judgments like 9/11 with patriotism. But God is calling for repentance, not expressions of national greatness.
Do you think it was just a coincidence that God allowed the 9/11 terrorists to attack the two symbols of American pride — the Twin Towers in New York City and the Pentagon? The Twin Towers represented our wealth and the Pentagon, our military power.
I personally have always believed that God’s ultimate judgment on our nation would be the destruction of our economy. Why? Because the real god of America has become the Almighty Dollar.
The true God of this universe — the one who was America’s God until the 1960s — is a jealous God (Deuteronomy 4:24) who hates idolatry (Exodus 34:14) and will not tolerate it. We have become a thoroughly materialistic society with a false god, and I believe the true God is going to destroy our false one.
We can be thankful that the true God is very patient and longsuffering. Otherwise, He would have destroyed us long before now. Consider the words of the Hebrew prophet, Nahum, in chapter one of his prophecy:
2) A jealous and avenging God is the LORD; the LORD is avenging and wrathful. The LORD takes vengeance on His adversaries, And He reserves wrath for His enemies.
3) The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, and the LORD will by no means leave the guilty unpunished…
Back to the Example of Judah
The Lord’s patience is illustrated by the fact that even after the horrible reign of Judah’s King Manasseh, God relented from destroying the nation. Think about that for a moment. Manasseh reigned for 55 years, longer than any other king in the nation’s history. His reign was undoubtedly a remedial judgment which God placed upon the rebellious nation. He gave them the kind of leader they deserved.
King Manasseh gave himself to gross idolatry, erecting altars all over the land to false gods like Baal. He became involved with astrology and worshiped the stars of heaven. He practiced witchcraft, divination and sorcery. He sacrificed children by burning them alive, and he placed a false idol in the Jerusalem Temple (2 Chronicles 33:1-7).
But God, in His unfathomable patience and mercy, held back His wrath and even gave the people of Judah a window of grace by raising up a righteous king named Josiah (2 Chronicles 34). Josiah led a nationwide spiritual revival, but it was imposed from the top down and did not impact the hearts of the people. Thus, when Josiah was killed in battle after a reign of 31 years, the nation of Judah immediately plunged back into its ungodly ways. The evil of Manasseh’s years had become interwoven in the fabric of the nation’s soul. And God finally poured out His wrath.
The American Parallel
In like manner, our nation has turned its back on the very One who has blessed us beyond any nation that has ever existed. Some argue that we are just going through a period of spiritual coldness, like what has happened to us in times past. And they argue that we will experience a great spiritual revival — again, just as has happened in the past.
I do not agree with this attitude. We are not a nation that has grown spiritually cold. We have gone far beyond that point. We are now a nation in open, hostile rebellion against God and His Word.
We have kicked God out of our schools and the public arena. We are in the process of confining religious freedom to the home and church buildings. We continue to murder babies in the womb. We have given legal approval to the Sexual Perversion Movement. We are in the process of outlawing hate speech, which will soon include quoting certain verses of the Bible or speaking out about specific sins. And worst of all, we have churches all across our land who are getting in bed with the world because they are more interested in seeking the approval of people than God.
As I have pointed out, God has responded to us patiently with prophetic voices and remedial judgments, including giving us the kind of leaders we deserve. Clinton and Obama were those kind of leaders.
The Christian poet, Kay Hedger, described President Bill Clinton in these powerful words written in 1993, which we published in a book in 1994 titled, The Parched Soul of America:
State of the Heart
A draft-dodging, drug “exhaling,” sodomy protecting, shady dealing, tax raising, child exploiting, baby killing, feminist pandering, religion robbing, border betraying, gun confiscating, military reducing, womanizer becomes Commander-in-Chief and the nation gets a leader who reflects the true condition of its heart.
I think it is very interesting that in that same book, in the section devoted to the probable payoffs for our sins, there was this poem about disease:
Bacteria that defies all known treatment creates a medical disaster of global proportion And ushers in a post-antibiotic era Leading scientific authorities are incapable of helping a people who stubbornly refuse to fear God
President Barack Obama was even worse than Bill Clinton. He turned out to be the most pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, antiCapitalist, anti-Israel leader in the entire history of our nation.
The man who promised us hope, proceeded to destroy that hope with his myriad of ungodly programs and actions. Perhaps the most outrageous was when he lit up the White House in the colors of the Sexual Perversion Movement in celebration of the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage. Obama was America’s Manasseh.
A Window of Grace
Thankfully, Bible-believing Christians went to prayer for our nation. Franklin Graham traveled to every state capital during the 2016 presidential campaign and led prayer rallies for God to have mercy on our nation. He began every one of those rallies with these insightful words:
I have no hope in the Democratic Party, and I have no hope in the Republican Party. Zero hope. Our only hope is God.
God heard those prayers, and He responded with a window of grace with the miraculous election of Donald Trump.
I think it is very interesting that back in 1980 when Ronald Reagan was elected, Francis Shaeffer, one of God’s prophetic voices to America, referred to Reagan’s election as a “window of grace” from God, and it was.
But as soon as his term ended in 1989, our society took up where it had left off in its rejection of Judeo-Christian values and proceeded with its downward spiral into the secular, pagan pit of Humanism.
President Trump is doing a lot of things right while he continues to proclaim that he is going to “Make America Great Again.” But don’t count on it. No one can make our nation great again as long as we continue in our outright rebellion against God and His Word.
Crossing the Line of No Return
Our nation, like Judah, has gone too far in its rejection of God. I believe our wound is incurable. The election of Trump is not a portent of our future. And I can prove that with four brutal facts. After eight years of the most ungodly administration in American history:
- President Obama left office with a 60% approval rating.
- His designated heir, Hillary Clinton, received three million more votes than Trump.
- Our nation’s future — the Millennials (18 to 29 year olds) — supported an out-and-out Socialist, and when he failed to get the nomination, they voted overwhelmingly for Clinton.
- Consider, too, the ignorance of God’s Word that has come to characterize both our nation and professing Christians.
This ignorance is reflected in the latest polls conducted by the Barna Association which show that only 9% of Americans are Bible-believing Christians! And even more shocking, only 17% of professing Christians are truly Bible-believing Christians!
And what determines a Bible-believing Christian? Answers to the following six questions:
- Does absolute moral truth exist?
- Is the Bible totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches?
- Is Satan a real being and not simply a symbolic force?
- Can people earn their way into Heaven by doing good works?
- Did Jesus live a sinless life?
- Is God the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the world who still rules the universe today?
Again, only 9% of Americans can answer these questions biblically, and only 17% of professing Christians can do so! Is it any wonder that a recent national poll by George Barna’s American Culture and Faith Institute revealed that:
- 77% of Americans believe divorce is acceptable.
- 71% believe sexual intercourse between unmarried adults is acceptable.
- 69% believe having a baby out of marriage is acceptable.
- 58% believe viewing pornography is acceptable.
Or, consider what public opinion polls are showing regarding same-sex marriage. Acceptance of this abomination has increased rapidly from 37% in 2007 to 62% in 2018. The acceptance among white Evangelicals has increased from 14% in 2007 to 35% in 2018. The latest 2018 poll showed there is only one state left in the Union where a majority of people oppose samesex marriage — Alabama!
Our nation needs to wake-up to the fact that legalizing an abomination does not make it moral. Here’s how one organization has put it:
Legality does not equal Morality. Slavery was wrong, when it was legal. Abortion is wrong, even though it is legal. Gay “marriage” is wrong, even though it is legal.
The Triumph of Humanism
My friends, we need to face up to the fact that we have lost the culture war. Humanism has triumphed. We are now a nation begging God to deliver us from judgment to destruction.
If President Trump is succeeded by another radical liberal ideological person like Obama or Bernie Sanders, supported by a radical liberal Congress, the turnaround will be swift and breathtaking.
- All of Trump’s executive orders will be reversed overnight.
- The 2nd Amendment will come under concerted attack.
- Abortion will be promoted and expanded to infanticide.
- Hate speech legislation will be broadened to prevent people from speaking out against the Sexual Perversion Movement.
- Israel will be abandoned.
- Expressions of Christianity will be confined to church buildings.
People say, “But the Supreme Court will stand as a wall against the tide of paganism and secularism.” My response is “Don’t count on it.”
A radical President with a supporting Congress can undercut the Court by passing legislation to increase the members from nine to 11 and to allow for additional appointments for each judge who stays on the court beyond the age of 70.
Yes, Franklin Roosevelt tried this in 1937 when he was at the height of his popularity and failed. But what most people forget or don’t know is that six times in American history Congress has changed the size of the Supreme Court by either increasing or decreasing the number of justices — each time for political reasons.
Our Constitution does not specify the number of judges. The Court began with 6 judges. It was decreased in 1801 to 5, restored to 6 the same year, increased to 7 in 1807 and to 9 in 1837. It was further increased to 10 members in 1863 and then reduced to 7 in 1866 to prevent President Andrew Johnson from making any appointments. The current size of 9 was set in 1869.
The Message of Romans 1
I think Romans chapter one makes it crystal clear that the fate of our nation is sealed. It says that the wrath of God is called down from Heaven by:
- Suppression of the truth, and
- Worship of the creation rather than the Creator
Well, that’s exactly where we are in our nation’s history.
- We are practicing ungodliness as we kick God out of our schools and all aspects of our public life.
- We are practicing unrighteousness in our daily murder of babies.
- We are suppressing the truth of the origin of the universe and of life.
- And we are worshiping the Creation rather than the Creator.
Romans chapter one tells us how God responds to this kind of rebellion against Him and His Word. He steps back and lowers the nation’s hedge of protection, allowing evil to multiply. The first result is a sexual revolution — which occurred in our nation in the 1960s ( Romans 1:24).
If the nation persists in its rebellion, the Lord will take a second step back and allow sin to multiply, resulting in a plague of homosexuality — which occurred in this country in the 1980s and 90s (Romans 1:26-27).
If the nation still refuses to repent, God will take a third and final step back and deliver the society over to a depraved mind (Romans 1:28-31) — which is where we are today.
What else but depravity of mind could explain our nation’s celebration over the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize samesex marriage? As we celebrated, God must have wept. I have no doubt that we signed our nation’s death warrant on June 26, 2015, when our Supreme Court rendered its despicable, ungodly decision.
Nor are we alone. Europe has rejected Christianity. And Christians are being persecuted and slaughtered worldwide.
Our world is a ticking time bomb. And one of the tragedies is that the average person is just going about his normal business as if nothing is wrong, oblivious to the fact that the wrath of God is about to be poured out.
Is there any hope for our nation? I do not believe so. But we should not despair for three reasons.
First, what we are experiencing is a fulfillment of end time prophecy. The biblical prophets, including Jesus Himself, all prophesied that in the end times society would disintegrate into violence and immorality — that it would become as evil as in the days of Noah. And that people would go about their business as if everything was normal. That is exactly where we are today. And thus, we are witnesses to the very signs that are heralding the soon return of Jesus.
This is why the great pastor, Adrian Rogers, once said, “The world is growing gloriously dark.” Or, as Jan Markell likes to put it: “The world is not falling to pieces; rather, the pieces are all falling into place.”
The second reason we should not despair is because there is individual hope. For those of us who are believers, God has promised that He will never forsake us. And the signs of the times clearly indicate that we are on the threshold of the Tribulation, which means we are about to be called home to Heaven in the Rapture.
A third reason we should not despair is because of what God is doing in Heaven right now. The Bible says in Psalm 2 that while all the political leaders of the world conspire against Him, His Word and His Son, our Creator sits on His throne and laughs. He is not laughing because He does not care. Oh no! He is laughing because He has the wisdom and power to orchestrate all the evil of mankind and Satan to the triumph of His will in history.
There is also hope for unbelievers. As the pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, Robert Jeffress, likes to point out:
When the darkness deepens, the light of Jesus will shine more brightly, like a diamond on a black cloth, and more and more people will be drawn to Jesus and be saved.
Meanwhile, as the darkness deepens, those of us who are believers must serve as salt and light, standing for God and His Word and refusing to give in to the demands of a pagan society, regardless of the cost.
We must be beacons of hope, pointing people to the God of hope while urging them to put their hope in their only Hope — Jesus, the Son of God, who is the soon returning King of kings and Lord of lords.