Is the Coronavirus pandemic the beginning of the Great Tribulation? Find out with Dr. David Reagan and team on the show Christ in Prophecy!
Air Date: April 26, 2020
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Dr. Reagan: The current coronavirus pandemic has the entire world on edge. Many are asking: Is this a judgment of God? Is it the beginning of the Great Tribulation? Will it lead to the end of the world as we know it? Is it a sign of Christ’s soon return? Unfortunately, wild speculation is running out of control faster than the virus itself. Stay tuned for some down-to-earth, biblical answers to the questions people are asking about the pandemic.
Dr. Reagan: Greetings in the name of Jesus, our Blessed Hope, and welcome to Christ in Prophecy! My two colleagues, Nathan Jones and Tim Moore are primed to answer your spiritual questions about the pandemic that is sweeping the entire world.
Fellas let’s jump right into this with the first question, and the first question is this: Some people are saying this pandemic is a judgment of God, but isn’t God a God of love? And if so, how could He be responsible for something so horrible? Isn’t the God of wrath and judgment the God of the Old Testament? Well, fellas, as you can see, this first question has a whole lot of questions within it. For example, it’s asking: What is the nature of God? Is the God of the Old Testament different from the God of the New Testament? Can bad events ever be attributed to God? Shouldn’t Satan be the one blamed for this pandemic? Let me read the major question again, for you to ponder and our audience. And that question is this: Some people are saying this pandemic is a judgment of God, but isn’t God a God of love, and if so, how could He be responsible for something so horrible? Isn’t the God of wrath and judgment the God of the Old Testament? Okay, who goes first?
Tim Moore: Well, I’d say a very deep question, and we have just a little bit of time, but I think we can–
Dr. Reagan: And you’re ready to jump into the deep water, huh?
Tim Moore: Well, I’m ready to jump in. Obviously we know from scripture that God does not change; He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, forever. And as a matter of fact, in Malachi chapter 3 verse 6 it says, “For I the Lord do not change.” So, He has not changed from the Old Testament to the New. The same God who called people to repentance, sometimes through pouring out judgment, leading to repentance, is the same God today who offers salvation through Jesus Christ.
Dr. Reagan: So, you’re denying a fundamental idea that many, many people have and that is that the God of the Old Testament is one thing, and the God of the New Testament is a different thing. That He changed.
Tim Moore: Absolutely, denying that. Scripture denies that.
Dr. Reagan: And one of the fundamental characteristics of God is what the theologians call His immutability; immutable, never changes.
Tim Moore: Exactly, so.
Nathan Jones: I like the verse when it talks about His unchanging Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” As Tim said, He is not changing. The God of the Old Testament–it is interesting how many people will come up and say, “Well, the God of the Old Testament He’s angry.” It’s like that old Simpson’s episode where Homer is like, “God is always angry.” Well, He was angry because the people were always in rebellion against Him. But you would see His love because He would come and try to use judgements to pull the people back to Him. And it’s the same God then as is we have today. Well, they say, Jesus is different, no He’s the God of love. He must be totally different than God. But now we are talking about the Trinity and that can get pretty deep.
Tim Moore: It certainly can. And obviously even in the Old Testament the way that people such as Abraham, Moses, David were credited with righteousness was not because they were holy in of themselves, but God credited to them righteousness because they believed God. That is exactly what it says regarding Abraham. It says the same thing about Noah and others. They believed God and therefore He credited them with righteousness. We put our faith in Jesus Christ. We believe that He is the Son of God and offers salvation and we are credited with righteousness as well.
Nathan Jones: And I love that you brought up holiness, because God’s holiness is the foundation for all His other characteristics. Holy means to be set apart, to be pure. Revelation 15:4 says, “Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, for Your judgments have been manifested.” And then we’ve got the four living creatures the seraphim that sit in front of the throne of God, and day and night they sing, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty.” The fact that He’s absolutely pure, and that He’s absolutely holy is the foundation for the fact that then God can judge sin because He is sinless.
Tim Moore: Well, and He is not only loving, which is something that is emphasized from New Testament Christians, but He is also just. He is merciful, but He is holy. Which means that He is a jealous God; He will not tolerate idolatry. And many people today are worshipping a false God of their own making who only has the attributes that they like instead of the true and living God of Scripture.
Dr. Reagan: Well, can bad events ever be attributed to God?
Tim Moore: Well, it depends upon what you consider a bad event. Let’s use the most extreme example of a bad event in all of human history. I would declare that that is the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, because the absolute Son of God was crucified. He was killed. From man’s perspective that is a horrible event, and it truly was. But it’s also a glorious event because it proves that Jesus laid down His life; it was not taken from Him. And so, it was part of God’s plan. And so, many other events in human history, God did indeed orchestrate to bring about people’s repentance and to bring them back to Him.
Dr. Reagan: When people say that nothing evil, nothing bad, nothing you know that would upset people and get them in fear and panic could ever come from God is just nonsense.
Tim Moore: It is nonsense.
Dr. Reagan: Because God destroyed the entire earth with water.
Tim Moore: Yes, He did.
Nathan Jones: Right.
Dr. Reagan: And that wasn’t Satan doing that was God doing that.
Tim Moore: It certainly was. Sodom and Gomorrah had the same outcome.
Dr. Reagan: Yeah.
Tim Moore: Destruction.
Nathan Jones: Psalm 7:11 says, “God is a just judge, and God is angry with the wicked every day.” So, praise the Lord that God is actually angry with our sin. You love to use the term a cosmic teddy bear, oh, God just forgives you. I remember I was getting my haircut, with a lesbian haircutter, and she was telling me that, “Oh, she does enough good, she’ll get into Heaven. God will let her in.” Because you know for her, her God is a loving God who just winks at sin and does it. But we know that God is a just God. And so, when you say these good things, or bad things happen it is all based really on God’s sovereignty. Who is in charge of the universe? You have a weak God if God is not in charge of everything. Now, I like to think of God’s sovereignty as God’s driving the car and we’re the passengers. We can move around in the car. Sometimes God will stop, and we can get out of the car for gas, and get back in, but we’re always going to end up at the destination which is final judgment. The judgment of the Righteous, which is a good thing if you’re a Christian, and a bad thing a judgment the Great White Throne Judgment which will send the unrighteous into everlasting punishment. So, when you say good or bad, I think you’re absolutely right, that is a relative statement.
Tim Moore: It is. And I think the other thing to consider it too many Christians think, “Well, we just get off the hook. God is not going to pour out wrath on us.” And we think that the wrath of God just evaporates. No, the wrath of God, that each of us deserves, even Christians was poured out, it was poured out on Jesus Christ. And so, He laid down His life; that was God’s plan. And Satan thought He had won of course at Calvary, but no, the Lord planned for Jesus Christ to lay down His life. And all of us who have put our trust in Him, our wrath, the wrath that we are due was poured out onto the Lord Jesus Christ.
Dr. Reagan: Well, Nathan you mentioned that God does have wrath over our sins. The one good thing about it He sure is patient.
Nathan Jones: He absolutely is.
Dr. Reagan: Listen to these words from Nahum, “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. The Lord though is slow to anger, and great in power, and the Lord will by no means leave the guilty unpunished.”
Tim Moore: Amen.
Nathan Jones: Amen. That ties in with James 1:17, “Every good gift, and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” That verse tells us that God is unchanging, and that God is loving. So, what kind of God, if we are humans made in the image of God, are we always loving? Are we always, well, we forgive every kind of sin, do we not believe in justice? Yet, we assume that God has to be that. But God, we are made in His image, we believe in justice, and we believe in love and mercy; and God is the ultimate in that.
Dr. Reagan: From a spiritual viewpoint what do you think is the message of the pandemic that’s going on in the world today? Is there a message? Or is this just an event of nature?
Tim Moore: Go ahead, Nathan.
Nathan Jones: Well, I’ve heard three theories. The Trump’s Deal of the Century with Israel, where he has tried divide the land of Israel. There is quite a number of Christians right now saying, “Well, this is God’s judgment on the world for yet again trying to judge the nation of Israel.” There is also the rampant abortion. I don’t want to minimize the amount of people who have died from Covid-19, but in the last 3 months from January to March of 2020, nine million babies have been aborted.
Tim Moore: Worldwide.
Nathan Jones: So, maybe this is God’s way of stopping that.
Dr. Reagan: You are talking about worldwide?
Nathan Jones: Worldwide. Worldwide nine million!
Dr. Reagan: Yeah, because China is the leader in the world.
Nathan Jones: Oh, absolutely; 300 million abortions to their name. And then you’ve got the idea that, well, Trump got up and during this State of Union Address in 2020 and just bragged about how awesome he is, and how wonderful America is, and very rarely gave thanks to God. So, there are others who are saying maybe this is a judgment like on Nebuchadnezzar for not giving the proper attention to God.
Dr. Reagan: The one thing God hates is pride.
Nathan Jones: He does.
Dr. Reagan: He hates it with a passion. And the Bible itself says that pride goes before a fall. Well, I got another theory for you that you didn’t mention.
Nathan Jones: Ok, sure.
Dr. Reagan: I think that maybe it is a worldwide remedial judgment that God is using to call the whole world to repentance.
Tim Moore: Amen.
Dr. Reagan: Before the Great Tribulation. I think we are right at the threshold of the Great Tribulation. All the signs of the times are converging; it is indication that we are living in the season of the Lord’s return. And I think that God’s fundamental purpose in this pandemic is to draw people to repentance that they might be saved. Even when God pours out His wrath His fundamental purpose is always to bring people to salvation. And many people are sitting at home right now, probably thinking about eternity, and they never thought about it before.
Tim Moore: I think you’re exactly right. And in Luke chapter 13 Jesus was asked about some people who suffered a tragic fate as they were worshipping in Jerusalem.
Dr. Reagan: Yes.
Tim Moore: Pilate and the Roman soldiers created a blood bath there in Jerusalem. And Jesus said, “Well I know what you are thinking, you are thinking perhaps they were more wicked and deserving of that kind of fate.” He said, “They were no more wicked than anyone else, any more than the people who lived in the city of Siloam when a tower fell upon them and 13 were killed, they are no different either.” And His bottom line lesson in both of those episodes was to say, and I’ll quote the Lord Himself, “I tell you no,” meaning they are no more wicked, “but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” He said it again, “If you do not repent you will all likewise perish.” And so, that is the lesson for us today. We cannot know exactly why the Lord has allowed certain things.
Nathan Jones: Absolutely, we can’t read His mind.
Tim Moore: No, Job wanted to ask the Lord a few questions, you know, why am I suffering?
Dr. Reagan: Oh, yeah, he did.
Tim Moore: But the interesting thing is the Lord never answered those questions.
Dr. Reagan: He never does He just says the righteous shall live by faith.
Tim Moore: Exactly right.
Nathan Jones: And look at Habakkuk, he wanted to know God’s plans and God says, “Well, you are just not going to believe them if I told you, so just trust Me.” And I think that’s it for the Church. I mean what time period have we ever lived in where all of churches have to stay at home, but He has given us the technology even in that.
Dr. Reagan: Well, I want to get into that in the second half of our program.
Nathan Jones: Okay, because it is exciting.
Dr. Reagan: Right now, let me just conclude this section by saying that one of the persons I respect most is Ed Hindson at Liberty University. And he put out an analysis of the whole thing; it was very great. But there was something in it that jumped out at me, he said, “Is God responsible for the pandemic?” And he said, “No.” And I wrote him and I said, “You explain that to me. How can God be sovereign, and you say, ‘no’ because God is sovereign; He could stop this. He could have stopped it from ever beginning. He could have contained it to China. He could stop it tomorrow. God is sovereign.” He said, “Well, here is the reason I said that: He said, “Certainly this is under the sovereignty of God.” But he said, “God is not responsible because man is the one responsible. It is his sins that has caused this to come upon us.”
Tim Moore: And even our original sin that caused God to create a curse upon the whole world.
Dr. Reagan: Yes.
Tim Moore: And we’re still feeling ramifications of that here how many millennial later?
Dr. Reagan: Yes, we are the ones responsible; our sins have caused it. And we are the ones that God is speaking to and saying, “Come to Me in repentance. I will forgive it all and you can spend eternity with me.”
Tim Moore: Amen.
Dr. Reagan: Well, folks, we are going to take a brief break and when we come back we are going to take a look at different aspect of the pandemic; namely how should we as Christians respond to it?
Dr. Reagan: Welcome back to Christ in Prophecy and our discussion of the spiritual meaning of the pandemic. I want to shift our attention now to a discussion of the proper Christian response to the pandemic. But before I do so there are two quick questions I want to throw at you that people keep asking us. Number one: Is this the beginning of the Tribulation?
Tim Moore: I would say it is not the beginning of the Tribulation, but this is a lead into the Tribulation. We know from Scripture that in the time leading to the Tribulation that there will be birth pains. And the Lord Himself talks about earthquakes, and famines. And in one reference in Luke He talks about pandemics, or pestilence that will come upon the world. And so, these are going to be birth pains that will happen with more frequency and more intensity.
Dr. Reagan: So, that just leads to another question for you and that is: Then how do we know when does the Tribulation begin?
Nathan Jones: Well, the book of Daniel tells us flat out that the Antichrist, this one world ruler will rise by making a peace covenant with the many, meaning Israel.
Dr. Reagan: The moment he makes that covenant, we are into it.
Nathan Jones: That’s it. You can count seven years to the day, of 30 days months, leading up to Jesus’ Second Coming. Clearly there is no one world ruler right now. But I totally agree with Tim, not only pandemic but fearful events is one of the signs Jesus gave in Luke 21.
Dr. Reagan: Alright, very quickly another question: Is this the end of the world?
Tim Moore: No.
Nathan Jones: Well, the Bible has been calling the Church Age, the end of the world for a long time. So, that part can be made. But I think we are at the end of the end of the world. But even though the Tribulation, after the Rapture comes, we still know there is a 1,000 year Millennial Kingdom after that.
Dr. Reagan: That’s right.
Nathan Jones: So, it’s really hard to argue when the end of the end of the world is, but it might be as Noah learned, the end of an age. And I believe we are certainly near the end of an age.
Dr. Reagan: And in fact, the world really doesn’t end because even at the end of the Millennium we get a new heavens and a new earth, and we are going to spend eternity on a new earth.
Nathan Jones: Right. So, the end of the age I would say definitely yeah.
Dr. Reagan: Okay. Alright. Well, let’s get back to the other aspect of this that I want to discuss, and that is: What should be the attitude of Christians toward this pandemic? So, jump in there fellas.
Tim Moore: I think the attitude of Christians should be the same as the attitude of people who are righteous in Scripture, so, I’ll use Daniel as an example. When Daniel recognized the signs of his times and recognized that the Lord was about to relent of the judgment on His people, bring them back, Daniel went into his own prayer chamber and prayed. And he prayed a prayer of repentance for himself, and his for his people.
Dr. Reagan: For himself and his people.
Nathan Jones: Yes, wow.
Dr. Reagan: And this is the most righteous man in the land.
Tim Moore: Exactly. The most righteous man in the land.
Nathan Jones: Even Jesus said he was one of the top two.
Tim Moore: As a matter of fact, Daniel, there is no recorded flaws in his character, unlike many of the other greats in scripture. King David for instance was very flawed.
Dr. Reagan: Oh, yeah, very flawed like Sampson.
Tim Moore: And just like all of us. Daniel we know was flawed because he was a mortal human being. But this is not recorded in terms of delineating his flaws. But when he saw that he was living in a season of the Lord’s fulfillment of a promise, a prophecy, he prayed a prayer of repentance. I think everyone of us. So, my family has been modeling this. You know you mentioned the fact that there are abortions all around the world. How have we as Christians tolerated, that is absolutely intolerable? How much have we prayed for our leaders? For our fellow neighbors and people all around us who are lost and heading toward oblivion? And so, I have to repent for sometimes my lack of concern even for those around me. And for tolerating things that should have never been allowed to happen in this country. And then as a society we obviously should repent.
Dr. Reagan: Nathan, what about scripture that might give people some calm who are feeling panic or fear?
Nathan Jones: You know when I knew ahead you were going to ask this and this verse immediately popped in mind, so I hope the Lord is leading me to this one. It is in 1 John chapter 4, verse 18, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first love us.” But basically, what it is saying as Christians we are not to have a spirit of fear. People should be looking at us and seeing that we have confidence in the Lord. We abide in Him. We trust in Him. So, we have love, and we have trust. And then we share that with others to bring other people to Jesus Christ.
Dr. Reagan: The book of Hebrews says, “Keep your eyes on Jesus.”
Nathan Jones: Absolutely. People should be looking at Christians saying, “Why do you have joy? Why do you have peace during it? I mean we are all panicking.” And we are seeing at this phase there is a little scared and everybody is getting together, but should things continue to get worse, and worse, we are going to start seeing fear. We are going to start seeing unchristian behavior, and we as Christians need to show the love of Christ and be examples.
Tim Moore: Amen. I think the Lord Himself gave us a command, we don’t look at it as a command sometimes, but it is, and He said in John chapter 14, verse 1, “Do not let your heart be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in Me.” And that’s when He said, He went to His Father’s house to prepare a place for us. And so, we as Christians should not be troubled. We should not be easily swayed. And I’ll use a personal example of how impactful that can be to others. My sister, Rachel, and her husband David who is a pastor as well, had a tragedy befall them several years ago. They had a little boy named Jacob who was born with a heart defect. He lived just a handful of days before he died. And that is a tragic circumstance for any mother and father, for a family. And yet, their peace, and their testimony of faith in the Lord through that moment of tragedy was so tremendous that I’ll never forget they had a neighbor, a family that was Hindu, and they said, “How can you be so at peace? You’ve lost a child. A little baby, an innocent baby.” And they said, “That’s because we know Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.” And this family said, “We don’t have that kind of comfort. We don’t have that kind of peace in the midst of a traumatic event.” Well folks, we are seeing a traumatic event on a national stage, an international stage, and it should be Christians who manifest that level of peace, not allowing our hearts to be troubled because we know Jesus Christ.
Dr. Reagan: Not only do they not have peace, but for example Hindu people hire professional mourners to come and scream, and yell, and cry and carry on.
Tim Moore: Yes.
Dr. Reagan: And we have the hope of life eternal.
Tim Moore: Yes, we do.
Nathan Jones: And I’d also add what Jesus said, “Be ready. Watch the signs.” We know as Christians from reading the Bible that we are living in, as you said, the end of this age, the end times. We know that the signs of the times, like you said, are increasing in frequency and intensity. So, we need to be watchful and anticipatory. We know these things are going to happen. We know these things are going to happen, so, knowing that they are happening then we need to get others to know it so they too can be excited that Jesus is returning.
Tim Moore: Well, I tell you what, one of the things that I appreciate Al Mohler kind of taught me, is sometimes to pray with the Bible in one hand, and a hymnal in the other, because hymns just like David’s psalms allow our hearts to cry out. This morning we had a prayer time even here at the ministry, and in one instance we didn’t even have the words to put into a prayer. But we said, “Lord, we know your Holy Spirit will utter the words on our behalf.” Sometimes hymnists have done that. And so here is a hymn from a lady named Priscilla Owens, she was a Scottish immigrant who lived in this country over 100 years ago, up until the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918-1920, and she has a song called, “Will Your Anchor Hold in the Storms of Life.” And she asked this question in the first stanza: “Will your anchor hold in the storms of life, when the clouds unfold their wings of strife? When the strong tides lift and the cables strain, will your anchor drift or firm remain?” And then this is the refrain, “We have an anchor that keeps the soul steadfast in sure while the billows roll, fasten to the rock which cannot move, grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love.” And indeed, we do, and we should demonstrate that to a world that is fraught with panic, and peril, and anxiety all around us.
Dr. Reagan: In in my morning devotions right now I am reading through the Old Testament and I’m at Joshua. And I noticed that when Joshua got ready to go into the Promise Land he was scared to death. And the thing that the Lord kept saying to him over and over, I mean it just like a broken record, over and over and over the Lord says, “Joshua be strong and courageous. Strong and courageous. Do not tremble. Do not be dismayed for the Lord your God is with you.”
Tim Moore: Amen. And you know what is beautiful even when he gave his first command to the people of Israel, their response to him was echoing what the Lord had already spoken to his heart, they said, “Be strong and courageous.” What an affirmation that the Lord was in the midst of them all.
Dr. Reagan: Well, those are wonderful words of comfort. Any other scriptures come to mind? I mean there are so many that we could refer to that people need to know.
Tim Moore: There are.
Nathan Jones: I love Romans 8:38-39, “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, or things to come, nor height, nor deep, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” He pretty much named every natural disaster that you could possibly go through in life, and heartache and misery, but nothing, nothing can separate us from God’s love.
Dr. Reagan: Well, the one I want to leave people within this particular section is one that really changed my life. And we have to realize that we are not only facing a health pandemic, but I believe when this health pandemic is over we are going to be facing an even great crisis, and that is the collapse of our economy.
Tim Moore: Yes.
Dr. Reagan: And we are going to see people massively unemployed all over the place. So this is not, I don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel on this particular on yet. So, we need to, people need to mark this verse and read it every day, and that is 1 Peter chapter 5, verse 6, 1 Peter 5:6, “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God that He may exalt you at the proper time, cast all your anxiety upon Him because He cares for you.” We have a personal God who cares for you.
Dr. Reagan: Welcome back to Christ in Prophecy. Nathan, how about telling our viewers about some of the resources that you have on the website concerning the pandemic.
Nathan Jones: Absolutely. Well, folks I’d like to invite you to our website at lamblion.com, or christinprophecy.org. Right on the homepage we have a pandemic graphic, click that, and that will take you to our pandemic page. And we have all sorts of articles. We are going to have a special Lamplighter magazine that is dedicated to the pandemic. We have Truth Will Set You Free Podcasts where Vic Batista and I discuss. There are many articles by Tim Moore about the pandemic. If you are looking for a place to go, also on our YouTube channel we have started a new short video series called Prophetic Perspectives, and we give a 1, 2, 3 minute devotional to help you during this time.
Tim Moore: Well, folks, that is our program for today. I hope it has been a blessing to you, and Lord willing I hope that you will be back with us next week. Until then this is Tim Moore speaking for Lamb & Lion Ministries saying, “Look up, be watchful, for our redemption is drawing near.”
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