Our culture—and world—have experienced and an unprecedented upheaval unseen in our generation. What began as a “growing concern” in the Wuhan province of China has expanded into the lockdown of entire cities, states, and even countries to stop the spread of the Coronavirus.
Does the Bible state anything to help in response to the Coronavirus? Are we really nearing the end times because of this viral pandemic?
A close look at Scripture recognizes such problems are part of our imperfect, fallen world. In Matthew 24:6-8 Jesus taught:
And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Pestilences, including even the Coronavirus, are not the end. Instead, this sickness serves as part of the “beginning of sorrows.” Instead, Jesus offers the following words of advice in times of trial.
First, Jesus says, “No one knows the day or hour.”
In Matthew 24:36-37, Jesus adds, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” Only God knows when the end will come.
However, there is a parallel provided with the “days of Noah.” What were the days of Noah? In Genesis 6, we ready of widespread immorality taking place among humanity. This evil grew to the point that God decided the time was right for judgment.
The Lord saved Noah and his family, along with many animals. However, everyone else was left unprepared for the judgment of the Flood. Those who were unprepared were destroyed when God’s judgment came upon the world.
In a similar way, we are told Jesus will return at a time when many are unprepared for His arrival. What is the application Jesus gives in response?
Second, Jesus says, “Be ready.”
In Matthew 24:44, Jesus provides His application: “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” We will not receive a warning before Jesus comes. He has given us all the preparation we need in His Word already.
Hundreds of prophecies speak of Christ’s yet future coming and activities. Today, more people have access to Scripture than ever before—more than 6 billion people worldwide. Despite the growth in Scripture access and global evangelism, many remain unprepared, either without knowledge of Christ’s salvation or as a believer who is living without expectation of the Lord’s soon return.
The application to, “Be ready,” involves action. We may be told to stay at home due to a virus, but we are also called to pray and live with a passion for the Lord. Such events should lead us to our knees in prayer rather than behind doors in fear as we place our trust in Christ.