We have undergone many startling events in 2020. First we had Trump order the assassination of Iran’s second-in-command to the president, causing fears of escalation into a major war. We also had major wildfires which devastated the continent of Australia. Africa has one of its worst locust plagues of modern times. Canada’s railroads were taken over by radicals for three weeks. The stock market has had its greatest collapse since the great recession of 2008, losing 1/3 of its value. On top of all this, we have the coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19.
Picture a sleeping person being kicked multiple times until he wakes up. This is what God is doing with this period of disasters. Trying to wake us up to the end times season ahead. We have been lulled into a sense of security as the post WW2 age has been relatively peaceful for the western world. All of our wars have been fought somewhere overseas; a long safe distance away. We have not had to worry about our cities being bombed. Medical innovations have increased the lifespan and recovery statistics of the sick and injured. Even the poor among us are wealthy compared to a rich person living in old times. Only 150 years ago people had to do without innovations such as central heating, indoor plumbing, electricity, sewage handling, transportation, and communications. We should remember the normal state of the world throughout history is one of a fight for survival.
Many of us were caught off guard by COVID-19. The government, church, health system, and individuals were left scrambling to figure out a plan. This virus is more serious than many take it to be. Despite all of the warnings, plenty of people shrug it off and continue to party it up and go to unnecessary social events, scoffing at the government’s orders. This is exactly how people treat God, ignoring the need for repentance and shrugging it off, believing they are saved by “faith alone” and assuming lifestyle change is optional. It is only when we are facing death or crisis that we turn to God, begging him for help. We need to learn the fear of God in the good times, not just the bad.
Foretaste of the end
We are being treated to a small taste of what the real apocalypse is like, in order to give people a chance to observe and learn so they can prepare for what the real thing will be like. Based on what we have seen so far we can use our imagination to picture what we should expect to see in a truly apocalyptic scenario. Here are several of the signs:
Us humans have a section of the brain known as the “limbic system.” When God created humans, he took parts of the code from previous animal creations and reused it to create the human body. As somewhat of a coder myself I copy and paste all the time. God is no different. The limbic system is the animal-like parts of the brain. It is activated by fear or by being in fight-or-flight situations. It often causes people to totally lose their humanity and put ensuring their own survival above everything. There have been plenty of fires in buildings where more people were killed by stampeding each other than by the fire itself. During this virus crisis, the “supply chains” for our stores were not in any way affected. Despite this, we saw how quickly the shelved were stripped bare. People began hoarding mass amounts of items despite there being no need. You had people buying a 10-year supply of toilet paper and several months worth of food and water, as much as could be possibly stuffed into their vehicles. The virus caused no harm to crops, water treatment facilities or toilet paper factories however the “sheeple” were so panic-stricken, their minds switched into “limbic” animal mode. Despite knowing they did not need months of extra food, they were fully content to starve everyone else if necessary just so they could have an extra safety margin which would give them peace of mind. (If you want to have a large stockpile of non-perishables for an emergency, the time to have it setup is before the crisis hits when your purchases will not cause harm. If you wait until the crisis and then hoard, you are responsible for any harm and suffering that happens to those who cannot get timely access to food due to your panic purchases).
Now imagine how much worse it will be when the supply chain is actually disrupted, such as in a true biblical apocalypse scenario. What will happen if there are major crop failures? A major war? Hacking of the grid, shutting down utilities? A terrorist detonating a nuclear device in a major city? In the first several days you could expect to see plenty of zombie-like hordes give up all of their humanity and go totally berserk, with every man for himself and no concern for the effects of one’s actions on others. Instant empty shelves and mass panic. Fights in supermarkets. Mass increase in thefts and burglaries for food/water. Until the government stepped in by declaring martial law and assigned rations to every person, punishing hoarders. Many people who seemed to be nice and morally upstanding citizens could be expected to show a much darker side when they are hungry and fear for their survival. Large cities are the worst places to be caught living in disasters. A large amount of humans caught with only minimal food supply is a recipie for total anarchy, looting, and robbery of neighbors. There will come a time when true apostles and prophets will recieve the message from God and will instruct the remnant of believers to move out of all of the major cities and relocate to the safety of small towns and the countryside. This will allow for judgement on Mystery Babylon. (On a side note: although it will not cause an apocalypse itself, global warming will intensify many events such as storms, wildfires, drought, crop failure and wars. Although it is common for Christians to try to deny global warming, it makes more sense to instead acknowledge it as a sign of the end-times).
Lack of Income
Many of us laughed at the coronavirus while it was only infecting a few people in foreign countries, but once you are forbidden to go to work and laid-off it suddenly no longer is such a laughing matter. In the end-times it will be much more difficult to have an income. In fact, Revelation 13 states that the antichrist will forbid anyone from participating in economic life unless they pledge allegiance to him by accepting his mark. To overcome this will require sharing of resources within the end-times church communist-style like the early apostles in the book of Acts.
Acts 2:44-45, “And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.”
This will be offensive to many Christians who are also strong conservatives/libertarians and will bring a choice of who you will put first in your life; God’s truth or your political views? Believers should be a light to the political system, not absorb its filth. Christians are getting too politically cozy and absorbing the evil of the Republican party, ignoring the scripture verses which command compassion for the poor and blaming them instead. Worshipping money and the wealthy “self-made” individual. It’s time we quit being political shills. We should be a light to the world and to the political system. Instead, politics has been conforming us to its evil image. It is time to stand apart.
The coronavirus has resulted in the final months of the school-year being cancelled. As a result, millions of parents have had to explore a previously unthinkable option: home schooling. Many public schools, Catholic schools and Christian schools are not the healthiest environment for a young person to grow up in. The young absorb all the negative cultural practices from their friends, worry about being popular, get bullied, follow peer-pressure to participate in foolishness, and learn to focus on music videos and worship celebrities. They will absorb harmful short-term attitudes toward relationships and sexuality. Science is also taught as if life could have began without God and evolved on its own without any help from God.
To counter all of this, the practice of homeschooling is growing rapidly. It is one of the only ways to prevent a child’s faith and moral values from being corrupted. There is also the benefit of a smaller student-teacher ratio of only about 1:3 vs. 1:20. Public school forces everyone to march to the same pace. An intelligent student is held back and a slow one is dragged too fast. Besides this we also have the endless teacher’s strikes parents have to endure year after year from the highly militant teacher’s unions. With schools being made so unreliable from this and being shut down so often anyways it is yet another incentive to home-school. As we come closer into the end-times and governments become increasingly hostile to Christianity, you will want to seriously look at homeschooling.
Several countries such as India and Italy have enacted martial law to deal with the coronavirus (although they were careful not to use the term “martial law”). Possessed with fear, humans will naturally go berserk and become unmanageable. Vandalism, looting, riots are all associated with natural disasters. No government will tolerate the anarchy and thus the chaos will only last a few days before for martial law and curfews are declared in the affected locations. The danger is that this has been abused countless times throughout history by a power-hungry political leader who never wishes to let go of the emergency powers. They can always provide a reason for why it is not yet time to lift martial law, thus keeping tight control of their citizenry. Freedom of information, speech, and the press may be restricted if it goes against the government, thus covering up all of the abuses which may take place.
Government forbidding church services
Depending on the location, various provinces and states have made it illegal to participate in gatherings of over a certain number (“50” for example); church not being excepted from this. We know that there are already plenty of countries which have restrictions on religion, not necessarily forbidding it outright but requiring the church leaders to be restricted in what they teach and requiring them to submit to communist officials for example. We can imagine a future where the government forbids reading certain passages of the Bible as “hate speech” (where the Bible speaks of homosexuality as an abomination). The government would only tolerate churches which fall in line with its views and forbid the unrestricted preaching of the word. They could also require a registry for religious assemblies. Tax-benefits for churches could be made dependant on preaching in line with state views on certain subjects. The virus has shown that the government is not afraid to require churches to close if it believes it is in the national interest. This is only a warning shot, giving us a heads-up on what is to come in later days.
We are approaching the biblical feast of the Passover (April 8th to 16th). The Passover originated as God commanded the Hebrews to self-isolate indoors to be protected from the death angel which was judging the land. Interesting timing right? This feast occurs right in the peak of the outbreak. Now during Passover the Jews were required to mark the doors of their houses with the blood of a sacrificed lamb as protection (symbolizing the sacrifice Christ would make). What can we learn from this? What is the ‘mark’ of your faith. Does anyone know you are a follower of Christ, or do you blend right in with the world? To claim God’s protection against the coronavirus, your life must be distinct. You must have the mark of a changed life, repentant from the lifestyle of selfishness and sin. Faith-alone is a false doctrine. Scripture clearly teaches that you must have a heart of repentance which will lead to lifestyle change as well as faith in order to be saved. Anyone who says otherwise is a false teacher. To battle the virus we should also self-isolate indoors as much as is possible, just as the Hebrews were required to in the book of Exodus as the death angel passed through the land.
Should we trust in faith?
There are some who teach that to self-isolate or close churches is a sign of lack of faith and that a person of strong faith will live life as normal throughout this crisis. This is quite dangerous to be teaching to people. It is incredibly presumptuous to think that your faith is so strong you can do whatever you please. Apostle Peter had an incredible amount of faith to walk on water, yet there was still the seed of doubt which caused him to sink. Do you want to try out those odds? Stay home if you don’t need to go out! Even though YOU may be healthy enough to withstand the virus, what if you spread it to others? Being smart and doing the right thing is not a sign of “lack of faith.” Faith is meant as an addition to a healthy lifestyle, not a replacement. If you are doing essential work (supermarket cashier) or helping minister to the community, this is the time to trust in faith. God’s protection is promised for activities which are part of the great commission (end of Mark’s gospel). The protection is not to go be a social butterfly and do unnecessary activities in the midst of crisis, but to protect you as you do essential work or ministry. We should be staying home as much as possible, not going out to crowded areas or to socialize. We should be following the health protocols maintaining proper distance (2 meters), washing our hands often.
Redeeming the time
For those of us workers deemed non-essential or laid off, in order to expect to have your prayer answered to be restored to employment you have to be keeping busy most of the day. This could include volunteering in the community, doing ministry work, or at least training/studying for a future career. Television, playing video games and loafing through the day is not going to cut it. Treat your days like work days and assign yourself as a minimum, the same amount of time you would have spent at work.
If you are loafing around, don’t blame God when your prayer to be restored to employment is not answered. There are plenty of useful things that can be done at home. Many of us have procrastinated in writing or studying. This crisis is a great opportunity to start writing or read that book you have been putting off. Remember, you are working as unto Christ and not man. Thus, you can be working on something while being laid off and expect your prayer to be answered and rehired when the crisis passes.
Colossians 3:23-24, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.”
Year of the Rat
This crisis unfolded just as the nation of China was gearing up to celebrate the “Year of the Rat.” Now for those who understand medieval history, it was the rats which are thought to have spread the black death; the plague which resulted in the death of approximately one-half of Europe’s population. Thus by worshiping such a creature, we should not be surprised that this opened up a demonic gateway within the nation to allow the plague to spread into our world. We know God punishes idolatry and although the world may get away with it for some time, God does not forget such insolence. Which false gods are we worshipping in our own lives? For us in the west it may not be the worship of rats but celebrities, politicians, sports figures, and mixture of religion (people who say God, Buddha, and Allah are the same person), and most of all the worship of SELF. Let us get rid of our false gods and prepare for Christ’s return. This crisis is only a wakeup call to what will come in the last days. Let us all take lessons from this and be prepared and not go casually back to sleep in complacency.
Isaiah 26:20, “Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.”