By Elizabeth Prata
This week’s blog essay, Why conspiracy theories shouldn’t matter to the Christian, sparked a question from a reader. I love this, because it means people are reading and thinking about the material I publish. It’s all I ask; read, think, consult the Bible, think some more. Here is the question:
[Some believe] Covid-19 (virus) is being used by government officials to be a foreshadowing of things to come. How does this play in your most recent column?
As for the COVID-19 issue, I think it IS a shadow of things to come, no doubt. And we were given insight into what is to come in the Bible and the balm to endure it- Jesus blood and grace of salvation.
I think the whole pandemic was directly sent by God. He has done so many times before, as we read in Exodus 9:15, Deuteronomy 28:21, Chronicles-1 21:14, Jeremiah 21:6, and even in 1 Corinthians 11:30 Paul says “many of you” have gotten sick and even died because of abuse of the Lord’s Table.
So it’s sent by the Lord and He is doing something through it, because the Father is always working even as Jesus is working. (John 5:17). Perhaps to warn, perhaps to winnow our attachment to the world, perhaps to make us turn to Him, perhaps to expose the church, or a thousand other reasons we can’t know.
Whatever His reasons, I also believe it is a massive lurch forward in His prophetic plan. Ever since Adam and Eve fell, God has worked everything, every moment, to advance His plan to give His Son a bride and make His kingdom pure and holy. Sometimes in history it may have seemed like the advancement of His plan was slow or even stopped. Other times, massively moving forward, (WWII anyone?) all toward the Day when His plan concludes. In fact, every day is a foreshadowing of things to come. It’s just that sometimes we can see or sense His Hand in it more than others, like a worldwide pandemic, or 9/11. It’s times like those where the lost perk up and begin facing the truths they suppress. (Romans 1:18). So, it’s an opportunity.
Ultimately it doesn’t matter what happens in culture. There is now another pandemic on earth, reminding us of man’s sin and His sovereignty. People died, but people always die. No one died who wasn’t supposed to die. And no one promised America an eternally thriving economy, a permanently viable Constitution, and endless freedom of religion. In fact, the Bible promises the opposite. We’ve already outlasted every other empire with those boons and have been insulated from the instability of the rest of the world’s political and civic problems for so long despite our national sins, it’s amazing we haven’t been judged already like Sodom and Gomorrah were.
If our way of life here in the US continues, great. If it doesn’t great- because maybe there will be even more fertile ground for people to come to Christ as they seek answers. America is a huge mission field. No, I personally wouldn’t be looking forward to a decrease in standard of living, or jail time for worshiping Christ, who would? But it is but a vapor of a breath of time compared to the glory to come. That’s why ultimately the ins and outs of the pandemic, who made the flu happen, which governors are tyrants and which are good…doesn’t matter. The political stability of the world has never been stable. Only Christ is the Rock.
If this is a sign of a worsening of the world, that should cause two reactions in Christians – joy that our true home is closer than ever, and fervor to do our ambassadorial work for Jesus because of the huge numbers of the lost who would not only miss out on the graces we have been given but spend an eternity gnashing their teeth.
Hope this helps 🙂 and thanks for asking.