The Bible (& COVID-19)
Is it the end of the world?
Many are panic-stricken these days and asking religious leaders to tell them what is happening… hoping against hope for words of hope… some message that will assure them of the return and continuance of life as they had so recently known it.
It’s rather like that brief nostalgia one might feel upon waking from a very good dream. The alarm sounds pulling you from some excellent adventure, some near discovery, some uncompleted mission, and you foggily realise the alarm is reality, the adventure was a dream. There are a few seconds of quasi-disappointment but as the head clears you soon realize conscious reality is preferable to unconscious fantasy.
Yes, it is the end of the world. It has been the end of this world since you arrived in it – at birth, and long before that. It has been the end of this world since that first rebellion of mankind (Gen. 2-3). All of human history since God has sounded His alarm. Each of us must answer its call. No one can “wake up” for someone else! And not one of us can continue sleeping for ever.
God has appointed a time. You – yes you – will at last stand before your Maker to give account (Heb. 9:27). “Life as you have so recently known it” is indeed the dream. The appointment ahead is the reality… the eternal reality.
We know all this by the revelation of God: in nature, in conscience, in history, in Christ and in the Word of God. And we know how to “wake up” by that same Word.
“Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.
So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.” (2 Pet. 3:11-14).
The gospel requires us to realize this truth. To acknowledge we are sinful, to know Christ is Lord and to believe in His pure death in our place… in your place… to turn away from evil, obey Him completely and give up your current temporal dream for the pure light of His Beam, His Path, His Love. Thus, one can march headlong into the end of the world — whenever it may come — for like all former saints we are “longing for a better country—a heavenly one.” (Heb. 11:16).
Fear not, what He begins in His children He will complete (Phil. 1:6), and it is His great pleasure to receive His own into His soon appearing kingdom (Luke 12:32).