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46 | Three events that may connect COVID-19 to the end times?


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Hi my name is Dean Smith and in this podcast I want to talk about three events that may connect the coronavirus to the end times. Many Christians are wondering what to make of the coronavirus or as its more recently been called COVID-19 — a much more ominous name?

Some have wondered if this is part of the end-times’ predictions paving the way for the second coming of Christ?

A recent poll conducted by Joshua Fund, an organization founded by pastor Joel Rosenberg, discovered that 44% of Americans believe COVID-19 is a “wake-up” call for America and 29% believe it is a sign of the end-times.
So while not everyone is convinced COVID-19 is sign of the apocalypse, I want to discuss three things that may suggest it is.

Without question, this is one of the most unusual events in recent decades. Countries around the world are being put into quarantine that limits how many people can be together in public at one time. New phrases such as “social distancing” are becoming popular. Unessential stores are being told to close down putting millions of people out of work. The police are even being used to enforce quarantine restrictions. I recently read a story of how 32 police, yes 32 police, were sent to a home in Los Angeles to break up a birthday party for a one-year-old.

Now I quit watching CNN years ago because of its biased reporting. People just want to be told the news, they don’t want to be told how to think.

But I recently heard about an CNN article entitled, “Coronavirus predictions: The pandemic is bringing a plague of dangerous doomsday warnings” where the network delved into apocalyptic warnings of the end times in the Book of Revelation and of course its reference to the four horseman of the apocalypse.

The article specifically mentions the fourth horseman who is described as riding on a pale horse (Revelation 6:8) and is called death and has the power to kill by famine and plagues. Predictably, CNN mocked this apocalyptic connection and went as far as to suggest this type of teaching was dangerous.

So does, COVID-19 have prophetic, end-times’ overtones?

In Matthew 24 and Luke 21, we have a record of Jesus’ description of the end times leading up to His second coming. At the start of His predictions, Jesus outlined several things that would serve as signs such as wars, famines, earthquakes, terrors from the skies and of course plagues or pestilences as some translations read.

Now there have been plagues in the past, such as the black plague in the 1300s and the Spanish flu in the early 1900s. Though millions died in these plague, today we don’t connect these plagues to the end times, though I suspect the people going through them, did.

But if this pestilence is somehow connected to other end-times events, does this change how we should look at COVID-19?

So what three things seem to connect COVID-19 with the apocalypse?
In his description of the end times, one of the first things that Jesus says is don’t be deceived. But it is what the Lord specifically warned us about that caught my attention.

4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.

Matthew 24:4 NIV

And this brings me to a church in South Korea and I use the term church rather loosely here.

When COVID-19 broke out in South Korea a few weeks back, a large church located in the city of Daegu became ground zero for the breakout of COVID-19 in that country.

And at one point it was estimated nearly 60% of the COVID-19 cases in South Korea could be traced back Shincheonji Church of Jesus, a large church with about 250,000 members around the world.

But Shincheonji is a very secretive church and the South Morning Post, an Asian newspaper, reports that it has a branch church located in Wuhan, China where COVID-19 first broke out. Though it hasn’t been confirmed some wonder if the virus spread from Wuhan to the main congregation in Daegu, leading to the breakout in South Korea.

But here is where it gets interesting, the 88-year-old leader of the Shincheonji church, Lee Man-hee, has in the past referred to himself the second coming of Jesus Christ.

The BBC described the group considered by many in South Korea to be a cult, this way:

“Mr Lee claims he is the second coming of Jesus Christ and identifies as the promised pastor mention in the Bible who will take 144,000 people to heaven with him.”

BBC News

Is it just a coincidence that one end-times’ events, a plague, exposed another end-times’ event, the appearance of false Christs?

Towards the end of Matthew 24, Jesus said he would return a second time, “on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”

In other words, there would be no doubt about the Lord’s return. Now, if you have to be told that a person is the second coming of Christ, then know one thing for sure, that person is not Jesus.

The second thing that gives COVID-19 an end-times flavour is a statement made by Gordon Brown.

Now you may not know who Gordon Brown is, but he is the former Labour Prime Minister of Great Britain. He served as Prime Minister for under three years (2007 to 2010), in other words he didn’t even complete his full term and there is a good reason for this as he brought the country to the brink of financial ruin. An article in the British newspaper The Express, entitled “Brown is the worst Prime Minister in Britain’s history” sums up what most people feel about his brief reign.

So, not only do we have a pestilence exposing a false Christ, but a left leaning British newspaper, The Guardian, posted a story about how Gordon Brown has just publicly called for the formation of a temporary “one world government” run by the UN to deal with the COVID-19 crisis. The UN then chimed in demanding it be paid a world tax of 10% to help deal with this pandemic.

Of course, one of the main characteristics of the end times, is the move towards a one-world government.

Is it just a coincidence this pandemic is emboldening those on the political left to call for this?

The third thing that may connect COVID-19 to the end times is something that Jesus also referred to in Matthew 24 when He told His disciples to expect persecution.

During the 1970s and 80s, there was a real emphasis on the end times and the second coming of Christ. Several books were written on the topic discussing what many believed would be Jesus eminent return.

Though they pointed to several signs, one of the key elements was missing at that time: the church wasn’t experiencing persecution.

And this is what makes today different as we are witnessing an increase in the persecution of Christians in North America and around the world.
And in the midst of the COVID-19 panic, an op-ed was published in the New York Times blaming Christians for the COVID-19 crisis.

Yes it was all the Christians fault.

Now this is nothing new. The Roman Emperor Nero blamed the Christians for burning Rome that set the stage for a massive persecution of Christians throughout the Roman Empire. The Jews were blamed for the Black Death in Europe during the 1300s and according to an article in the National Post entitled, “The Coronavirus Pandemic is bringing with it a new level of antisemitism,” author Avi Benlolo cites incidents in Europe where people are blaming Jews for COVID-19.

It seems old superstitions never die.

But in her article in the New York Times that was originally entitled, “The Road to Coronavirus was Paved by Evangelicals,” author Katherine Stewart specifically blames Evangelical Christians for the pandemic because they are anti-science.

Now she does it in classic fashion throwing out several examples of bad things that Christians have done over the centuries in an effort to tarnish their reputation to justify her position. Basically, if you throw enough mud at a door, hopefully something will stick.

She cites a book written in the 19th century by Theologian Robert Lewis Dabney supporting slavery as evidence. She completely ignores the fact that it was Christians, such as English politician, William Wilberforce who played a major role in stopping slavery.

She ignores John Newton, who while captaining a slave ship in the 1700s was so overwhelmed by guilt for what he was doing, repented, turned to Christ and later wrote the hymn Amazing Grace as his testimony.

She states that Christian deny Climate Change even though hundreds of secular scientists, including the founder of Green Peace and climatologist, Dr. Patrick Moore, believe in climate change, just not man-made climate change.

But Stewart states that because of this, Christian’s anti science opinions are somehow affecting science and President Donald Trump’s response to COVID-19 crisis?

She then cites a few pastors who have refused to shut down their Sunday church services during the pandemic. But the fact is most churches have closed down because of the crisis, in fact, the church my wife and I attend closed down a week before the government limited the size of public gatherings. Now there are a couple churches that have stayed open during this time, which of course makes all Christians bad.

Well, if we are going down that road, if I can find a New York Times’ reporter who fabricated stories and made up quotes, then all NY Times’ writers must be the same. On that note, just Google Jayson Blair.

In fact, polls suggest that people of faith are more likely to obey quarantine rules than those who are agnostics or atheists. A survey conducted by Morning Consult found that 86% of Christians said they would respect government-mandated social distancing compared to only 80% for atheists and 78% for agnostics.

Is it just a coincidence, Stewart is using COVID-19 to purposefully taint society’s opinions of Christians?

And guess how many times Stewart mentions China in her article, where the COVID-19 virus actually originated and according to several reports purposefully withheld information and some allege even lied seriously contributing to COVID-19’s spread.

Of course, this is a communist, atheistic, totalitarian regime and Stewart gives them a pass.

So is COVID-19, part of the end times prophesied by Jesus?

If it is, these are just the early stages. When Jesus described these events, He said this was just the beginning of birth pangs.

So with these tell-tale signs: pestilence, false Christs, the call for a one world government and increased persecution of believers are we verging on the end times prophesied by Jesus?

Maybe.

Personally, I think it is still a few decades off.

One thing that gives me hesitation is Daniel 7:25, that says the spirit of the anti-Christ will seek to change the times and the laws.

What is this referring to?

The Hebrew word for “times” can also be translated seasons, and I have wondered if this verse suggests that Satan would attempt to initiate the end times, before God intends it to take place.

In fact, the Apostle John may be alluding to this very thing, when the apostle warned of the appearance of several anti-Christs in 1 John 2:18.

If this interpretation is correct, then I believe Adolf Hitler was just such a failed attempt and perhaps COVID-19 falls into this category.

Now you may disagree with me on this, but whatever the case, Jesus provided some important advice.

In the midst of His end-times discussion, the Lord tells His disciples not to be alarmed or as other translations read troubled. We have to control our fear. We have to choose faith over fear during times such as this.

Now this is not an easy task as we are being obviously bombarded with alarming news on the COVID-19 pandemic, I checked CNN’s website recently and counted 137 articles, with 106 of them directly related to the COVID-19 virus. This means nearly 90% of their articles were about the COVID-19. MSN wasn’t much better with 70% of their articles about the coronavirus.

So whether this virus is a sign of the end times or not, during this trying time, when the world is being shaken, we need to put our faith in God.

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