There are quite a few ‘theories’ circling around on the internet right now as to the reason for the COVID-19 outbreak and also in some Prophecy Websites about COVID-19 where varying ‘opinions’ have been expressed. Some people are saying the virus came from an unclean animal sold for human consumption in a wet food market in Wuhan, China, and jumped into a human being, beginning the outbreak. Others are saying that it is man-made virus created by an elite number of one world order Illuminati, a ‘star chamber’ as it were, who are very rich and powerful and above the law or some kind of elitist globalist group that has sanctioned the introduction of COVID-19 into the human race to de-populate the earth.
Then there are other propositions people are putting forward such as claiming the virus was developed in a university laboratory in the USA and sold to the Chinese. Another theory is that the virus itself accidently escaped from a biological warfare laboratory in China. Apparently some Chinese diplomats are now claiming that the virus was introduced into China by a visiting US military sports teams. Some are even blaming the use of mobiles, believe it or not, saying the radiation waves from 5G mobile network have reduced the body’s immune system which has made it easier for the virus to infect people. None of these ‘theories’ have been proved conclusively. It would seem though it did originate in China according to certain data.
What does God’s Word say about this? In Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 the Lord Jesus spoke about the ‘signs’ that would mark the end of the age leading up to His Second Coming. In Luke’s Gospel He mentioned pestilences. (Luke 21:11) In Matthew’s Gospel He said; “These are the beginning of birth pains.” (Matthew 24:8) When a woman goes into labour the contractions or birth pains start to occur. At first they are intermittent and then become more regular and start to increase in intensity and frequency. However, when the contractions are coming one upon another you know that the birth of the baby is coming very soon. The pregnant woman has to experience these birth pains but once the baby has been born the contractions are very soon forgotten in the joy of the new baby that has been born into the world.
There have always been wars, rumours of wars with nation rising against nation, and kingdom against kingdom and famines, pestilence and earthquakes in various places. History has confirmed this. These ‘signs’ according to the Lord Jesus have been “the beginning of the birth pains” of the Messianic Kingdom to be birthed on earth at the end of this present age. When you read the Book of Revelation we see these birth pains coming one upon another and that on a global scale. Possibly we have entered the beginning of these birth pains with the outbreak of COVID-19 and that there is more ‘birth pains’ to come, being more intense and more frequent until they are coming one upon another. When this happens we know that the birth of the Messianic Kingdom on earth is about to occur. Once the birth of the Messianic Kingdom has taken place the ‘birth pains’ leading up to it will soon be forgotten.
Plagues have ravaged humanity down through the centuries and these were the ones that the Lord Jesus had in mind when He prophesied about them in the future. In modern times you had the Spanish Flu in 1918 which was estimated to have killed 500 million people. Undoubtedly at the time there were those within Christendom and in the world who had their views and theories as to why this pandemic had occurred. When you consider what the Lord Jesus said in Matthew 24 COVID-19, like the other plagues we have seen in past history from the first century, collectively have been “the beginning of these ‘birth pains.’
The Lord Jesus also told us that at the end of this present age the conditions of the world will be so bad that for the sake of the elect saints (still on earth) and for the sake of Israel’s spiritual and full national restoration and for the very survival of the world He will have to come back. (Matthew 24:21-22) The world will be in an advanced state of spiritual, moral, ethical and socio-economical decay. (Matthew 24:28)
Why has God allowed COVID-19? I would like to suggest at least five reasons.
1. God is trying to get the attention of fallen humanity. Unless people repent they will perish. We see this happening in the Book of exodus in Egypt, which, in the Bible, is used as a metaphor for the world. The plagues in Exodus re-appear in kind in the Book of Revelation. What happened in the time of the Exodus happens again at the end of the age. One teaches us about the other. Only those in Egypt sheltering under the blood of the lamb on the door posts of their houses were spared and divinely protected when the destroying angel passed through the land. In the Egypt of this world the only spiritual safety net for any believer is walking in God’s will and keeping His Word while sheltering under the blood of the Messiah by faith. (Exodus 12:13) (Romans 5:9)
2. God is trying to get the attention of His people. By and large the Church primarily in the western democracies have backslidden into the world both in Israel and by extension and inclusion the Church. Judgement begins in the House of God when they depart from Him. As the apostle Peter writes; “If the righteous are scarcely saved where will the ungodly and sinners appear?” (1 Peter 4:18)
3. God is wanting to re-group His people and bring them back to their Biblical heritage and roots and to the kind of Church we see in the Book of Acts. The Book of Acts is not just a record of past church history but a blueprint for the Church in every century including this century especially as we see the Day of the LORD approaching. When we are reading the Book of Acts we are not only reading past history but future history. With the lock-downs happening around the globe people and especially families will have to re-discover the importance of human relationships under the governance of God and His unchanging Word.
4. God is giving His people the opportunity to witness and to work for the Lord Jesus. COVID-19 has provided a wide-open opportunity for believers to share the message of salvation that can only be found in the Messiah our Lord Jesus. (John 14:6) (Acts 4:12) The door into the ark of salvation is still open. When masses are losing their jobs, forfeiting their possessions and falling sick and losing all hope in this world, they will realise the temporary nature of their life in this world and the eternal rewards for those who would turn from their sin and turn back to God who loves them and created them to enjoy Him forever.
5. God is giving notice to Israel, to the Church and to the world that the Lord Jesus whom God has appointed to judge the world is coming back very soon. When the Lord Jesus returns He will put everything that is upside down right side up! The ‘signs’ or the ‘birth pains’ have been with us since Jesus prophesied these things in the first century but it would seem that this COVID-19 is but another harbinger of things to come before the close of the end of this age.
In closing we also need to keep in mind what our Lord Jesus said to encourage His faithful followers when these things are happening; “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Luke 21:28) And again He said in his Olivet discourse in Matthew’s gospel; “See to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.” (Matthew 24:6)
In this time of anxiety and uncertainty when the leaders of nations are scrambling to control the spread of the COVID-19 it is not a time for the Body of the Messiah, the faithful Church, to buckle over at the knees in fear and to bow their heads in despondency and despair but to stand up straight and to look upwards with expectant faith knowing that the Second Coming of the Messiah to earth is coming soon and is even now at the very gates! (Luke 21:28) “Let’s not focus on the ‘birth pains’ but on ‘the birth’ of the baby!”