Updated: Oct 14, 2021
Welcome to Episode 2 of The Cross & The Virus with me Jimmy Okello. The Cross & The Virus is a 5-part Facebook Live broadcast exploring a Christian perspective of the COVID-19 pandemic.
I’m so excited that you would take interest in this series. I hope that it helps you to navigate the challenge we’re going through with a Christian perspective.
Today we’re looking at the question: Is COVID-19 pandemic the end of the world?
COVID-19 infodemic has popularised a number of conspiracy theories. Some of them as indicators that the world is ending with this pandemic. If you’re on social media, your feeds are probably flooded with such information about the mark of the beast, bill gates, vaccines and microchip, et cetera.
How do we know if it’s or if it’s not the end of the world? We’re seeing many believers turning to world events to predict the end of the world instead of turning to scripture. It’s a grave mistake that the church is making despite the fact that the Bible is abundantly clear about how the world is going to end.
We at University Community Church, the church I pastor, in what we believe we teach that:
“God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. According to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth; the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment. The righteous in their resurrected and glorified bodies will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord.”
So, we believe that the world will not end according to the will of man but according to the will of God. we believe that no single person can mastermind the end of the world. God created the world and he will end it at its appropriate time. That brings great relieve and confidence in the God who holds everything together.
The End According to Jesus
Right now everyone is concerned about the end of the world. It’s a genuine concern. Even the apostles expressed their concern to Jesus.
Jesus told them that a time was coming when the temple would be destroyed and not a single stone will be left on top of another. They knew this had to be about the end of the world. So they asked, “when will this be and what will be the signs?”
What did Jesus answer the Apostles? In Matthew 24:1-16, Jesus gave Seven Signs that point to the end of the world.
First, False Messiahs will Rise
Jesus, first of all, begins with a warning to guard against deception (v.4-5). He pointed out that the rise in the number of false Messiahs is a sign that we’re drawing near to the end.
Second, Tension will Rise Between Nations and Between Kingdoms
Another sign of the end is tension between nations and kingdoms. He said nations will rise against nations and kingdom against kingdom but that’s just “the beginning of birth pains” (v.8). Jesus likened the coming of the end to a mother giving birth. So, just as giving birth is a process that progresses from the breaking of the water to the coming out of the child, so is the coming of the end. This particular sign is the “beginning of birth pains.”
Thirdly, A Global Rise in Persecution
“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted” (v.9). We’ll be hated by the whole world. Right now there is persecution in many parts of the world. However, Jesus talks of a high level of persecution covering the entire world. There will be no safe country for Christians to live in.
Fourth, A Great Apostasy
As a result of the persecution, we’ll see a great apostasy. Many will abandon the faith and turn back to the world. That’s not all, they will betray others and turn them to the authorities (v.10-11). There will be hatred of Christians. In this same time, many false prophets will arise and deceive many.
Fifth, The Love of Many Will Grow Cold
As a result of these things, the love of many will grow cold (v.12-13). But those who are truly saved will persevere to the end and be saved.
Sixth, The Gospel will be Preached to All Nations.
Since the preaching of the gospel is not only to bring about conversion but also to be a “testimony to all nations” (v.14), its spread to all nations is a sign to the end of the world. This is because God wants to save the elect from every tribe, nation and language.
Seventh, The Abomination that Causes Desolation Erected in the Holy Place.
Here’s the final sign. Jesus says, if we see the sign of Daniel then “Let the reader understand” (v.15). Everything from that point will happen very quickly. But, what is the sign of Daniel? Daniel 9:27 tells us that in the temple it will be “set up an abomination that causes desolation.” So, an abominable thing that the Lord detests will be erected in the holy place. That’s it! Jesus tells us that when we see this, then the end has come.
The rest of the verses in Matthew 24 then points to how Christ will appear. Bits and pieces of these signs are already being fulfilled in our world today. However, we’re not to take one sign in isolation and run with it. Remember a mother’s progression in childbirth? The signs must be taken together if we’re to discern the times well.
In conclusion, considering COVID-19 pandemic against the signs that Jesus has given us, I do not think that COVID-19 is the end of the world. Though it points to the fact that we’re drawing nearer and nearer, but it’s not the end of the world in itself.
Do you think COVID-19 pandemic means the world is ending now?