Jesus often described the End Times as being “birth pangs.” Just as labor pains grow stronger and closer together, God will allow escalation in trials of all kinds to bring men to Christ. In fact, the purpose of the Tribulation itself is to bring pressure for men to surrender to Jesus and find salvation.

Jesus describes End Time events in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21.
Here’s what Jesus said in Luke 21:

“Master!” they exclaimed. “When? And will there be any warning ahead of time?”

He (Jesus) replied, “Don’t let anyone mislead you. For many will come announcing themselves as the Messiah, and saying, ‘The time has come.’ But don’t believe them! And when you hear of wars and insurrections beginning, don’t panic. True, wars must come, but the end won’t follow immediately— for nation shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be great earthquakes, and famines in many lands, and epidemics, and terrifying things happening in the heavens.” ESV

The passage further describes persecution of Christians (and Jews in context).

Christ encourages us four ways: don’t be deceived or surprised, don’t panic, be patient and witness (verse 13). “This will be your opportunity to bear witness.” Jesus is coming.

For more details, read my article on preparing for the Cure

Why Does God Allow Coronavirus and Other Catastrophes?

The world is Shattered. We are sinful. Because Adam sinned, we are in mortal bodies. Death is inevitable. But we need not fear. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:21:

“For since [it was] by a man (Adam) that death came [into the world], it is also by a Man (Jesus) that the resurrection of the dead has come.” AMP

We live in a fallen world. If we know Christ, we can have hope and joy.

Let’s look at seven reasons God allows this epidemic and trouble in the Universe:

1. To Accomplish His Purposes
God used plagues to deliver the enslaved Jews from their Egyptian overlords. (Exodus 9:8-11).

God will also pour out plagues during the Tribulation to bring God-rejecters to faith in Christ. The way coronavirus spreads quickly from person to person is a foreshadowing of the way God will pronounce judgment in Revelation.

Revelation 9:15-19
“By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed, by the fire and smoke and sulfur coming out of their mouths. The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent.”

How does God accomplish His purpose in our day? Through Jesus’ death and resurrection. Isaiah 53 tells us Christ bore our sins and diseases on the cross. We receive grace and not judgment when we believe in Him.

2. To Teach Obedience
Moses proclaimed the blessings of following Jehovah and the consequences of forsaking Him to teach obedience to the Israelites. In Deuteronomy 28, Moses promises children, wealth, food and safety. He warns that if Israel refuses to listen and obey, He will curse them instead.

Jesus learned obedience through the things that He suffered, and so can we!

Hebrews 5:8 ESV
“Though he were a Son, yet he learned obedience by the things which he suffered.”

3. To Oppose Pride
God called King David “the man after God’s own heart.” But the consequences of David’s sins didn’t only impact his family. David proudly counted his army, defying God’s strict warning to humbly trust Him. So, David had three punishments from which to choose to pay for his pride: three years of famine, three months of defeat from enemies, or three days of plague. (2 Samuel 24:13).

God relents when we humble ourselves.

James 4:10
“Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God that He may exalt you.”

4. To Abolish Idolatry
God hates idolatry (Exodus 20:3). Idolatry in our day usually revolves around money. Ezekiel 7 prophesies the destruction of the Jewish economy (buying and selling) to call His people to put away idols.

Jesus said “You cannot serve two masters: God and money. For you will hate one and love the other, or else the other way around.” (Matthew 6:24) TLB

God is our provider. Jesus said God cares for sparrows and flowers. Of course He cares for us! We must trust Him and not rely on our own intellect or strength.

Time and time again, God relented when His people learned to put Him first.

5. To Teach Gratitude
The Jews complained to Moses about manna. They demanded meat. God answered their ungrateful prayers and sent them quail. He also punished them with a poisonous plague. (Numbers 11:31-33)

Those who worship with thankful hearts receive God’s blessing.

Psalm 103:2-3
“Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all of his benefits, who forgives all your sins and heals your diseases.”

6. To Defend His Holiness
The Philistines captured the Ark and sent it to Ashdod instead of returning it to Israel. God taught them a lesson by sending them rats and hemorrhoids! (1 Samuel 5:6).

But Jesus reconciled us to God by His death on the cross. He has made us holy:

Colossians 1:20-22
“Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.”

7. To Reveal His Power
God permitted Satan to inflict disease upon Job so that He could reveal His majesty and power Himself to His faithful servant (Job 42).

Paul assures us that He reveals His power through our weak bodies.

2 Corinthians 4:7 TLB
“But this precious treasure—this light and power that now shine within us—is held in a perishable container, that is, in our weak bodies. Everyone can see that the glorious power within must be from God and is not our own.”

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