WHY THE CORONA VIRUS PANDEMIC?
Updated: Jul 7
By Rev Tan Eng Boo
Some Christians have commented that this pandemic may be a sign of the end times. I am sure it is, as Jesus said: “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows” (Matt. 24:7, 8). These are signs of the “birth pains” (v.8 ESV). Albert Barnes said, “Far heavier calamities are yet to come before the end.” In other words, we are to expect it. It should not be a strange happening in this world. One epidemic after another will happen. It was SARS, H1N1, H5N1, MERS, Ebola, and now COVID-19. What will be next? When will it happen? This world will never have peace and we will never be free from diseases. If it is not COVID-19, it will be cancer, high-blood pressure, diabetes, heart-disease, stress etc., that is going to affect our health. Job said, “Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble” (Job 14:1).
We are vulnerable
Look at how an unseen virus can cause so much trouble to humanity. The greatest and most powerful nations in the world can be succumbed by it. This is an “invisible war.” We can’t see the enemy. We don’t know how it will attack us. We fear for our lives and the lives of our loved ones. We see the economy of nations affected adversely. People lose their jobs. Businesses are in trouble. Even churches have to shut down and go on-line. Lots of people struggle with having to stay at home, under “circuit-breaker,” “lock-down” measures, and as a result of these struggles, we see a host of problems relating to mental and psychological stress today.
How should we view this problem?
Go back to Scripture and let God’s Word be our guide. We believe that nothing happened by chance (Rom. 8:28). We do not believe in fate. We believe that God is sovereign and He is in control of all things (Col.1: 16, 17). Since God is sovereign, He will do things His way and for His glory. This pandemic can be seen in the light of Scripture as stated by Isaiah the prophet. God said, “I form light and create darkness; I make well-being and create calamity; I am the LORD, who does all these things” (Isa. 45:7 ESV). God has allowed trouble/calamity in this world. This is to be understood from Scripture.
What is the cause of this problem?
Why does the Lord allow calamity in this world, even this pandemic? The simple answer is SIN. “For the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23a). Why is it called a “wage”? A “wage” is something we work for. When we go to work and expect to get paid for that job, we are earning our wages. In the same way we are going to be paid at the end of the day for our sin. The payment is death, because all have sinned (Rom. 3:10-12, 23). Death comes to all in different ways, but death, however, is not the end of all things. We are told that after death is the judgement (Heb. 9:27). There is one of two places humanity will end up in the afterlife: Heaven or Hell (Lk. 16:19-31).
How should we respond to this problem?
We will all face death one day for sure. Young or old, our life is numbered. It is like a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanished (Jam. 4:14). Let us therefore:
Make sure we have the gift of eternal life (Rom. 6:23). The Bible assures us: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Rom. 10:9, 10).
Every day we live by the grace of God. Let us remember (Ps. 125). It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed (Lam. 3:22, 23). Always be humble and thankful to God for the life we have each day. Don’t take it for granted.
Live for Jesus every day in the midst of this pandemic. We can pray for one another. Do good to others. Sing and praise God in worship. Speak for Him when we have the opportunity. Make time to read the Bible and the many Christian books you have. “For to me to live is Christ” (Phil. 1:21a).