Most of us would admit that we are living in times that are distinct from anything we have ever known. So different in fact that we are ready for this time of quarantine to be over and for things to get back to “normal.”
However, it is possible that we are living in a watershed moment in world history and that things will be much different after the coronavirus than the way they were before coronavirus.
Some have called this approaching time as the “new abnormal.”
After talking to many pastors and reading many postings on social media, I have discovered that many believers feel like God is doing something now. I could not agree more! God is never still!
As a result of this world pandemic, I have been asked repeatedly if the Bible address times such as these. And I answer yes, it does.
Luke records Jesus as saying: “And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven” (Luke 21:11).
The Greek word loimos is translated in this verse as “pestilences” and means, “pestilence,” “plague,” or “disease.” It is therefore feasible that our Lord was referring to diseases like the coronavirus.
As I have faithfully studied Scripture and preached over the last 48 years, I have noticed that God allows something to transpire that fulfills Bible prophecy. At those times, it seems that we were quickly moving toward the rapture of the saints.
Then, it seemed like God would push the “pause” button and our movement toward the rapture would appear to slow down. Obviously, God was still working but it was behind the scenes.
It seems that we are presently experiencing another “pause” in God’s prophetic timetable. God is working but it is mainly behind the scenes. For example, many churches are either live streaming their worship services from their websites or using Facebook Live to stream their services to the world.
One church I know found that on the first Sunday they streamed their services they reached seven times their weekly attendance in 17 countries.
A pastor of a mega-church reported that on a recent Sunday 400,000 people in 85 countries tuned in to their services via live stream. These are not two isolated churches—these are the norm.
Yes, during these troubling times God is working behind the scenes by taking his Word to the world! Today, we may not have all the trappings of ministry—but we still have the Trinity and that is all we need!
In the foreseeable future, God is going to hit the “play” button again and we are going to see other prophecies fulfilled. Because we do not know when Christ is going to return (Matthew 24:36; Mark 13:32), for the sake of expediency let us assume for a moment this is the last “pause” in God’s prophetic timetable.
If it is, and it very well could be, what should God’s children be doing in the meantime?
Each one of us should use this time to get solidly right with God.
If we are not closer to the Lord when we come out of the coronavirus pandemic than when we entered the pandemic—something is wrong! If this is the last “pause” in God’s prophetic timetable, then we can fully expect more difficult days in the not too distant future. If we are not close to our Lord, we may fail Him (1 John 2:28) during these coming difficult days (2 Timothy 3:1-9).
Secondly, when our churches begin meeting again, we should focus on the major activities of the Christian faith—preaching and teaching the truth of the Word of God, discipling, praying, fasting, and sharing our faith with the unsaved and un-churched. It is time that the church of the Living God make the “main thing the main thing.”
We must evaluate everything we do in light of the first and greatest commandment, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matthew 22:37) and in light of the second greatest commandment, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 22:39).
To be perfectly honest, I do not want to go back to the old “normal.” I want this to be a new beginning—a “new normal” in the spiritual lives of believers. If we go back to anything—let us go “back to the basics” of our faith.
We will be eternally glad that we did!