Corona Virus Pandemic

The world has experienced great trauma in the last 110 years. World War I raged 4 years killing 20 million, immediately followed by the Spanish Flu which killed 50 million more, and the great depression. Hardly had the world recovered when World War II engulfed the world for 5 years killing 80 million (3 % of world population). But since then, life has been good for many of us until January 2020 when the world is in panic with this Corona virus which in 3 months infected 1 million people (identified) and has killed 100,000 (about the same number as the number of babies murdered in Australia each year by the Australian government).

In Luke 13:4 we read that a 'tower of Siloam' fell killing eighteen and they told Jesus who responded 'do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.' He didn't apologise because in His goodness, He desires all to repent and be saved. As Paul explained saying: 'do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?' (Romans 2:4) and again 'For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.' (2 Corinthians 7:10).

The evening before Jesus was arrested to be crucified, while Judas negotiated his 30 pieces of silver to betray Jesus, Jesus spoke privately with Peter, James, John and Andrew about what would happen before His return (to earth). In Matthew 24, He outlined 3 stages: 'the beginning of sorrows' (4-8), 'tribulation' (9-14) and 'great tribulation' (15-28). Only then will He return (29-31).

We are still in the first stage characterised by deception, war, famines, pestilences and earthquakes. "Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows." Corona virus is the latest pestilence.

The significant side effect of World Wars I and II was the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. This is relevant because the 'great tribulation' starts in Jerusalem with 'the abomination of desolation' when Antichrist sits in the temple (not yet rebuilt) declaring he is God ('the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.' 2 Thessalonians 2:4-5).

When Daniel looked forward to the return of the Jews to Jerusalem after 70 years exile, he prayed as recorded in Daniel 9:1-19 'we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments.'(v 5). He explained 'all this disaster has come upon us; yet we have not made our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities and understand Your truth. 14 Therefore the Lord has kept the disaster in mind, and brought it upon us; for the Lord our God is righteous in all the works which He does, though we have not obeyed His voice.' (13-14). So, if we are praying for relief from Corona, understand the it has come because the world at large and most people as individuals have rebelled against God and His Word. There is no point praying if we do not repent.

When Nehemiah heard of the great distress of the Jews who had returned to Jerusalem, he also prayed in similar terms (Nehemiah 1:5-11) saying 'I pray, Lord God of heaven, O great and awesome God, You who keep Your covenant and mercy with those who love You and observe Your commandments - we have sinned against You. Both my father's house and I have sinned. 7 We have acted very corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses.'

We have not just turned from Moses. 'God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;' (Hebrews 1:1-2) We have turned away from Him, the only saviour: 'through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins' (Acts 13:38) and 'Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.' Acts 4:12.

Do not be deceived by those who say 'We will get through this' for this is just the 'beginning of sorrows'. '7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.' (Galatians 6:7-8).

'if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For "whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved."' Romans 10:9-13.

God in love has sent Corona to get your attention. Call on Him now, else you will perish.

Arthur Gilmour

4th April 2020

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