Christian, are you troubled today by the news of a virus? What is your mind focused on? Perhaps your first reaction is to focus on your physical needs. This is a natural reaction as God calls us to care for our bodies, but we shouldn’t stop there. It’s too easy to stay peeled to the screen for the latest news and forget about what is happening to our souls. God calls us to turn away our minds away from the latest news and look to Him and to His word.
In the gospel according Matthew 24:6-8, our Lord Jesus sees pestilences (including viruses) as a necessary step in the march of time toward the end of the age.
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.
Take note of how our Lord encourages us, “See that you are not troubled, for these things must come to pass“.
How is this encouraging?
1. Pestilences like Coronavirus are the will of God
God’s plan is often revealed dimly through the prophetic voice.
2. Pestilences like Coronavirus will lead to the End of the Age
A pestilence like Coronavirus obviously gives no comfort, but what is it leading to? It’s leading to, as Jesus says, “the end of the age” (Matt 24:3). So when we see Coronavirus, we can see it for what it truly is, as something leading us to something much more glorious, as the Apostle Pauls says, “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Rom. 8:18).
And that leads to the next point, that the end of the age is something which is of great encouragement to us as it will usher in the glorious kingdom of our blessed Lord Jesus Christ, in all it’s fullness. So what does this “end of the age” look like? A parable that our Lord Jesus gave earlier in Matthew was the parable of the weeds in Matthew 13:24-30 where weeds are described as growing up with the wheat and being allowed to grow until the time of harvest, where the weeds and wheat will then be picked together and separated. The weeds ultimately will be burned while the wheat gets placed into the barn. Later in the chapter, the disciples ask for an explanation, and Jesus answers in v. 38-43 by explaining that the weeds are sons of the devil and the wheat are the righteous who “shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father“. Most crucial for our point today is that the harvest is described as “end of the age“.
So the harvest, or end of the age, is a most important point in human history, much more historic than any pestilence. If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and serve him in sincerity of heart (Col 3:22), then you have the cure for a sickness much more deadly than any virus. You have a cure for being a practicer of lawlessness (v. 41). You have a cure for being a son of the devil (v. 38). You have a cure for being a weed that gets thrown into the furnance (v. 42). Are you starting to see how the end of the age is something that will remind us not to be troubled? “See to it that you not be troubled” is what our Savior reminded his disciples. These are the beginning of the sorrows, but the one on whom the end of ages has come (1 Cor. 10:11) and the one who has saved us out of this present darkness (Eph. 6:12), will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead (2 Tim. 4:1) and will put an end to every sorrow and every tear (Rev. 21:4).
My dear brother and sister in Christ, let us all put aside the trouble that seeps into our souls and place our hope in the one “upon whom the ends of the ages have come.“