I have talked about COVID-19 being spiritual in nature as one could rationalize that most pandemics or world crises will naturally feel like they have a spiritual component. Instances like these can make anyone have a “come to Jesus” moment. But is this in line with the Apocalypse of the Bible?
New York hospitals are calling what they are seeing an “apocalyptic surge” (GHN).
A spokesman for the UN commented that, anything short of a commitment to helping the world in this time, “would lead to a pandemic of apocalyptic proportions affecting us all.”
As we get closer to the apex, it will feel more and more “apocalyptic” in nature and all can agree on that. Add the fires in Australia, the surge of earthquakes throughout the United States and the Locusts in Africa and even the most atheistic minded individual cannot deny the apocalyptic feeling that permeates the air around us.
But is what we are seeing truly an “Apocalypse”, and if so, what does that really mean?
It is very important to first define “Apocalypse”. Going back to the original Greek it is defined as, “an unveiling or unfolding of things not previously known and which could not be known apart from the unveiling”.
Many times, when the word “Apocalyptic” or “Apocalypse” is used, it defines what is seen in Revelation with the return of Christ. According to this definition the “Revelation of John” and what is to come is indeed apocalyptic as these things will reveal and unmask the imperfections of the church and of society. There will be “an unveiling or unfolding of things not previously known and which could not be known apart from the unveiling.”
While I have yet to see evidence that this is THE Apocalypse of the Revelation of John, I do believe that COVID-19 is indeed apocalyptic in nature. Being in isolation, watching the news, seeing others suffer, not being able to physically engage with other family members, can all cause us to re-evaluate our lives, our motives and our hearts and feel apocalyptic. There are absolute “unknowns” about COVID-19. There are global effects of this that are highlighting our inefficiencies, and this is indeed causing many “unknowns” to be revealed. Especially about human nature.
While many government agencies and departments on all levels are doing what they believe is best for their citizens, many governmental officials have floundered during this crisis as they try to get a steady foothold. The educational systems are greatly disrupted, unconstitutional policy changes are being put into action in some states, businesses are shutting down, the economy is suffering, and several people all around the world are unable to get the medical care they need.
Necessary or not, these things are catching people off guard and the trickling down effect of this is resulting in discord and questioning.
While we do see random (and not so random) acts of kindness, we also see humanity failing in many ways when it comes to hoarding and stock piling supplies and food and participating in civil unrest. We have seen fist fights in stores over what was a minute item just weeks ago. Toilet paper and hand sanitizer have become our momentary idols—something to conquer or obtain at all cost, without thinking of our neighbor and considering their needs. Many across the world have failed the “decent human” test and our true hearts have been revealed.
Apocalyptic in nature?
In my mind—a resounding YES!
Yes, in that COVID-19 has truly unveiled things in human nature that many have suspected but have not experienced on a global scale.
Yes, in that it has unveiled the weaknesses in many of our elected government officials.
Yes, in that it has exposed unknown deficiencies in our economy and has highlighted our vulnerability due to our profound reliance on other nations for goods and services, in particular pharmaceuticals, electronic parts, communication devices, and accessories, and other day to day items.
Yes, in that it has left America vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Emboldened cyber enemies are taking advantage of this crisis and we are seeing an overwhelming uptick in cyber-attacks and threats—to our electrical and communication grid systems, our educational and governmental systems and to our internet companies. Word from a good friend who is in a high position in the FBI is that global and nationwide cyber security issues have exponentially risen.
Modern Day Revelation
While all of the above is true, what I see as the greatest “revelation” for us, is twofold:
The weakness of the human heart is indicative in that instead of handing over our fear and hopelessness to the God of this Nation and of the world, many are putting faith in news agencies, medical professionals, the government and human ingenuity. While we are blessed to have medical professionals working on cures and protocols that will benefit the American people and beyond, in some way or another, 100% of the COVID-19 medical mystery will not be found for years to come, if ever. People will die. There will be outbreaks for months or years to come. Families will suffer economically. Marriages will be tested. Children will be abused. People will go hungry. Although the physical day to day motions of life have slowed down, sin nature will continue.
This is where we need to change our focus and remember who is truly in charge and is the Source of our “cure”—be it earthly or eternal. God. He is the Alpha and Omega, Jehovah Jireh (Our Provider), Jehovah Rapha (Our Healer), and El Shaddai!
A deterioration and desensitization of the mind due to idol worship is most disturbing. This can be defined as, “the blind, excessive devotion to, or reverence for, some person or thing…”. Humankind has been guilty in one form or another of idol worship from the beginning of time. The enemy is keenly aware and is ready to strike as COVID-19 reveals yet another layer of weakness in the human spirit.
Money, hobbies, our appearance and exercise routines, friends, our children, sports, our electronic devices, things and relying on all of the above, have become our focus. Not that any of these things in and of itself are bad things. God wants us to be healthy, happy and enjoy what life has to offer. But when we spend time focusing on them and even feel panicked or lost without them, that is idolatry. When we are unable to obtain what we want instead of being content with what we already have and our emotional reactions trickle down to our family, friends or employees, that is idolatry. When we feel emptiness because our normal routines are interrupted and we find ourselves yearning for and desiring the things of the world instead of being satisfied with the peace that God can offer, that is idolatry. (Col. 3:5, Jonah 2:8).
Guilty as charged. Trust me, this has been a humbling, yet gratifying wake up call for me and I am listening.
Putting knowledge into action.
Two months ago, we never saw this coming. Today, much has been unveiled that was previously unknown about the heart of man—our hearts, our reactions, our lack of faith and our reliance on idols that separate us from the only true God.
With this “revelation” our hearts are now exposed. We have been greatly weakened as a world, as a nation and as a people and it is time to act accordingly. All of us, but especially those who call themselves Christians need to take this time to “armor up” (Eph. 6:10). His light is upon us and we have a chance to lead a spiritual awakening. In Christ, we find strength in weakness! “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” (I Peter 5:10).
We need to be honest with ourselves and see the apocalyptic nature of COVID-19 in that it has “unveiled things not previously known and which could not be known apart from the unveiling.” Many of these things may not even have been hidden—one could argue this fact, but the intentions of the true human heart have been supernaturally unveiled.
To endure and learn from this “apocalypse of the heart”, we must change our perspective and appreciate what is going on. There is a flip side here. There will be those who suffer because of the events of this fallen world–be it economically, spiritually, educationally, or personally, when we experience apocalyptic occurrences. But where suffering is good is when we allow it to bring ourselves closer to God and let it increase our faith. It helps others focus on the God in us when we comfort others because of it.
America will prevail.
We serve a Creator by whom we are endowed. The words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”, are the bedrock of America!
Let’s show the world who America is. Let’s regain our total independence. Let’s bring a renewed appreciation for the sanctity of human life. Let’s stop redefining what our Creator has set forth as the moral laws and rules of humankind.
If we do not, I fear the next “Apocalyptic event” that comes our way, will not be as kind, or as forgiving as COVID-19 will be.
May we use this time to really observe, take to heart and humbly change in accordance to what is being, “unveiled that was not previously known and which could not be known apart from the unveiling.” I am confident that this pandemic is a warning sign of things to come. I also believe it is a revelation of how powerful, gracious and merciful our Creator is. How kind of Him to remind us of our own deficiencies and our idol worship, so that we can take steps to draw nearer to Him.
We will recover. We will get through it. We will be stronger, more efficient, and have an increased alertness because of it. At the same time, spiritually and emotionally, the memory of this pandemic will stay on the minds and in the hearts of Americans, if not the world.
May this bring attention to our need to stop worshipping the progressive god of this world (Deuteronomy 6:14) and instead may we take this is a HUGE wake up call for Christians to shed their lukewarm behavior and start living as God intended.
Take this as a word of encouragement, a prophetic message or even as a warning. I don’t care, just take it. Share it. Get the word out. Apocalyptic or not, we are in fact one day closer to Christ’s return. As exciting as that is, we must also use it as a wake-up call and an opportunity to be a light to the lost.
Here are some verses to reflect on for encouragement as God renews us and uses us according to His will:
Isaiah 34:18-19- “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
Romans 12:2-Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Jeremiah 29:11-For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
May WE exemplify the virtues of our Creator, and may America become a supernatural beacon of Light to all.