“Do Not Be Anxious!”

Jonathan Malgo

During the coronavirus pandemic, politicians, virologists, doctors, professors, and specialists spoke out with a wide variety of hypotheses. But who was to be believed? Various nations, states, and districts approached the problem differently. Some opinions were silenced in the mainstream media, portrayed as delusion. The whole world stood still. Such a global state of emergency hasn’t occurred since World War II. What would happen next with small business owners, airlines, or the hospitality industry? How high would the price be for the measures taken against the virus?

Police states suddenly emerged from enlightened democracies. Surveillance was carried out using drones and mobile phone tracking. In Italy, the police chased fishermen by helicopter; in Spain, a surfer was arrested by a special unit. Resources that would otherwise only be approved for exceptional cases in the fight against terrorism were used. National borders were brought back under control. Where was the “union” of the European Union? And where were the countless genders of gender ideology, when the statistics only listed sick men and women? Suddenly, children were back with their parents, and both had more time for each other since schools and childcare facilities were closed. Homeschooling and home offices had to be quickly implemented.

What will this crisis bring about? Many believers tend to find a conspiracy behind everything, but did (and does) this corona crisis have to be more than God speaking? He wants us to humble ourselves before Him, seek Him, and change our attitudes. This is still the age of grace, because God is speaking! The whole situation also reminds us that a time is coming when God will speak for the last time: the time of judgment (Rev 6:7-8; 9:13-15). But right in the midst of this coming “Great Tribulation” is when people will hold tightly to their rebellion (Rev 9:20-21). Even if God makes it clear to us that nothing is under our control, people think, “We’ve got this!” Yes, we can contain—and sometimes even prevent—epidemics and catastrophes. And yet, the next ones are sure to come. Ultimately, human rebellion will culminate in our world worshiping another: the Antichrist.

The events of the past few months have shown us how quickly control over all humanity can be gained. Curfews were enforced with little resistance and, suddenly, people could only buy and sell via cashless means in many places. The Antichrist will know how to use this. He’ll be an intellectual (Dan 8:23-25), a political (Rev 17:11-13), economic (Rev 13:16-17), military (Rev 13:4), and religious (Rev 13:8) genius, as Mark Hitchcock shows in his book, Who Is the Antichrist? He writes, “He will have answers to the horrendous problems of mankind […] He will be Satan’s masterpiece of deception, the world’s false messiah. With boundless enthusiasm the masses will follow him and readily enthrone him in their hearts as the world’s savior and god.”

In contrast, there is the offer of grace from the Lord Jesus Christ today: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt 11:28). Christians aren’t expecting the Antichrist; we’re expecting our Lord and Redeemer Jesus Christ. We don’t know either the day or the hour, so we want to be watching and praying. God’s Word commands us: “Do not be anxious”; rather, cast all of your cares upon the Lord, and seek first His kingdom and His righteousness (Phil 4:6-7; Matt 6:25-33). “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Rom 8:32). That’s why we must have the right priorities, despite all the uncertainties.

Let’s consider the church at Thessalonica: its situation seemed to resemble the end time. It suffered persecution, loss, and fear. Yet Paul praised the Thessalonians for being steadfast, and for growing in the Lord’s work and in love. Why? Because they were anticipating their Lord’s return, and didn’t allow themselves to surrender to their current circumstances and concerns. Christ was their goal, and their life’s substance. It should be the same for us—“Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him” (Matt 25:6).

Midnight Call - 06/2020

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