The rapid spread of the coronavirus

Fredi Winkler

The rapid spread of the coronavirus has clearly shown that the world has really become a “global village,” as it’s said. There is hardly a region on earth that hasn’t been affected. And if not directly impacted by the virus, then from the economic effects of the global lockdown.

The photos of grounded airplanes worldwide seem unreal. At airports that used to host hundreds of flights a day, they are now in the single digits. The virus has spread worldwide through countless planeloads of people. International air travel is actually the means of transportation that has made the world a “global village.”

We still remember how terrorism changed international flights. As a result, safety precautions and controls have become part of everyday life in air travel. Will the coronavirus pandemic change international aviation as well? In order to fly in the future, will we have to prove that we’re healthy and aren’t carrying contagious diseases? Here in Israel they were hoping to ask schoolchildren to do this, but it turned out to be impractical.

The internet, with all its possibilities, has undoubtedly taken the world a giant step further in globalization, surpassing television. Class instruction and meetings via Zoom have been introduced nearly everywhere.

Since it’s written in Revelation 1:7, “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him,” it begs the question: how is it possible for every eye to see him?

Is it referring to modern media, which can transmit news worldwide in virtually no time at all? It’s an obvious assumption to make, since God uses human developments. When God sent His Son to earth, the world had already been “globalized” quite a bit. A different word was used for it at the time, namely “Ecumene,” which means much of the inhabited earth (or what was known of it at the time). The expression occurs in various forms throughout the New Testament.

The Greco-Roman world created the conditions for the Gospel to spread quickly: both through good traffic conditions created by the Romans, as well as through the Greek language being spoken in large parts of the Roman world (or at least being understood by many). God undoubtedly used human developments to accomplish His plan.

Nevertheless, it’s obvious that God doesn’t use just the developments of mankind to achieve His goal. He has other ways and means to accomplish His purposes. A small virus like COVID-19 is only a minor matter for Him.

The return of Jesus Christ, unlike His first coming, will be an event that doesn’t just affect Israel. It will have a worldwide impact and will be unmistakably recognized across the globe. It will be an event that will take hold of humanity and shake it, as our Lord Jesus describes: “the sun [shall] be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken” (Matt 24:29).

In the assurance that God is involved in fulfilling His plan for the world and all humanity, I send my warmest greetings with Shalom.

News from Israel - 07/2020

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