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Faith in a Time of Pestilence

October 10, 2017
Faith in a Time of Pestilence
Detroit, Michigan, and San Diego, California, are struggling with an outbreak of Hepatitis A among their homeless populations. The virus is typically spread through contaminated food or water and is usually easy to track and contain. But the current outbreaks seem to have been caused by a variety of issues, including drug use and contaminated restroom facilities.

Hepatitis A is primarily found in the developing world and is not usually fatal. Its flu-like symptoms can last for up to six to eight weeks, causing dehydration and malnutrition. However, because of their limited access to care, more than thirty people died from the disease in the United States during the past year.

Health officials are concerned that the disease will spread to other parts of the country as untreated and asymptomatic people travel. Currently, city officials are working to provide vaccinations for the most vulnerable populations. They are also providing better access to clean facilities to help reduce the spread of the disease.

Jesus warned that at the end of time, pestilences would increase and spread to many places (Matthew 24:7). The signs are all around us, and we need to prepare our lives now to be ready to meet these challenges. Just as simple sanitation practices like hand-washing are the best way to prevent the spread of Hepatitis A, so the simple daily decision to make Christ first in our lives is the key to be prepared to meet the deceptions of the last days.

Following Christ is not always the easy path. Jesus said, "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it" (Matthew 7:13, 14).

Even though choosing Christ often brings us in conflict with our culture and even our personal desires, He promises that He will be with us every step of the way (Matthew 11:28–30). He has walked this path before us, and He knows how to help us to be faithful in every danger and conflict.

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