What’s Coming After Coronavirus?

By Mark A. Kellner | Posted March 17, 2020

This Internet meme sums things up: “What a year this week has been!”

During the past week, we’ve seen the United States go from a bustling society to one on a near-total lockdown.

By order of their governors, Maryland and Washington, an epicenter of the virus, are two of the latest of several states to close their restaurants and bars. In New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, dining establishments are restricted to takeout service only. The tri-state area has also recently enforced the closing of recreational locations, such as movie theaters, casinos, and gyms.

This move on the part of the government to decree what can and cannot be open hasn’t been this widespread since September 11, 2001, when terrorism struck at the heart of America’s war and economic institutions and its largest city.

In addition, more than half of the states have shut their schools. Many have also followed the newest CDC recommendation to restrict gatherings of more than 50 people, while President Donald Trump recently narrowed that number to 10. Now, seven counties in Northern California have issued a collective “shelter-in-place” directive, in which residents are ordered to remain in their homes except in cases of necessity.

The Public Reaction

Across the world, people are responding in waves of mass panic, emptying shelves of dried goods, bottled water, and toilet paper. The subsequent shortage of supplies has led to multiple altercations, thefts, and violent threats. Racist acts, from unprovoked assault to work-related discrimination, have made Asians global pariahs.

All of these unsettling reactions have caused another product to skyrocket: guns. In just two weeks, Ammo.com, an online ammunitions dealer, reported a 68-percent increase in sales.

“People are panicking because they don’t feel secure,” comments Southern California gun dealer David Liu. “They worry about a riot or maybe that people will start to target the Chinese.”

Preparation Before the Storm

Reporters all around the world have deemed the domino effect of this pandemic unprecedented, from the stock market to the lockdowns. Jesus said that at the end of time, “there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21).

Just prior to that, He warned that different kinds of disasters were “the beginning of sorrows” (v. 8). In the original Greek, the word “sorrows” is equivalent to labor pains. During childbirth, the contractions, the “sorrows,” gradually occur closer and closer together. Are we seeing this in our world today? It is not only the novel coronavirus; it is the locust plagues in Africa, the tornadoes in Tennessee, the missile launches from North Korea and in Iraq. In a single chapter, Jesus appears to have predicted the exact state of our world today.

In that same chapter, He also described the state of society: “Then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another” (v. 10). Is this happening now, when fear has turned to procuring weaponry over a lack of toilet paper? Are we beginning to see “the love of many … grow cold”? (v. 12).

Jesus also clearly stated the reason for all of these predictions: so that we could be ready for His soon return (v. 44). Now that the signs of Matthew 24 are appearing, we can know it is time to prepare for what is coming next.

In an extreme response to the coronavirus emergency, Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen of Champaign, Illinois, enacted an executive order, which includes allowing the city to ban the sale of alcohol, firearms, and gasoline and “take possession of private property.”

To soothe the public outcry over this order, city attorney Frank Stavins’ reassured the local newspaper: “To be extremely clear, only provisions that are necessary to protect the public health in this situation will be enacted. The city council would never take an action to violate anyone’s civil liberties.” But then why do these infringements exist in the first place? Is this a harbinger of future mandates?

Ironically, it was another Illinois politician, Rahm Emanuel, who offered a telling illustration on November 18, 2008, days after then-Senator Barack Obama was elected President of the United States amid a global financial panic: “You never let a serious crisis go to waste,” Emanuel said. “What I mean by that [is] it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” What kind of “opportunity” will this current pandemic create?

The USA in Bible Prophecy Our merciful God instructs us how to prepare for these earth-shaking events. Get a solid understanding of what Scripture says is coming in our free online Bible lesson, “The USA in Bible Prophecy.” See how the events occurring right now could usher in the prophecy of Revelation 13, in which a beast, the symbol for a kingdom, compels people by economic mandate to worship (vv. 16, 17).

In the present crisis, Amazing Facts International offers an informative and helpful video on “The Best Coronavirus Prevention,” featuring insights from Dr. Neil Nedley, president of Weimar Institute. It’s well worth your time to watch!

Faith is equally important, if not more so, during a time of trial and crisis. Bible faith begins with receiving Jesus Christ as your Savior. Pastor Doug Batchelor offers a video Bible study on what salvation is and what God offers each of us. Viewing this message might be the most valuable step you can take in these uncertain days.

Mark Kellner
Mark A. Kellner is a staff writer for Amazing Facts International. He is a veteran journalist whose work has been published in Religion News Service, The Washington Times, and numerous computer magazines.

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