The marketplace is empty
No more traffic in the streets
All the builders’ tools are silent
No more time to harvest wheat
Busy housewives cease their labors
In the courtroom no debate
Work on earth is all suspended
As the King comes thro’ the gate.
When Bill and Gloria Gaither penned the words for “The King Is Coming,” they were warning of Jesus Christ’s imminent return. They weren’t describing life during the current global coronavirus pandemic, which has shut down some of the busiest cities in the world such as New York, Los Angeles, London and Moscow. We know a lot about the pandemic. Now is a good time to discuss the possible spiritual significance for Christians.
A Look at Scripture
The Bible offers an account of God’s dealings with mankind throughout the centuries. It contains guidelines about how humans should live their lives, and it offers a record of God’s dealings with nations and prophecies for the future. Christians believe a sovereign God is fully aware of everything that takes place in the universe, including global pandemics (Colossians 1: 16-17).
The unusal cessation of human activites in the world’s busiest cities cannot be explained by the facts surrounding the current global pandemic. We have had far more serious pandemics happen without the world ceasing its activities (SARS and H1N1). Consider that the world has 7.9 billion people. Worldometer’s 2 percent death rate for coronavirus is a drop in the bucket compared with the fatality rate of SARS (10%) and MERS (34%).
The global shutdown strikes me as a divine warning, because it does not exactly line up perfectly with what Jesus says men and women will be doing when He returns.
“For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man (Matthew 24: 36-29).”
When Jesus returns, we will be conducting business as usual. Jesus will sneak up on us as a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 5:2). A thief catches the homeowner by surprise. What we are experiencing with the current pandemic is not business as usual.
The slowdown of the world gives us the perfect opportunity to assess our lives and discover what we believe about the creator and His purpose for our lives. God is the master of perfect timing. Nothing happens by coincidence.
The Significance of the Passover and Easter Season
The global shutdown straddles two Holy Days, one observed by Jews and one by Christians. During Easter, Christians celebrate Jesus’s resurrection and victory over death in fulfillment of Isaiah 53: 1-6. The Prophet Isaiah forecast the coming of a Messiah who would be persecuted and would die for the sins of mankind. Afterward, He would be resurrected on the third day. Christians recognize Jesus as the lamb slain from the foundations of the earth who takes away the sins of the world (Revelation 13:8).
Then there’s Passover, which commemorates the story of the Israelites’ departure from ancient Egypt under the leadership of Moses. The exodus takes place after God has poured out nine plagues on the pagan nation of Egypt. In the Passover story, God gave Moses instructions requiring each Israelite family to mark their door posts with the blood of an unblemished lamb to spare them from the tenth plague. When the death angel passed through the city to kill the firstborn of the Egyptians, the blood on the Israelites’ door posts was a sign to the angel to spare the firstborns of the Israelites inside.
The Israelites were in a special covenantal relationship with God because of promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Through the Prophet Moses, God gave the Israelites the Ten Commandments and an elaborate set of written hygienic, ceremonial, and moral laws and instructions describing how they were to live their lives. His instructions governed interactions with Him, each other, and with foreigners. When the nation strayed and broke their vows, God allowed judgment to occur through plagues, fevers, and eventually conquest by more wicked nations. When they repented, He received them back.
America as a Blessed but Apostate Nation
America was founded by men who sought to establish a nation that would share in the covenantal blessings of ancient Israel. Charters and states constitutions, the Mayflower Compact, Sunday Blue Laws, and our system of justice with its requirements for due process and the rule of law speaks of the influence of the Bible. Increasingly, our nation has strayed away from her Judeo-Christian roots, so much so Barack Obama felt confident in 2006, when he said: “Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation – at least, not just. We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, and a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.” While Americans leaders frequently close their speeches with God Bless America, there is no true fear or honoring of the God of the Judeo-Christian Bible. Broken vows have led to confusion and chaos. We are on a collision course with the God of the Bible who assures us that He changes not.
Unfortunately, many of America’s religious leaders have been silenced out of fear, or they preach and endorse a false gospel that is contrary to what the Bible says about sin and its consequences. Good is called evil, and evil is called good (Isaiah 5:20).
America has used its prosperity to induce poorer nations to engage in behaviors the Bible clearly condemns. Disguised as “reproductive health,” abortions and sterilizations – with America’s financial assistance – are forced upon poor women in nations that need our help. Mother Nature and the environment have become gods. Reducing the human population by any means necessary is the ultimate goal.
As a people, we have repeatedly broken the moral laws outlined in the Judeo-Christian Bible. In the Old Testament, national sins brought national judgment. We are told that innocent blood cries out from the grave (Genesis 4:10).
Abortion and the spilling of innocent blood continues during the pandemic in cities and states controlled by Democrats. It is one of the most flagrant sins because it involves the willful killing of the unborn. Since the legalization of abortions in the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case, more than 61 million babies have been killed in the womb. God takes this seriously. The Israelites were warned about polluting the land with innocent blood. (Numbers 35:33). Sanctuary Cities and elaborate rituals were instituted to cleanse the land from pollution.
Lawlessness is rampant in the United States as is the targeting of law-enforcement officers who are treated with disdain in many cities. Morally, we are a broken people. In our nation we have the transgendering of young children, and drag queen story hours at libraries and public and private K-12 schools. There is rampant adultery and fornication among Christians and open calls for the celebration of alternative lifestyles that include homosexuality, polygamy and polyandry, accompanied with demands for the decriminalization of pedophilia and bestiality. Common sense and science have been thrown out the window as evidenced by the rush to erase biological differences between males and females. Many pastors avoid the sexual sins and have turned to secular voices for guidance on issues such as race relations and male/female relations.
Clearly, the end times prophesied in the Bible are nearer now than ever before. Jesus told his disciples the signs to watch for:
“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another” (Matthew 24: 1-26).
Persecution of Christians and Jews has become commonplace across the world, and there is a great effort to control people by stripping them of their freedoms. We are in a new era.
Revelation, the end times book of the Bible, is becoming less mysterious. The rise of the Internet and new technological advances give fresh meaning to prophecies about the “Two Witnesses” (Ch. 11), the Vials of Wrath” (Rev. 16), and the “Mark of the Beast” (Rev. 13).
One world government or globalization is not a new idea; neither is the desire of some to control the world’s economy through the adoption of a uniform currency that would replace paper money and coins with digital currency. Microsoft creator Bill Gates is among the globalists working on a digital identification system called ID2020. Gate’s vision for ID2020 includes a microchip injected into individuals through vaccinations he wants made mandatory for the world’s population. The global pandemic has led to increased calls for a global solution.
Revelation describes the emergence of a charismatic world leader who uses deception to induce the world into worshipping him and his global alliance: This anti-Christ “causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads.” No one can “buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.” (Revelation 13: 16-18, NKJV).
There is no human solution to what ails the nations of the world that have cut themselves off from the true giver of life. Our world is at a critical moment. But the end is not here yet. While marketplaces are empty and the streets are free of traffic, we can rediscover God and His purpose for our lives. We must never allow fear and panic about an uncertain future to cause us to relinquish our national sovereignty and individual freedoms for false promises of peace and security man cannot deliver. In Christ, there is security.