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Bible prophecy, in fact, does mention deadly viruses or pestilences. However, does the Bible specifically mention or predict the coronavirus, known as COVID-19? Let’s look at what the Bible says.
In Luke chapter 21, Jesus speaks prophetically about the signs that would precede the end of the world. In Luke 21:11, Jesus says that one of those signs would be pestilences, “And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.” (The meaning of a pestilence, according to the Hebrew and Greek definitions, is a plague or disease.)
Additionally, in Matthew 24:7-8 (NASB) Jesus says, “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.” In several versions of the Bible the word “pestilences” appears between famines and earthquakes.
In the prophetic Bible verses above, Jesus was referring to a baby’s birth. He was explaining that just as a woman’s contractions or labor pains get more frequent and severe as a baby is nearing birth, so these events or signs will also become more frequent and severe as the world nears the second coming of Jesus.
Since Jesus mentioned pestilences, does this mean that the coronavirus has been predicted as the sign that the world will end and Jesus will come back tomorrow? Probably not.
Throughout history many plagues and diseases have caused fear and death. For example, consider the following outbreaks:
Jesus didn’t come back in the past because of these plagues. However, as epidemics including the coronavirus occur more often and become more deadly, we should pay attention as these are warning signs that Jesus is coming back soon.
The main point of what Jesus is saying in Luke 21 and Matthew 24 is to watch for the prophetic signs to increase in frequency. This increase will signal the imminent coming of Jesus.
As we think about the momentous times we live in, remember that Jesus is always by our side. He will walk with us no matter what. The Bible says “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
Before Jesus was crucified He gave this promise to the disciples and by extension to us. “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). We can have peace in Jesus our Savior who is with us.
In John 14:27, Jesus again tells us to not be troubled or afraid, because he is with us no matter the situation or circumstances. “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” God repeats Himself in several Bible verses because He knows that as humans we need constant assurance of His care for us.
So in these trying times of COVID-19, pray and ask God to remove your fear and anxiety; to surround you with His Presence; then take a deep breath and relax, knowing that your life is in the hands of God who created you.
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