The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic has turned the world into a gigantic hospital as people are asked to stay home in quarantine while those who may have contracted the virus need to visit the hospital for monitoring hoping for recovery. There is no scientifically validated cure for the virus. Hence Covid-19 related deaths would be inevitable.
With that as a backdrop, people of faith could easily draw the picture of the so called ‘end times’ or the ‘last days’ as described in the Bible where there would be famine, rumors of war and so on. In fact, an article published by Lifeway research says that 9 out of 10 evangelical pastors in America see the end of times in current events.
What then should be the right attitude if we are indeed in the last days?
A Christian apologist who came from an Islamic background, Abdu Murray of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) gave a very succinct analysis and a compelling assurance to one of his listeners who asked the question from which I lifted the title of this article. The listener named Lydia said, ‘I’m terrified, I’m not prepared’.
In RZIM’s Youtube clip which captures Abdu’s response, he first enumerated events in the past such as the Y2K bug which had the same impact on people who feared of the ‘last days’ as year 2000 approached.
People should not get distracted. We should not be distracted by any event but rather focus on the gospel.Adbu Murray
Abdu pointed out that events such as Covid-19 can cause distraction to anyone, believer or non-believer. The focus should not be on figuring out when would be the last days but the focus should always be on the gospel. Christ is the center of the gospel. People should live in hope which the gospel brings to us. He reiterated the fact that Jesus himself said that nobody knows when the last will day will be. People should live in hope as if it is the ‘last hour’, not even the ‘last day’.
What can I do to be prepared?
Adbu talked about being prepared. Preparedness does not mean hoarding food or preparing for war. It is about being spiritually ready. And it does not only include believers but everyone especially non-believers who are doomed if this world will end soon.
He then concluded reminding Lydia about the Christian worldview which is the base of hope for anyone seeking assurance of life beyond this world.
Christ is the only hope
Our only hope is in Christ Jesus. Preparedness for the ‘last days’ doesn’t mean doing a lot of good as if having a spiritual bank of good deeds and piety to please God. No amount of good deeds or spiritual piety can purchase our way to heaven. Because we can never do enough goodness to merit the favor of God.
The Bible says that Jesus lived a perfect life so that through his death in the cross, Christ’s perfect righteousness can be credited to those who put their faith in Him as their Lord and Savior. In facing the ‘last days’, a believer can’t be terrified of anything because he trusts on the merit of Christ and not his own merit. The believer can be confident and assured of life in the midst of Covid-19 even if we are in the last days.