With many stores and venues closed and shelves remaining understocked, I’m sure you, like me, have drifted to thoughts of: Is this the beginning of the end? As my mind ponders all the ramifications of the coronavirus on my 401k balance, my favorite restaurant, and our church body, I am reminded of two truths: (1) We are living in the last days and (2) Jesus is coming back sooner today than he was yesterday.
I want you to know that I am not saying we are living in the last days because of fear over the coronavirus. Nor am I predicting that the coronavirus will usher in the end of the world as we know it. I say we are living in the last days because the Bible says we are living in the last days (Acts 2:16-17; 2 Tim 3:1; Heb 1:2). The “novel” coronavirus has brought nothing novel to the fact that we have always been in the last days since the time of the Apostles.
Moreover, during this coronavirus outbreak, a second truth has been pressed home to me: Jesus is coming back sooner today than he was yesterday. We believe in an imminent return of our Lord; He could return at any moment. And each day that passes, His return becomes closer. It could be tomorrow, it could be a thousand years from now, or it could any other time, but it is sooner today than it was yesterday.
As I have reflected on these two truths, they have grounded and stabilized me in the pandemic we find ourselves in. Right now, “the whole creation [especially the markets!] groans and suffers . . . pain” (Rom 8:22). The coronavirus reminds me that all is not well—my 401k balance will go down; my favorite restaurant will close; and the church I love and worship with, will have to cancel service so no one spreads the virus. Life is always hard in these last days; it’s supposed to be.
But I am also reminded that since we are in the last days, Jesus’ return is sooner today than it was yesterday. One day, all will be made whole. On that day, I won’t have to worry about my 401k balance; my favorite restaurant will be open (as I’m sure the food in the new heavens and earth will be, as an old friend of mine used to say, “out of this world”); and I will be with my church family forever, never having to cancel a gathered worship service again!
While life is difficult in these coronavirus last days, life will be delightful when Jesus makes all things whole. Let these two truths ground and stabilize your soul.