Mark Hitchcock on Is the Coronavirus a Sign of the End Times?

Pastor Mark Hitchcock is the author of over 30 books related to biblical end times prophecy and associate professor at Dallas Theological Seminary. | Dallas Theological Seminary

I heard a story years ago about a man who visited the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with a friend. Stunned by the solitary beauty, he commented, “This looks like the end of the world.” His friend replied, “It’s not the end of the world, but I think you can see it from here.”

That’s how many people are feeling today. Even people with little or no religious belief or conviction have an uneasy, foreboding sense that doomsday is approaching.

They may be right. Scripture predicts events that will shake and shatter the foundations of society in the end times. The Bible urges us to pay attention to the crises in our world that will lead to the final events that must take place before Jesus returns. Among those future crises or catastrophes is pestilence, plagues, and pandemics — like coronavirus.

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As we observe and evaluate current events and world headlines in relation to signs of the times, we need to set up a few important guardrails to make sure we stay on the road and don’t drive into the ditch. Let me suggest four principal parameters.

1. Seriousness, Not Sensationalism

First, we must shun a sensationalistic approach to current events and world headlines. Any time there’s a crisis or natural disaster such as COVID-19, a chorus of voices immediately begin to announce the advent of the Antichrist and imminent arrival of the Apocalypse. For sensationalists, every earthquake, war, terrorist attack, disease, crime spree, famine, hurricane, or tsunami is a flashing neon sign pointing to the end.

The problem with this is that if everything is a sign, then nothing is a sign. We can’t manufacture every current event into a sign of the times. Doing so dilutes the serious impact and force of true, discernible signs outlined in Scripture.

2. Scripture First, Not Headlines

Second, current events, headlines, and world news must be assessed in light of the Bible, not the other way around.

Danger arises when people fall prey to the temptation to find some sensational event in the headlines and then go searching for some obscure scripture, often wrenched out of context, to support what the news is reporting. That’s reckless and irresponsible. We must consult the biblical blueprint for the end times first, and then responsibly look at world events and their correspondence, if any, to Scripture.

Of course, the most egregious, reckless form of prophetic pandering is setting dates for specific end time events to occur. Every so often someone comes along and sets a date for the return of Christ. They do this despite Jesus saying during His time on earth that even He didn’t know the time of His second coming.

Date setters must be ignored and rejected.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Mark Hitchcock

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