It is apparent that recent events have revealed how unprepared governments were for the unexpected. Although there have been epidemics in the past (remember SARS?), there has been a distinct lack of preparation for a similar or greater pandemic.
Does that read like a commentary of the Church of God? How prepared are we for the unexpected? Have we been affected by end-time scenarios in the past that did not come to pass?
It is inevitable that the coronavirus has changed the world in many ways – even in ways that may not yet be obvious. The world is being reshaped as the cracks of globalization become apparent. With nations being forced to isolate, it has exposed offshore production to be an Achilles heel. Nations will redefine their trading practices as we see in Europe where there is a call for the EU to look after itself first and foremost. Will this lead to the solidification of power blocks?
Whatever the outcome, the world will not be prepared for it. It will come suddenly and unexpectedly. Christ made that point clear when He said, “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:37-39).
Remember the “Hemingway Law of Motion”? In Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, when a man was asked how he went bankrupt he replied, “Gradually, then suddenly!”. We need to note that in Noah’s day there is no indication of setting of dates. Everyone dismissed Noah’s many years of warning. They surely thought, “Oh no, not the same old story again!”
The unexpected can happen quickly. We should not need “signs” to be spiritually motivated and responsive. “Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing” (Matthew 24:46). Doing is from a root word meaning to practice – perform repeatedly or habitually.
Can we say as Paul did, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7)? Paul was confident of his crown because he truly practiced God’s way of life – repeatedly and habitually. He maintained a personal sense of urgency and motivation that was independent of the world conditions around him. It came from his relationship with his Father.
Let’s use this present “crisis” to set our minds on the important things and to be “so doing”.