How should I react when the world is going crazy?

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Associate Professor of Practical Theology

For the last couple of months, corporate media and social media have been consumed by ONE topic: the novel coronavirus, now COVID-19. As such, it seems that all conversation centers around this topic.

In Singapore when the government raised the alert level to DORSCON Orange, within the hour panic buying began. Despite assurances from the government concerning sufficient stock for the population, it took a while before things stabilized. Sure enough, stocks were replenished. A second wave of panic was set off when Malaysia announced they were closing the borders. The supermarket shelves were emptied, stocked and emptied again. Thankfully no fighting was seen in social media because of that.

Some people commented that this looks like the end time. Others use the term apocalypse. It is but the tip of the iceberg. You can say the worse is yet to be. It is at best scary.

At this point, there are two choices to make. One can allow fear to grip us so we join the panic group. The other, a better decision, is to take this opportunity to encourage believers and share the message of hope with non-Christian family and friends.

Scripture does speak of extreme factors, such as the high cost of food, death of a huge population, great cosmic disorder, and water contamination. Of course, only the all-too-familiar “mark of the beast” (666) will permit the buying and selling. It is scary. These are recorded in the book of Revelation 6 to 13. These descriptions of tribulation happenings are many times worse than the current situation.

But for believers, take heart. Paul taught “…the Lord Himself will descend from heaven… the dead in Christ shall rise first… we who are alive and remain shall be caught up… to meet the Lord in the air….” ( 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). This is the very thing Jesus told His disciples, “…if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself….” (John 14:3). It’s called the “Rapture,” where the Lord comes to meet the saints IN the air. After the tribulation there will be part two of His 2nd coming, where He will return with His saints (Matthew 25:31).

Following the Rapture, Christians will be delivered from the wrath of God (tribulation). Many verses, such as John 5:24; Romans 5:9; 1 Thessalonians 1:1;, 5:9 point to this fact. If “we shall be with the Lord forever” (1 Thessalonians 4:17b) is a claimed promise, how should one then live, in light of this fact?

The Rapture is “imminent,” meaning it can happen anytime, so this should cause us to be constantly “on our toes” with our walk with God. Following are some practical suggestions to keep constantly in tune and in touch with God:

  1. Spend time reading the Word, praying, praising and singing. We call this worship. It is not spirituality, but would lead to that;
  2. Obey God’s Word. This is spirituality. And it is responding to what we do after point (1);
  3. Serve the Lord through serving people. In the current situation there are many things that can be done to encourage people. From writing the humble card, to making a simple telephone call, to the praying for and sharing of needs, lives could be lifted from fear to faith;
  4. Seize the moment to share the good news – “…Christ died for our sins…He was buried,…He was raised on the third day….” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

For those reading who are still wondering if this Jesus is really who He claims to be, “the way, the truth and the life,” there is nothing to lose, so take some time to learn about Him.

He loves you. He came as a baby in a manger. Celebration about His birth did not take long. He grew, and when He began telling people about God and truth, they started to reject and finally killed Him (Good Friday). Three days after He was buried, He resurrected (Easter). And He is still alive. He ascended and is sitting on the right hand of God, praying for us with power and authority. One day He is coming again, and that is what has been mentioned earlier – He will “rapture” believers and take His own to be with Him forever.

This is not saying “take a gamble.” But listen with an open mind and heart to read about who Jesus is and what He came to do. You have much more to gain.

Many have given up their lives, some literally, to share this message because they are convinced that it is the truth. Come and listen!

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