A Thoughtful Answer to a Timely Question
by Dr. George Murray, OneWay board member and former President & Chancellor of Columbia International University in Columbia, SC
A friend in Italy recently sent me an email that closed with this question. “I just have to ask. Is this the beginning of the end?”
After pondering it for a few days, here’s how I responded.
To say for sure that we are near or far from “the end times” would be wrong, since God’s Word says we can’t know for sure (Matthew 24:36). Those who alarmingly say, “This is it,” and those who cavalierly say, “It won’t happen for a long time,” are both wrong.
For sure, we are closer to “the end times” than at any time in history (Romans 13:11), and we dare not ignore the signs that the Lord tells us to look for. We are clearly told “to watch” (Matthew 24:42).
To conclude that the current coronavirus pandemic means “This is it ” would be unwise, since far worse pandemics have devastated our world in the past (although, no one knows yet the ultimate extent of the current pandemic).
One thing is crystal clear to me: our responsibility is not to accurately predict the precise moment of the end times and Christ’s return (Acts 1:7). Rather, our responsibility is to be ready for when that happens (Luke 12:40). And since Christ could come back now, that means we need to be ready now.
Being ready means not harboring known sin or disobedience in our lives (I John 3:2,3), intentionally growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord (II Peter 3:18), loving others (I Peter 4:7,8), and sharing our faith with the lost all around us (I Peter 3:15) and around the world (Acts 1:8).
So that’s what I shared with my friend. It’s probably not anything you don’t already know, but these are good things to remind ourselves about in these momentous days.