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During the first three months of the year, we’ve seen the world go from a bustling society to one on a near-total lockdown. Many of us are still wondering what a year is 2020 going to be?
Schools and tertiary institutions have been shut. Public gatherings are restricted to not more than 50 people and not more than 100 in some nations. The American President, Donald Trump, recently narrowed that number to 10 while other countries have issued a collective ‘shelter-in-place’ directive, in which residents are ordered to remain in their homes except in cases of necessity.


Across the world, people are responding in waves of mass panic, emptying shelves of dried goods, bottled water, and toilet paper. The subsequent shortage of supplies has led to multiple altercations, thefts, and violent threats. Racist acts, from unprovoked assault to work-related discrimination. People are panicking because they don’t feel secure. Reporters all around the world have deemed the domino effect of this pandemic unprecedented, from the stock market to the lockdowns. Jesus said that at the end of time ‘there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be’ (Matthew 24:21).


Just prior to that, He warned that different kinds of disasters were ‘the beginning of sorrows’ (verse 8). In the original Greek, the word ‘sorrows’ is equivalent to labor pains. During childbirth, the contractions, the ‘sorrows’, gradually occur closer and closer together. Are we seeing this in our world today? It is not only the novel coronavirus; it is the locust plagues, the tornadoes and the missile launches. In a single chapter, Jesus appears to have predicted the exact state of our world today. In that same chapter, He also described the state of society: “Then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another” (v. 10). This is happening now, ‘the love of many is growing cold’ (v. 12).


Jesus also clearly stated the reason for all of these predictions: so that we could be ready for His soon return (v. 44). Now that the signs of Matthew 24 are appearing, we can know it is time to prepare for what is coming next. Amid this coronavirus outbreak there’s a hand writing on the wall telling us time is at hand. “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near,” Luke 21:28.

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