At the time this article is being written (late March 2020), we are living in a world consumed by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Some of us are self-quarantined, working from home, and maybe even not working at all, due to so business or social gathering venues being closed. The long-term effects of the pandemic itself, along with the measures being taken by various levels of local and state governments could be devastating, both personally and economically (individual, state, & national).
Every form of media seems to be all coronavirus, all the time. There are conflicting reports from all directions. Self-proclaimed experts and armchair quarterbacks are legion. There are some whose political agendas take priority over the impact upon human beings and their families, which it frankly disgusting.
Through the years, various outbreaks of pandemic diseases, such as Ebola, SARS or the coronavirus, have prompted many to ask why God allows pandemic diseases. Some even ask if a loving God could be the cause such things. So rather than debate the issue, we ask the Bible!
A good look at both the Old Testament and the New Testament tells us that the same God seemed to deal with his children differently. In the Old Testament we see God bringing plagues and diseases on His people and on His enemies “to make you see my power” (Exodus 9:14, 16). He used plagues in Egypt to force Pharaoh to free the Israelites from bondage, while sparing His people from being affected by them (Exodus 12:13; 15:26), demonstrating His sovereign control over diseases and other afflictions.
In the New Testament, we have the story of Christ, who came to be a healer, both physically and spiritually. In fact, Jesus healed “every disease and every sickness,” as well as plagues in some of the places He visited (Matthew 9:35; 10:1; Mark 3:10). There is however a striking similarity between the Old and New Testaments. God’s power is on display in the sending of plagues and disease, as well as in the sending of His Son, who verified that he was God’s son by performing miracles and healing sickness and disease.
The New Testament also speaks of seeing sickness, disease, and pandemics as part of the end times. Jesus spoke of plagues (Luke 21:11). The two witnesses of Revelation 11 will have power “to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want” (Revelation 11:6). Seven angels will wield seven plagues in a series of final, severe judgments described in Revelation 16.
What should Christians learn from all of this?
First of all, we should realize that although sickness and disease are part of living in a fallen world, there can also be elements of God’s judgment at work. At the same time, it’s not our business to try and figure out exactly what’s what.
Second, we should be mindful that life is tenuous at best. We all die. Those who are not resting in the loving arms of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, face an eternity in hell. We believers should be energized into zealously and compassionately sharing the gospel of Christ to the lost masses among whom we live and breathe. Our business is the gospel.
Third, we should not panic, as so many have during the coronavirus outbreak, with major mass media outlets fueling that panic by turning natural apprehension into mass hysteria. We are safe in the arms of Christ.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, we need to remember that God is complete control of all things, even the coronavirus. We take reasonable steps to avoid exposure to the disease and to protect and provide for our families, while sharing the gospel of Christ to those living in fear.
So that’s some of what the Bible tells us about sickness and pandemic diseases. We don’t need to add to it or omit the hard parts. Let others speculate. Our mission, now and until He returns, is sharing His gospel!
P.S. One last thing. This is NOT an expression of my opinion, but an attempt to just look at what the Bible actually says.
Found online. Not attributed as anyone’s direct quotation, but wise words indeed.
This is comparable to a cat’s litter box. Lots of waste matter in one place……….
So far we have, ……..
- Bethel’s affiliated pastor, Shawn Bolz, declared a prophecy that God had ended the virus. Perhaps Bethel didn’t get the memo.
- Rodney Howard Browne promised to bind coronavirus from the United States (again, it’s growing),
- Jim Bakker claimed his venereal disease ointment also heals coronavirus.
- Rick Wiles claimed Christians are immune altogether.
- Pat Robertson claimed his gut-health booklet will make you immune.
- A charismatic prophet from New Zealand claimed that all Christians were immune.
- Another prophet declared that Republican states were immune.
- Perry Stone says coronavirus is a Satanic scheme to help socialism.
- Kenneth Copeland said that touching his oily hand through the television would heal coronavirus.
- Lou Engle has told his followers that a three-day fast can cure coronavirus (health experts say that lowers the immune system).
- One charismatic prophet claimed that a potential vaccine would be the Mark of the Beast.
- A charismatic prophet interprets his dream to mean that coronavirus is trying to sabotage President Trump.
- A Bethel prophetess claims that she decreed and declared coronavirus away from the world for good. Also, this charismatic prophet says coronavirus would disappear if China would grant religious freedom to Christians (why America is getting now is anybody’s guess).
- Rodney Howard Browne then discouraged people from taking any forthcoming vaccines because he said it’s a globalist plot to kill people.
- Cindy Jacobs ‘decreed and declared’ coronavirus to be “illegal” and said she put a stop to it.
- Chuck Pierce claims to have prophesied coronavirus last year, but apparently didn’t bother to tell anyone.
None of these things are true. May the Lord rebuke them.
A good friend of mine at The Domain for Truth blog writes a lot about presuppositional apologetics. Below is a really good comparison between two schools of apologetics concernnig the use of evidence in defending the faith.
Presuppositional Apologetics Believes in Evidence: Yet Five Ways its Different than Evidentialism
I hear too often people say Presuppositional apologetics don’t believe in evidence. That’s not true. Presuppositional apologetics does believe there’s a role for evidence in Christian apologetics.
But first off some might need to know what is Presuppositional apologetics in the first place. It might be helpful to listen to various different lectures on Presuppositional apologetics; check out our “Ultimate Collection of Free Presuppositional Apologetics Lectures.” Among the many lectures the ones I recommend would be Greg Bahnsen’s Van Tillian Apologetics and Jason Lisle’s one shot “Jason Lisle “The Ultimate Proof of Creation” Lecture at The Master’s Seminary”
Yet if Presuppositional Apologetics believes there’s a place for evidence how is a distinctly Presuppositional Apologetics’ approach different than the typical Evidentialism?
I can think of five ways.
Difference 1: There is no neutrality. This is a distinctive of Presuppositional apologetics: There is no religious neutrality. I’ve argued for this point in our “A BRIEF OUTLINE AGAINST RELIGIOUS NEUTRALITY.” I’ve met some traditional evidentialist or proponents of Classical Apologetics asserting that they approach the defense of the faith in a neutral fashion. Even before I was into Presuppositional Apologetics I felt that this might not always be true in practice; the apologist does have a bias of believing in the Bible. Yet when the skeptics say the Christian is bias in handling the evidences the Presuppositional apologists can point out the skeptics are also bias. They are not neutral. Far from it. In their state of not believing God’s Word they are rebelling against God our Creator. A Presuppositionalist talking about evidence with an unbeliever will expose the skeptics’ pretended neutrality in how they handle the evidence. Yet when a skeptic merely dismiss a Christian handling evidences as being bias the Presuppositionalist can argue that there is no neutrality.
Difference 2: Philosophy of evidence matters more than evidence per se. In the past I have mentioned this point in our blog that one’s philosophy of evidence matters more than evidences per se. That is because one’s philosophy of evidence will shape how one interpret the evidence. In other words one’s criteria of evidence will either dismiss something as evidence or accept something as evidence. If someone has a messed up criteria of evidence it might be better to first deal with the philosophy of evidence before you present any evidence. See Van Til, Evidence, and Philosophy of Evidence.
Difference 3: Even the prerequisite for talking about evidences such as the laws of logic, uniformity of nature, nature of truth, etc., requires the existence of God. This is a powerful argument. It is also a big claim. I am aware of that. Space doesn’t permit me to talk about this as much as I would like but I highly recommend Jason Lisle’s “Jason Lisle “The Ultimate Proof of Creation” Lecture at The Master’s Seminary” that develop this point further. An apologist conscious of Presuppositional apologetics when talking with an unbeliever about evidences will be on the look out for self-refuting presuppositions that makes nonsense of the tools necessary for discussing evidences. An apologist conscious of Presuppositional apologetics will also make a powerful argument that the skeptics’ own reasoning ability requires the existence of God.
Difference 4: Presuppositionalism believes in more evidences than the evidentialists. This is rather ironic. For instance the Presuppositionalist looks at the Bible and discover that Scripture is self-attesting according to Luke 16:31 and is thus another “evidence.” Actually the Bible is “the” evidence(s). Scripture also talks about the doctrine of the self-authorizing Christ. So instead of dismissing anything that is self-evidencing the Presuppositionalist sees these self-evidencing evidences must be in the apologist’s aresenal. That’s because that which is self-evidencing still has evidential value!
Difference 5: Presuppositionalism believes Romans 1:18 onwards that all people already know God but suppresses the truth. Which means the Presuppositionalist is not naive in how he handles evidences and is aware that very likely the skeptics will not accept Christian evidence as evidence. Instead when a Presuppositionalist discusses any evidences with a nonbeliever he will presents the argument in a stronger and more robust Presuppositional fashion. One should read “A Proposal on the Occasion and the Method of Presenting Evidence within a Van Tillian Framework” that is linked in this post “Van Til, Evidence, and Philosophy of Evidence.”
Used with Permission.
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