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Beyond Today - Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow
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United Church of God

Fear and Coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic is dominating everything in our world today. Beyond the immediate concerns to human life we have seen stock markets crater and a disruption of virtually all aspects of public life. Major sporting events have been canceled, schools are closing for weeks at a time and we are seeing empty streets and plazas all over the world. It is a sobering time when one stops to consider this is a very real threat that could spiral out of control without everyone taking it seriously, doing their part and heeding the best practices advocated by governments.  

From what I read, the best efforts to protect their people and stem the virus have been done by South Korea and Israel. When the virus appeared in South Korea, they immediately tested everyone for the coronavirus and quarantined any who tested positive. Israel banned flights and visitors from infected countries and, more recently, has banned all foreign visitors and instructed all arrivals by air to self-quarantine for fourteen days. These are tough measures taken by both nations—but effective ones. 

We have been asked, “is this the beginning of the biblically prophesied period of global pandemic described in Matthew 24 and Revelation?” 

While the present outbreak is a serious event, it is not of the scale predicted by Jesus Christ in these prophecies. There are other markers described in scripture that must occur before those age-ending events take place. What we are seeing with the coronavirus gives us an opportunity to soberly evaluate the serious days in which we live. This event can spur us to better understand what God’s Word does tell about end-time prophetic events and to seriously examine our lives and align ourselves with God’s righteous teaching. The world is having a wake-up call.  

How will you respond?  

I have been urging Beyond Today readers and viewers to understand this serious time, to read their Bibles for comfort—not to fear. Fear is a normal human reaction in a time when events seem out of control. Fear can paralyze the heart and complicate our response. God does not want us to be irrationally fearful—instead, be concerned, act prudently and take precautions. 

Notice what Christ said about how the world will react at the time of end. “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; with perplexity, the seas and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken” (Luke 21:25-26).  Fear will come from those who are caught unprepared for the cataclysmic events around them. Fear enters when the inner life is not settled by the presence of the spirit of Christ—a spirit that brings peace during turmoil. Jesus Christ never wants His disciples to be unduly fearful. Among His last words before His death was the exhortation to not be afraid but to be led by His peace (John 14:27). 

I encourage you to read this short article about dealing with anxiety.

Beyond Today has many tools to help you sort through the mass of news reports about this current crisis. Our biblical worldview will help you put today’s events in the context of God’s purpose for this world.  

God is in control of history. Find your place in this divine plan and you can meet this crisis and those to come. 


Until next time, 

Darris McNeely
Darris McNeely
Beyond Today presenter
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March/April 2020 Issue
Most people are aware that Jesus Christ was crucified and died for our sins some 2,000 years ago. But why was that necessary? Why did He go through the horrible suffering He experienced? Why did He, specifically, go through this and not someone else? And what does this mean for you and me and your relationship with God? In this issue of  Beyond Today  magazine, we address these key questions and their revealing answers. 
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