Most world conflicts don’t really involve the entire world. Even World War I and World War II were fought by only a handful of countries, albeit with spill-over into other countries that were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. (Tough to move your country, though, without causing another war.) Wars usually end in surrender, when one country kills enough of the other’s soldiers to make victory impossible for the losing nation.
Biological warfare, whether released by one country against others, or simply escaped from the confines of certain laboratories, doesn’t work that way. The infectious creations go wherever they will, spreading from person to person in a variety of ways. There is no such thing as a noncombatant nation to biologicals, as we now know.
One thing is pervasive, however, and that is hopelessness. In fact we might think of hopelessness as similar to the radioactive fallout from a nuclear blast. Where nuclear fallout would be limited in its travels by winds and perhaps mountainous geography, hopelessness faces no such limits: It can and does spread from person-to-person and can cover the entire world in our day and age.
Most of us view the current pandemic from the perspective of our own nation. This is because the pandemic is greatly influenced by government efforts and edicts. Friends or relatives living in other nations are the closest we get to glimpsing an international perspective.
But is there a worldwide view of the pandemic, even though we can’t see it? The United Nations thinks it represents the world’s nations, but it’s really a playground of the rich nations who want to control the poor nations – for the good of the rich, of course.
To understand a worldwide conflict, you would have to be … God. To truly understand hopelessness, you would have to have great understanding of the human body, spirit and mind. In other words, you would have to be God, who inhabits both the physical (natural) and spiritual (supernatural) worlds. He alone is intimately familiar with both worlds.
Rather than seeking the larger picture, most of us resort to thinking about “when the pandemic ends” or “returning to normal” or some such expression of getting our lives back to what they were before the pandemic emerged. Hopelessness results as we see the pandemic grind on and on with no end in sight, and constant restrictions closing in on us.
One of our greatest fears is that our “normal” may never return. We secretly fear someone else’s “normal” that we’ve only briefly and unintentionally sampled will become our new normal, forever. We might expect this view to be prevalent among those who live entirely in the natural world, and therefore lack any supernatural insight. But it also seems to be prevalent among Christians.
Some of us, however, glimpse a new world that is emerging from the pandemic events, which have been driven by man. Instead we see it as an opportunity being used by our eternal Creator, who alone is in charge of the world and is right now redrawing the borders and alliances between sheep and goat nations. This realignment will radically affect all the nations of the earth.
My intuition tells me those who see this realignment are a very small number within the earthly realm. Most of us who call ourselves Christian will gladly pray for people who are sick and hope they get well. We don’t really talk much about hope … or hopelessness. Indeed, a few of us celebrate it, which is not what the Gospel (Good News) is all about. The Gospel, accompanied by faith, can alone transform the entire world.
If you have no concept of God stepping into the world to change national boundaries, national governments, national allegiances, even national religions, then you are not likely to see the present pandemic as anything but an eternal annoyance. If on the other hand, you have read the Old Testament and its earlier history of God’s interactions with mankind and nations, you may have been positioned by God to do something that He wants done in this emerging new world.
The Egyptian army didn’t expect God to part the Red Sea so the Israelites could escape Egypt’s chariots. Nor did they expect God to close the sea over their chariots once the Israelites reached the other side.
God is always capable of doing the unexpected. In fact, I think he enjoys it. God is not bound by our limitations within the natural world. The Bible is our best guide to when and how God might decide to act outside of the box of the physical world that we live in.
I’m not sure you will find this view of God inside your church. Perhaps you should ask, why? The Bible tells us that without faith, it is impossible to please God. But faith in God’s existence is a lot different than faith in God’s actions in our world. Most people in churches have faith in God’s existence. They have faith in His ability to act in the world today. But do they have faith in God’s willingness to act in our world today?
Armageddon, the real story, by Craige McMillan – craigemcmillan.com.
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