The Study of Last Things
"The Lord will make the pestilence cling to you until He has consumed you from the land where you are entering to possess it." Deuteronomy 28:21
Tracking Coronavirus and What Lies Ahead
On January 21, 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) issued Situation Report 1 about “Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).” We now call this disease COVID. By the time you read this on June 1, 2020, there will be nearly 135 Situation Reports. There is no end in sight any time soon.
There is widespread fear about this Coronavirus. On the one hand, there are those who are afraid of getting it. Given what they have heard and seen on the nightly news, it is hard to blame them. On the other side, there are those who fear the power of different state and local governments in forbidding them to earn a living. Constitutionally, how can a government justify keeping open a WalMart with hundreds of people inside, but shutting down a Mom and Pop store with a handful of people inside? To Mom and Pop, their business is essential isn’t? Where is the logic?
The unemployment statistics are frightening. Over the past couple of months over 36 million Americans have filed claims for unemployment insurance. Even today, May 21, that figure climbed to 38 million. A couple of weeks ago “the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the national unemployment rate had reached 14.7% by mid-April, its highest level since the Great Depression – even as the agency acknowledged that the rate is likely to go even higher.”
Just when we think things can’t get worse, they do. Now there is a serious movement afoot to use electronic devices to track people who have been exposed to COVID-19. Many of these devices have little transparency. Here is the leading paragraph in a recent article:
As the covid-19 pandemic rages, technologists everywhere have been rushing to build apps, services, and systems for contact tracing: identifying and notifying all those who come in contact with a carrier. Some are lightweight and temporary, while others are pervasive and invasive: China’s system, for example, sucks up data including citizens’ identity, location, and even online payment history so that local police can watch for those who break quarantine rules.
Can you imagine how a despotic government could use a tracking system like this to compel you to do what the government determines is best for society? As 2020 dawned, we would not have dreamed autocratic governments could exist in America. But now in several states we have witnessed first hand tyrannical governors, county commissioners, and mayors at work. As Rahm Emanuel, former Chief of Staff to President Obama once said, “Never let a crisis go to waste!” And some of these governors and lesser politicians are taking advantage of the pandemic crisis for political purposes.
Trust me, we have seen nothing yet. Jesus Christ predicted through the Apostle John in the Book of Revelation a sadistic, godless, corrupt politician who will gain control over virtually the whole world. He will be so evil the Bible calls him simply, “The Beast.” He will devise the ultimate tracking system and compel people to comply if they want to buy anything anywhere in the entire world! Here is what we read in Rev. 13:16-18 (NIV 1984):
16 He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, 17 so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. 18 This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666.
Most of the people of the world will comply with this tracking device, but it will prove to be their downfall. An angel pronounced their doom Rev. 14:9-11 (NIV 1984):
9 A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: "If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, 10 he, too, will drink of the wine of God's fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name."
When I was growing up as a child, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was America’s greatest threat. It was a brutal, Communist dictatorship. But there were some in America who said, “I’d rather be red than dead.” By that they meant that if push came to shove, they would submit to Communism rather than lose their lives.
What is happening in our country right now is merely a shadow of what will happen in the future. There will come a time when catastrophic pandemics, famine, and natural disasters will sweep across our globe with a horrifying number of fatalities. You can read about these in Revelation 6:1-18:24. And a ruthless, oppressive world government will seek to exploit the tragedies for its own purposes. It will offer you a way out – if you worship the ruler and submit to his tracking system.
If you were in that position, would you have the courage to stay true to the one true God and to His chosen King, Jesus Christ? Or would you say, “I’d rather take the mark than die?”
That is a sobering question. And it is not as far distant as we might think. Oppressive governors, county commissioners, and mayors in our own country have shown us what will happen to us if we do not trust them implicitly and follow their sometimes macabre, arbitrary dictates. All for the common good, of course.
Return to Eschatology