Let us lift up our heads because our God is in control
by Daniel Yahav
The Corona pandemic that is sweeping over the entire world has provoked much discussion among the family of God. It seems to me that most alarming are the many conspiracy theories which go around like a wild fire through the forests, drawing much attention and interest. One can read about “Antichrist is taking over the world”, “One world government is coming”, “Bill Gates and his in-body planted chip” and more.
However, I would like to share with you a different perspective that actually has been very encouraging to me.
First, as I have been checking around, I have been encouraged to hear that many families have been blessed by the sudden stop of the running and rushing of life. Family members suddenly had the opportunity to get re-acquainted with each other. Husbands could spend time with their wives, parents discovered unknown sides of their children's personality. Children found out that they can enjoy family life and have good time with their parents. Yes, there surely are also financial difficulties caused by loosing income, but God has promised not to leave us nor forsake us. To me this pandemic is an amazing testimony of God’s endless ingenuity and wisdom. You see, in Hebrews 12: 26-27, God said that the time is coming that He will shake all things so that only the unshakable will remain standing. Only His kingdom is unshakable (verse 28). So, with one little virus, God managed within a very short time to shake the entire world: air travel, tourism, hotels, shopping centers, all sports entertainments, all theaters, wedding halls, schools, mass transportation, work places, everything came to a halt. Even New York city which has been titled "the city with no brake", was closed down. The entire world economy has been effected. Manmade world systems in which people take pride and put their trust, are all shaking. This should not be a surprise for us. God is exposing how weak we as humans are. God humbles the proud.
In Matt. 24:7 we find that pandemics too, would be part of the end time signs: “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places” . We’ve seen two world wars and the miraculous establishment of the state of Israel. We have seen over the last century increase in earthquakes, big storms, fires, flooding, tsunamis etc. These are all signs of the end time. We have seen the rapid development of technologies which will allow the prophecies about antichrist to fall into place. All the rest of the sings listed will continue to appear in an ever growing frequency. And yet, no one knows how long will this continue?! How long is one generation? Is it 40 years, or maybe 120 years as God told Noah? And it does not tell us when does this generation start to count. Is it from 1948, when Israel was reborn? Or from the time that Jerusalem was reunited under Israel’s sovereignty?! (Luke 21:24). No one knows how much time there still is before Antichrist will show up or when the rapture will take place.
The God and Magog war which will take place before Yeshua returns to rule on earth, has not taken place yet. The Temple in which antichrist will present himself as god has not been built yet…
Dear ones, the good news is that even without knowing all the answers, we do know what we need to do because Yeshua left us with clear instructions, and that is what's important for us. There is no need to panic, no need to stop living and be closed up in a bunker or go to the wilderness waiting for Antichrist to show up. My advice to you is also, do not sit day and night watching and reading all of these alarming reports of yet another conspiracy theory. My dear brothers and sisters, let us not waist our time on such things. Instead, let’s read God's word and pay close attention to the instructions Yeshua gave us:
1- Do not be troubled. “And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” If you are a child of God, if you trust Him, if you truly believe that He is in control, that what we are witnessing is what HE has told us in advance, then why be troubled? Let’s not allow fear to enter our hearts.
2- Look up, lift up your heads, Yeshua’s return is getting closer. "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption is drawing near". (Luke 21:28)
Hellelujah, Yeshua is coming back soon!!! Our life is soon to begin in eternity! We will meet the king of kings, Lord of Lords, We shall see Him in His glory! There will be a marriage feast in heaven (Rev 19:6-9) and so much more that is promised in God's word. Do you believe it? Doesn’t it give us all the reasons in the world to be encouraged and to lift up our heads and to look forward to it?
3- Be careful that no one deceives you. “And Jesus answered and said unto them: Take heed that no man deceive you.” (Mat 24:4). The biggest danger and concern in our days is not the wars, not the earthquakes and not even the persecution that will come against us. The biggest danger is that false teachers, false prophets, false apostles and false Messiahs will manage to deceive us. In Matt 24:11 Yeshua said thatmany such false prophets will rise and will manage to deceive many. I find that Christians are too often very open to receive and believe everything they are being told while Yeshua calls us to what I call "holy skepticism".
4- Don’t believe. Yeshua very clearly warned us when He said: " Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there ; believe it not… Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not." (Matt 24:23 -26). We need to develop a healthy and mature spiritual discernment.
The best protection against all deception is the pure truth of the word of God as taught by the Holy Spirit. So, let’s do less internet reading and more Bible reading. Let’s fill our hearts with the pure word of God. And let's ask God to give us a discerning heart. Let’s pray and ask to have spiritual ears to hear and obey the voice of our God. (Rev 2:7,11,17,29, 3:6,13,22.)
5- Let’s wait patiently. " But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved". (Matt 24:13). Rather than getting all worked up, anxious that at any moment Antichrist is going to show up, let us wait patiently trusting the Lord, using wisely and effectively the time we still have, growing in our faith and standing firm in Him, regardless of what may come on our way. Troubles may come, but as long as we stand on the rock of our salvation, we shall be protected and safe in HIM.
6- We need to be watchful. " Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming." (Matt 24:42).
Yeshua himself told us that we do not know when He will come to take us up to heaven. He did instruct us to be ready for it at all times. Work, cares of life, worries or pleasures, hobbies, football, career, our new car or my new home, and many other things, can all divert our attention, occupy our minds, fill our heads up to the point where our faith is chocked and we are not ready for His return. Not to mention sinful activities which may darken the light within us. (Matt 6:22-23).
7- Be ready. " Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh". (Matt 24:44). What does it mean to be ready? If you have to leave home for a trip to Israel... you get your house in order and ready for your absence. You make sure all is closed, you prepare a suitcase, you plan ahead of time what kind of clothes will you need for this trip, you make sure that your dog is in good caring hands etc... And what about getting ready for meeting Yeshua our king and Lord when He returns?! How much effort or attention do we invest in preparing ourselves for that meeting?!
Is your relationship with your wife or your husband in order? Is your relationship with your children in order? Or with your parents? Have you cleaned up your heart from any addictions such as pornography? Have you truly asked forgiveness or offered forgiveness? Have you returned what you have stolen? How about getting ready not only with not sinning, but getting ready with some treasures stored up in heaven?! You can store up a treasure in heaven instead of investing all your efforts in things that will perish (Matt 6: 19-21). Ask God to show you what are the good deeds that He has prepared for you to do, (Eph.2:10), and do them. Everything you do in faith and in love, according to the will of God, is worth gold and silver and is like a precious stone stored up in heaven. (1 cor. 3:12).
So, dear brothers and sisters, let us take to heart the instructions and warnings the Lord has left with us, and obey them. Let us lift up our heads and wait for His soon return. Let not your hearts be troubled. Yeshua has already concurred! He has already defeated Satan! Antichrist and all his evil doers will all be gone in a short time, but those who overcome the devil by proclaiming their faith in God, by washing themselves from sin and guilt by the blood of the Lamb, and by willing to live and die for our Lord, all those shall reign and live with Yeshua forever. (Rev 12:11, 20:4,6).