Ever since COVID-19 made headlines in March 2020, the scientific community has been working around the clock to understand and treat this deadly disease. Thanks to their efforts, we know a lot more now than we did then. Many schools and businesses have reopened, and several vaccines are available. Life is beginning to feel more predictable. And yet, there is another layer to this equation: the spiritual implications of COVID-19.
My social media pages have been filled with questions from men and women who are trying to make sense of the pandemic from a biblical perspective. Many of these inquiries have to do with the COVID vaccine and the End Times.
Today, we'll look at two questions:
1. Should we be concerned about the COVID vaccine? Could it be a prelude to the mark of the Beast?
2. Is the pandemic a biblical plague? Are we experiencing God’s judgment?
I’m trying to make sense of this vaccine. I believe it is a prelude to the mark of the Beast. What is your opinion on the vaccine? Should we be afraid of it?
Without a doubt, prophecy casts its shadow on current events. What we are seeing now is an example of how the Antichrist could operate during the Tribulation period. This does not mean the COVID-19 vaccine has anything to do with the Antichrist—it merely provides an illustration of how his mark might be applied after the Lord comes for His Church.
For God's people, the best strategy is to focus on Scripture rather than the Internet. Leading up to the Last Days, God’s Word describes a breakdown in society and acceleration of natural disasters, wars, and rumors of wars that signal the imminence of Christ’s return.
2 Timothy 3:1-4
Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.
1 Timothy 4:1-3
Scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”
2 Peter 3:3-4
Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.
1 John 2:18
Because these signs are evident in our world today, we know the time is short, and we need to be about the Master's business. Our God is the One who controls history, and He is worthy of our trust. The Lord Jesus reigns! “He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: King of Kings and Lord of Lords” (Revelation 19:16). Victory is secure.
I am wondering if this pandemic is a biblical plague…. Are we, in America, under judgment now?
I think this question is on the hearts of many people right now. The COVID-19 pandemic is the most apocalyptic event that has ever happened to us. But even so, God’s final judgment of planet earth has not yet begun. Everyone who trusts Jesus as their Lord and Savior will be raptured to heaven before God's judgment falls.
That still leaves us with the question of whether we are living in the final days before Christ’s return—could the pandemic a sign of the End Times?
Our first step is to define what a sign is. A biblical sign is an event, symbol, object, place, or a person whose existence or occurrence indicates something important in God’s plan for the future. As we near the end of the age, “There will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring” (Luke 21:25).
But we have to be careful here. Prophetic signs are not prerequisites to the Rapture. We have it on the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ that there will be no announcement preceding the Rapture. He will come for us imminently, without warning or sign. What I will say is future events cast their shadows before them. This means we can expect to see a groundswell of subtle warnings develop in our world today.
Is COVID-19 a sign of the Rapture? No, the Rapture will happen without warning. Could the pandemic be a precursor to the seven years of Tribulation and the Lord’s Second Coming? I cannot say with any sense of certainty that it is, but neither can I say it is not. It could be an early indication of the coming pestilence Jesus referenced in Matthew 24:7.
The pandemic has raised a lot of uncertainties, but we can cling to the promises of Scripture. You can have confidence knowing, “The Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed” (Deuteronomy 31:8).
If you have more questions about living out your faith during troubled times, you might enjoy Dr. David Jeremiah’s teaching series and study guide Making Sense of It All.