McMinnville Seventh-day Adventist Church


Fear of the Pandemic?

Luke 21:11 NIV, says, “There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.”

If you focus on the pandemic, you will have nightmares. If you focus on Jesus, you will have peace and joy!

Luke 21:11 says there will be “fearful events and great signs from heaven.” If I focus on “fearful events and great signs from heaven” I will have nightmares. What is a sign for? Do you focus and stare at a road sign? No, you look for what it is warning you about, so that you will not be caught unawares. You start driving slower in anticipation of what is coming. You are more alert.

How are you dealing with this pandemic “sign” in the road? Are you so caught up with it that it has paralyzed you, or prevented you from focusing on anything else? It’s so easy to keep your TV on all day long, blaring its propaganda and conspiracy ideas about the virus into your reluctant ears, until you want to explode from over-exposure.

We are told, “Everything in the world is in agitation. The signs of the times are ominous. Coming events cast their shadows before. The Spirit of God is withdrawing from the earth, and calamity follows calamity by sea and by land. There are tempests, earthquakes, fires, floods, murders of every grade. Who can read the future? Where is security? There is assurance in nothing that is human or earthly. Rapidly are men ranging themselves under the banner they have chosen. Restlessly are they waiting and watching the movements of their leaders. There are those who are waiting and watching and working for our Lord’s appearing.

“Another class are falling into line under the generalship of the first great apostate. Few believe with heart and soul that we have a hell to shun and a heaven to win.

The crisis is stealing gradually upon us. The sun shines in the heavens, passing over its usual round, and the heavens still declare the glory of God. Men are still eating and drinking, planting and building, marrying, and giving in marriage. Merchants are still buying and selling. Men are jostling one against another, contending for the highest place. Pleasure lovers are still crowding to theaters, horse races, gambling hells. The highest excitement prevails, yet probation’s hour is fast closing, and every case is about to be eternally decided. Satan sees that his time is short. He has set all his agencies at work that men may be deceived, deluded, occupied and entranced, until the day of probation shall be ended, and the door of mercy be forever shut.

“Solemnly there come to us down through the centuries the warning words of our Lord from the Mount of Olives: “Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.” “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” (The Desire of Ages, 636).

Watch and pray, not watch and stay (in front of the TV). If meaningful prayer, Bible reading, and communing with God is the answer to my fear and anxiety, then it stands to reason that some of my devices need to be turned off. This takes intentional planning and decision-making on my part. Find a quiet place where you can hear God’s voice and meditate on His Word without the distractions of lights and noise. Focus more on Jesus, and less on the pandemic.

Scripture warns us that focusing on the signs of the end could produce fear. It says, “And 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; 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 NKJV).

For the children of God who are not focused or obsessed with the signs, the result can be very different. Their focus is much higher than the pandemics of this world. They are admonished to look higher. Jesus says, “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” (Luke 21:25–28 NKJV).

- Pastor Jerry Joubert