More people are presently asking if the coronavirus signals the end of the world. How well we understand Bible prophecy will determine the clarity of our response. Prophecies about the fate of humanity are many in the Bible, but are probably more elaborate in the books of Isaiah, Daniel, Matthew and Revelation.
Matthew is the easiest to understand; prophecies about the future are in Jesus fifth and last sermon in Matthew Chapters 23 to 25. Jesus other sermons in Matthew are: first, the godly life (Chapters 5-7); Christian missions (Chapter 10); Church growth (Chapter 13); and the fourth about servant leadership (Chapter 18).
Matthew was writing to the Jews, showing them how their leaders rejected Jesus, and were cast aside by Jesus (see the alarming 7 woes and judgement in Matthew 23). The Apostles were shocked and wanted to know more about the judgement against Israel; this led to the discussion of future things in Matthew 24.
In Matthew 24, Jesus tells them that there is a soon coming judgement against Israel where the Temple will be completely destroyed – this happened in the year AD 70, about 40 years after Jesus spoke about it. He told them this would be a terrible time for Israel, but the world would not end; he referred them to the prophecies of Daniel; he talked about Christian persecution, countless wars, and disease pandemics.
Jesus states in Matthew 24:14 (NIV): “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” The end comes when the gospel goes global. We live in an age when the gospel is global, and when the wealth of the Church plus technology means the preaching of the gospel is at an accelerated speed. This is the most important prophecy in the Bible.
Lord, the end comes not because of coronavirus, but due to the accelerated speed of preaching the gospel; help us stay faithful to the end, Amen!