Finding Faith: The Bible and COVID-19
Throughout history, for those familiar with the Bible, men and women have pondered the question: “Are we living in the end times?” It’s easy to understand, as we examine our own current circumstances, how any generation could focus on the horrors of their time and see where it aligns itself to scripture.
In recent history, so close that we can still touch it and hear eyewitness accounts, we saw a technologically advanced, civilized society round up human beings and deliberately torture, starve and murder them, by the millions, with the intent of genocide — the complete annihilation and extermination of an entire race of people. Of course I’m talking about Adolf Hitler. It would have been easy to assume, living in those days, that this surely was the anti-christ. How could an evil man who reigns in blood, be feared, respected and applauded by so many, unless of course, he was of the devil himself?
Many prominent figures through the ages have instilled like-mannered terror into their fellow man, causing the world to ponder, “is this the beginning of the end?”
We now find ourselves in that very school of thought. Despite the natural disasters, wars and plagues of the last century, we (Christians) have not become callused to tragedy as so many could be tempted to think. Rather we have become more sensitive to it and, to a greater degree, more curious about it’s possible role in biblical prophecy.
As COVID-19 came snarling forth onto the world stage, many eyes turned to the Bible’s “Book of Revelation” — perhaps many who previously had no interest in the Bible. This has spawned rampant claims, rising from paranoia, fear-peddling and limited understanding of scripture, that the new COVID vaccination surely must be the “Mark of the Beast!”
I remember a few decades ago when debit cards came out and people had a similar reaction. They supported their theory with the reasoning that “these cards” would lead to a cashless society and force all of us to participate in order to buy or sell anything. Many even went as far as to make the weak connection to scripture that “the hand is what types in your p.i.n. (personal identification number) and the number must be remembered by the user in their head” (a crippled attempt at connecting the theory to what the Bible says about having the mark on you hand or forehead).
Regardless of where you stand on the vaccination itself, the idea of it being “the mark of the beast” is simply inconsistent with what the Bible says.
First of all, we know that God does not trick us into things (Psalm 25:8-14). Those who accept the “mark of the beast” will do so with full knowledge that they are in defiance of God. For the true believer, there will be no guess work.
Secondly, the Bible tells us that those who have truly accepted Jesus are already marked by God and cannot be taken away from Him (Ephesians 1:13, Revelation 14:1), further supporting why you cannot be tricked.
Yes, the Bible states clearly that there will be confusion and people will be fooled. However, it’s referring to those who do not/will not know Jesus Christ.
There is always the possibility that the vaccination could play a small part in the events leading up to the “mark of the beast” (2 Thessalonians 2:7-8), but the vaccination itself is, most definitely, not the “mark of the beast” according to scripture. This has nothing to do with one’s opinion on the vaccination — only the vaccination in relation to prophetic writings.
Right now, somewhere across town, there’s an elderly woman who loves the Lord with all her heart, reads her Bible every day and prays without ceasing. She is a good woman who’s lived a good godly life. To prolong what little time she has left on this earth, she got the COVID-19 vaccination. Do you think that God would doom her into eternal hellfire because she was “tricked” into making the wrong decision regarding a medicinal treatment? No. To think that this vaccination is the biblical “mark of the beast” is not only inconsistent with scripture, it’s inconsistent with the very nature of God (Revelation 3:10).
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Finding Faith is written by area pastors. This week’s column comes from Pastor Drew Collins of Grace Fellowship Church, Avis.