News headlines, and TV broadcasts continue reporting on the coronavirus that has affected many around the globe. Even Starbuck’s announced they are “pausing the use of personal cups and ‘for here’ ware” in their stores, while “still giving a 10-cent discount to customers who bring their own cup.” Off the coast of California, the 2500 passenger Grand Princess Cruise ship was banned by Gov. Newsom from docking in S.F. and any other California port until 21 passengers and crewmembers suffering from flu-like symptoms are tested for the coronavirus. International Air Transport Assoc. states that airlines could lose $63 to $115 billion in revenue for passenger traffic globally in 2020, depending on how the “virus spreads.”
A few months back Jeannie and I sensed in our inner spirit we were to cancel the February/March Holy Land trip for 2020, while both saddened in doing so, (while we had no specific reason to do so at that time) yet we felt the Lord had spoken to our inner person not now. Thankfully, all monies, airline, and hotel obligations in the Holy Land were completely refunded to all. For those knowing our love taking groups to the Holy Land and Israel, you know of the emptiness felt in our stomachs at knowing we would not be taking a group at this time. Today, the picture is much more clear as to how the direction of the Lord was right for us as morning’s news headlines state: “Airline giant Lufthansa, said this morning it was cancelling all flights to Israel until March 28, after Jerusalem barred entry to almost all non-resident arrivals from five nations, including Germany, over coronavirus fears. Flights to Tel Aviv by Lufthansa and its subsidiaries, Swiss and Austrian Airlines, will be cancelled until the end of the winter timetable.”
Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity has now been closed over coronavirus fears! Our good friends…the Canavati family…owners of several souvenir shops as well as the Alexander Hotel in Bethlehem, said groups of tourists from the U.S., Poland and other countries have canceled their bookings. The Palestinian governor of the West Bank towns of Nablus ordered its Muslim and Christian holy sites shut as a public health precaution.
Now, if that all isn’t bad enough news, here comes (laugh out loud) MGM, Universal and Bond producers announcing that after careful consideration and through evaluation of the global theatrical marketplace, the release of James Bond’s ‘No Time to Die” will be postponed until November 2020, due to the virus! Hallelujah for that! While I do not make light of the virus affecting individuals, I thought it humorous of a ‘post’ from our friends Ron & Jenny Reiser who pastor in Summerdale, AL. Yesterday Jenny had surgery to decompress the nerve in her back that (from a previous surgery) left a nerve in her left leg inflamed. This morning Jenny posted; Funny thing happened when I woke up from surgery, I was in an electrical room that was blamed on hospital overflow. Finally I got in a room late last night! Coronovirus hospital overload? Maybe, or maybe not!
Is this a sign of end times? Yes and no! Some would say the words of Jesus recorded in Matthew 24 would seemingly point that way. In His words of verse 7 & 8: “For nation will rise against nations, and kingdom against kingdom, And there will be famines, pestilences, (epidemic, pandemic, disease, contagion, sickness) and earthquakes in various place. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”
Many are shocked when you tell them that Matthew, Mark, and Luke were not written about or for the Christian Church from a doctrinal perspective. It was written to Jews waiting for a Kingdom on earth, and to those who will be alive on earth during the time of the Great Tribulation, which takes place after the Rapture. After Jesus predicts the destruction of the Temple in the opening verses of chapter 24; beginning in verse 15 He then begins talking about what will take place during the Great Tribulation. At that time, for those who accept the rapture as pre-tribulation individuals, will not be here on earth. Verse 16 reads, “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.” This is possible to indicate they will flee to Petra in Jordan where they will be kept safe by the Lord during the tumultuous days during the seven-year tribulation period taking place on earth. All though Matthew 24 Jesus Himself refers to the great tribulation that would have no equal in human history. You definitely do not want to be here for that time!
What I believe we are seeing is the beginnings of warnings of the days to come. Therefore, today is the day of making certain you are in right step with the Lord and His ways. It’s quite simple! Just ask Him into your heart, to forgive you of all your sins as you accept Him as Lord and Savior of your life. In that sense, it is a sign of the times!
Blessings, Psalm 20:7 Dale & Jeannie