By: Van Yandell

“Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” — Philippians 4:6-7

When situations enter into our lives such as the current world panic concerning COVID-19, Christians must look to the Bible for guidance. To paraphrase what Paul wrote in Philippians 4: 6-7: Don’t worry, pray, trust God and rely on Christ Jesus to keep our hearts and minds at peace.

The COVID-19 virus has created a panic in our world that certainly is not unfounded. The term “overreact” may, however, apply in this case. However, overreacting may be preferable to underreacting.

One of the old sayings we’ve heard over the years is, “Nothing lasts forever.” This is most assuredly the case of this virus. It will not last forever and most of us will survive.

I’m thinking, someone, somewhere, is printing T-shirts. The message on those T-shirts is, “I survived COVID-19.” There are entrepreneurs who tend to capitalize on tragedy and misfortune. The T-shirts will be perfectly legal, but scammers and hackers do not play by the rules of civilization.

Be extra cautious of the unscrupulous of our world. If someone tries to sell a medicine or vitamin supplement to cure or prevent COVID-19, up your guard. The simple fact these tricks are present should tell us the perpetrators believe this threat will soon end.

The stock market decline is not a cause for panic. If you’re an investor, you’ve certainly seen your portfolio decrease in value in the two weeks prior to this writing. Even though the current decline has been described as a bloodbath, the markets are likely to rebound. If holdings are in airlines or cruise companies, there may be cause for concern. Most likely though, investing in such companies might be a great idea.

Remember the General Motors bailout in 2008? Some big corporations are regarded by the government as “too big to fail.” Several major corporations cannot be allowed to fail because the impact on the economy would be too great. The government bailed out GM that would possibly have gone bankrupt.

We know the media thrives on tragedy. I’ve often thought, “More deaths make a better story.” I recently heard a TV reporter say, “Only six people were killed.” Granted, that doesn’t sound like many, unless I’m one of the six.

God, of course, expects us to “walk by faith,” but He also expects a little common sense to accompany that faith. The hand shaking custom is a germ spreader as much as sneezing. It’s time for this to stop. Bump elbows. Better yet, just say, “Hi, it’s good to see you.” Many people feel uncomfortable having a hand extended for them to touch and for sure do not want to be hugged. This is an invasion of personal space and that space should be respected.

It might be interesting to review the etiquette of the hand shake. It is never acceptable for a man to offer his hand to a woman. It is always her choice. The grip should be firm but not crushing and never last more than a few seconds. While these rules of etiquette continue in effect, a new rule might be, do not extend your hand and put the other person on the spot.

Simple precautions have been stated by the media for days. Don’t touch people, stay home if possible and avoid crowds. Wipe down surfaces with disinfectant (especially those we often touch like refrigerator door handles). Keep our bodies and garments clean and wash our hands.

Many of the diseases we once thought were history have been brought brought back in to the United States in recent years. The open-door policy of this country seems admirable to some and ridiculous to others. Whichever position you take on this matter, those diseases are very real. Caution must become a way of life more than ever and it should have started long before COVID-19.

Many are concerned for their children and grandchildren. The infection rate for children is low and the death rate for young adults is practically zero. Only if one is terminal or has an existing condition on which COVID-19 can evolve, the chance of survival is very high.

Let us now consider the panic option. We know Bible prophesy has been proven to be amazingly accurate. Only the most stubborn of the hard-headed refuse to acknowledge this.

Jesus said in Matthew 24: 7, in the last days there would be pestilences. COVID-19 can definitely be classified as a pestilence. The bubonic plague of 500 years ago was a pestilence. Smallpox throughout the world was a pestilence for hundreds of years but the world did not end. COVID-19 likely does not indicate the world is ending.

We realized after the Sept, 11, 2001, terrorist attack, out world was changed forever. The pandemic we are now experiencing is also a world changer. The world as we knew it is over. Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 1: 4, “The earth endures forever,” but change is inevitable.

The Apostle Paul described in 1 Thessalonians 4: 16-18, what Christians call The Rapture. With world events being as they are, we can certainly believe with confidence, this is possible. On the other hand, people have been looking for that fulfillment of scriptural prophesy for hundreds of years. Is this cause for panic? Most Christians apparently think it is not. The day will come when God’s people (the church) will be taken up in the “twinkling of an eye,” (1 Corinthians 15: 52).

Now, here’s a reason to panic. At least five billion people on this planet will be left behind to deal with the Tribulation (Matthew 24: 21). A sense of urgency is not the typical Christian demeanor, but it should be. We are not panic mongers but if The Rapture happens and we are responsible for anyone left on earth, we may have to answer for our inactions.

The question was, “Is it time to panic?” The answer is yes, but for those that do not believe in Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior.