‘When Things Get Back to Normal …’ Who Says?

Posted on May 27, 2020

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By David Ettinger

Our Changed World
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed our world in ways few would have imagined when 2020 began. The shut down of economies, jobs, the sports and entertainment industries, as well as social distancing have caused financial, social, and cultural upheavals.

For many, the emotional toll has been just as jarring as the economic and physical fallout. Many people are going out of their skulls from being locked indoors for the vast majority of their waking hours. Others are legitimately depressed over being separated from friends and especially loved ones. And still others live in fear that the coronavirus is going to sink its poisonous fangs into them.

By way of comfort, assurance, and sanity, people have adopted the phrase – and the mindset – “When things get back to normal.” The thinking here is that soon this wicked pandemic will be lassoed and tamed, and that we will be able to dispense with the social restrictions and masks, and get back to life as we know it. This return to normalcy will include the reopening of businesses and the return to financial hardiness of economies.

I say “Amen” to all of this, and hope it becomes a reality, but deep down – well, not all that deep – I say, “Who says?” Where is the guarantee that sometime soon – or any time at all – we will return to an existence just as it was before Covid-19 assailed our comfortable lifestyles? Who is to say that Covid-19 has not changed life on Earth for good and that a return to life pre-Covid-19 is an inevitability? I certainly don’t.

A Christian Perspective
As an evangelical Christian who has been reading his Bible daily for the past 3-plus decades, I take it literally, especially when it comes to end-times prophecy (of which I have written plenty on this blog website). I do believe we are living in the end-times and that we are quickly nearing the end of the age.

I believe the end-times clock officially began ticking on May 14, 1948, when Israel was reborn as a nation. I believe the world turned a corner on that day, and the race toward the finish line of this era of human history cranked up several notches.

Also cranking up was Satan’s efforts to hijack God’s plan for the end of this age – a plan which includes the Gospel going forth to the ends of the earth, the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to Earth, the Rapture of the Church, and the punishing of the unsaved world in the Day of the Lord’s wrath. With Satan’s increased nefarious activity has come the elevation of sin to levels not seen in Western society since the days of the Roman Empire.

Throughout North America, Europe, South America, and Australia, sin has been ratcheted up to shocking levels. It began in the mid-to-late 1960s and has been spiraling out of control ever since. And just as God in His patience and grace endured ancient Israel’s sin for centuries, so is He doing now for the entire world.

The problem is, the world, in general, is not listening. Yes, people are being saved daily as they give their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ, but the number is small compared to the total world population. And those who reject God’s offer of salvation through Christ sink further and further into the slime and mire of sin and wretchedness.

Time Running Out
In order to get the world’s attention as we draw nearer and nearer to Christ’s return and the end of this age, God is allowing more and more adversity to afflict the earth. Covid-19 is among them. Whether God actually “ordained” and “appointed” this pandemic I don’t know, but He certainly hasn’t stopped it.

On the other hand, one thing I am sure of: God, in his benevolence, has most certainly limited it. Though a single death from the coronavirus is one death too many, its mortality rate has been relatively tiny compared to the world population of 7.8 billion souls. I believe God has used this pandemic as a warning of far worse things to come. (Read my post, “Covid-19: God’s Down Payment?”)

If things are to “return to normal” following Covid-19, what lessons – spiritually speaking – would have been learned? If everything reverts to the way they were pre-Covid-19, the human race will say: “Look how resilient we are! Look how strong and courageous we are! We can conquer anything if we just unite and fight!”

And against we “Bible-thumpers” who see such cataclysms through the lens of God’s Word, no doubt the sentiments – if not the precise words – of 2 Peter 3:3-4 will resonate: “Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, ‘Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.’”

This will be the prevailing world mentality, and this is why I don’t believe things will return to normal. I see Covid-19 as a warning that things are going to get far worse and that those with perceiving minds and open hearts will see God’s hand of mercy written all over this. This is His warning.

Time is running out. God is getting ready to implement His end-time scenario, and things will only get worse. There will be no return to normalcy following the slow fading away of Covid-19 as the next pandemic is waiting in the wings.

In the meantime, the Lord Jesus Christ holds out his arms to all who would receive Him as He implores: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-29). May all who would come to Jesus’ waiting arms!