In its history, the World Health Organization has issued just 4 Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) in its history and all 4 have occurred in the last seven years. From 2009 to today concerns have been raised over H1N1, Polio, Ebola and now the Zika virus.
This pandemic has effected an estimated 3 to 4 million people with the highest number found in Brazil with high concentrations of victims found South and Central America extending into Mexico and new reports of cases in the United States and now Australia.
When we have a virus such as this one that effects children more than others in the news, it is natural to ask, is this a sign of the last days? Is this one of the seven plagues mentioned in Revelation? Is the Zika virus one the diseases Jesus talked about in Luke 21:11?
If we hope to have a biblical worldview of the events we see now we need to understand why there are diseases in the first place.
We Live in a Fallen World
When Christians have a biblical worldview they understand that we live in a fallen world and before we ever get to the seals, trumpets and bowls of Revelation we must realize that because of sin there is death in this world.
Because this world is fallen into sin and death is the result there will be times when disease takes a greater toll than at other times, such as the plague of the Middle Ages, we should not immediately assume that even a pandemic is a sign of the end times or even the wrath of God but it is always a result of sin.
One clear scripture on this is 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 when God spoke to Solomon saying,
“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
The plague is meant to call the people of God to repentance. Is the Lord calling Brazil and the South American countries? There is always room for prayer and a call to draw near to God even when we think we are as close to the Lord as we can be.
Another biblical principle is that God shows He is God by using plagues and other events. In Exodus 9:14 the Lord tells us the plagues were “to make you see my power”, speaking of the enemies of God and those that are not believers are called enemies of God.
Either way, the Lord is calling on this fallen world to repent of sin, it does not matter if you believe in Jesus or if you currently reject Him, repentance is required.
Famines, Pestilence and Plagues
Now that we have established that disease is a part of this fallen world and that even a pandemic is not unusual outside of the end times era, we can better understand what a plague of the last days would look like.
The purpose of the Day of the Lord is much like that of the exodus from Egypt, namely to establish the Name of the Lord and His authority over the earth. The Lord has been longsuffering regarding sin and its presence on the earth, He has allowed the rebellion to continue in order that some might be saved from judgement.
However, that longsuffering is not ever-suffering and the Lord will not allow things to remain as they are for long. He will put an end to the pain and anguish that sin has brought but there is one final showdown between man, the sin he enjoys and the Lord almighty.
It is during this time that God will pour out His judgement and wrath in the form of war, famine, pestilence and plague. Many people might argue that a loving God would not do such things but we should look a bit deeper at how these things will be done.
Yes, God will command the seals be broken, the trumpets sounded and the bowels emptied but often it is man who carries out the judgement himself. Remember, the creation is groaning because of sin and as man reject the Lord and His commandments it groans all the more. This groaning shows up in the form of storms and earthquakes to name but a few.
When it comes to the plagues and a pandemic that destroys the earth, it is man who ignores God and uses sin to spread disease. Consider the black plague of the middle ages, Jews were persecuted because they were not as heavily affected by the death toll, but little is made of why. Torah observant Jews are not as affected by bacteria and viruses because they avoid dead bodies and wash their hands.
Well the same will be true for modern disease. Already, it is being discover that in addition to being spread by mosquitoes, the Zika virus has been spread by sexual contact. Failure to follow biblical commands can and will spread disease, these commands will also save people from the great earthquake of Revelation if they observe Sukkot during its time.
We should understand that the plagues of the last days will come with great intensity and speed, there will be little time to decide to obey God when they arrive and that is why we must be faithful until He comes.
Is the Zika virus a plague of the last days? I don’t think that it is in its current form but of the recent global pandemics of AIDS, Ebola and now Zika they appear to have the same geographic origin, Africa. What I believe we are seeing is the pattern of how the last days plague will be spread, though man ignoring God’s commands and making his own rules.