Volume. XXIII, No. 49
Sunday, 31 May 2009


Are You Ready for the Worldwide Pandemic?


There was the Mad Cow Disease, then the SARS (ie. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and the Bird Flu (or Avian Flu) and now the Swine Flu (or H1N1 flu). It seems that the numbers of diseases or pestilences and the potential for triggering a worldwide pandemic are on the rise, contrary to what the scientists had predicted in the early 1930s and 40s. According to the statistics available, the world seems to have been setting the stage for a worldwide pandemic of biblical proportions to be enacted as our Lord Jesus Christ forewarned his disciples at Mount Olivet in Mat 24:7: “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places” (cf. Lk 21:11). Clearly, our Lord has foretold his disciples and conveyed the message to the readers of subsequent generations of Christians that “pestilences” would be one remarkable sign that marks the closing years of the End Times before His Second Coming – an age characterized by rampant and prevalent pestilences as part of God’s divine judgment! As God’s people, we need to know what we are dealing with, be ready for it and place our confidence in the Lord as our hope and security in these perilous days to come.   

What are pestilences? According to the International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, the word pestilence used in Mt 24:7 and Lk 21:11 (both passages used the same Greek word loimos or loimoV) is defined as “Any sudden fatal epidemic is designated by this word, and in its Biblical use it generally indicates that these are divine visitations.” In other words, the biblical pestilences are associated with highly virulent epidemics, with rapid and devastating effects as a divine judgment. According to Vine’s Amplified Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, the word pestilence (singular form) is also found in many Old Testament scriptures as God’s divine judgments; for examples: Ex 5:3; Ex 9:15; Lev 26:25; Num 14:12; Deu 28:21; 2Sa 24:21; 1Ch 21:12; Ezk 14:19, Ezk14:21.

What should be our response? As mentioned earlier, we have already witnessed an increasing number and frequency of pestilences of all kinds throughout the world in the past decade. If not for the sake of God’s chosen people on earth, a pandemic of worldwide proportions would have already made a devastating impact on the lives of millions, if not billions, of people around the world. God’s people should always be prepared for the second coming of the Lord, but having witnessed an increasing number of pestilences around the world in recent years should all the more alert Christians to gird up their loins to run a good race and fight a good fight by redeeming the time to serve the Lord and be effective gospel witnesses by evangelizing to the lost as we may not have much time. However, no one knows exactly when Christ will return (Mt 24:36). Despite this, the Word of God does not imply that God’s people cannot know the nearness or imminence of his return (Mt 24:32,33; Lk 21:29-30) nor does it negate the responsibility of God’s children to discern the signs of the end times (1 Thes 5:1-5,8) as unbelievers are unable (1 Thes 5:6,7).

Who should we place our confidence upon? While it is true that the WHO (World Health Organization), IHO (International Health Organization), GHC (Global Health Council) and other international health organizations, agencies and bodies are engaging in what they can to prevent or suppress the diseases or pestilences from becoming worldwide pandemics and to alleviate the pains and sufferings of millions who have already contracted various diseases and illnesses; however, there is a limit to what man can do. Does not the Word of God say, “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.” (Psa 118:8,9) There may come a day when all the vaccinations or quarantine efforts, or medications and treatments, will utterly fail when God’s timing for judging the world with a worldwide pandemic is at hand or is already taking place (Rev 9:20,11:6, 15:1, 15:6,15:8,16:9, 18:4, 18:8, 21:9, 22:18). Does not the Word of God also say, “Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.” (Pro 25:19) God’s people therefore should place their sole confidence in the Lord of creation (Isa 43:15), the Giver of life and death (Job 33:4), the sovereign and blessed Potentate (1 Ti 6:15) who has absolute control over the physical (Mt 8:26,27, 14:33; Mk 6:51) and the spiritual realms (Mt 9:33; 17:18, Mk 1:27; Lk 4:35, 8:29) or the macroscopic (ie. things can be seen with naked eyes) and microscopic (ie. things cannot be seen with naked eyes) worlds. Therefore, there is no reason for God’s people to become panicked or dismayed in these perilous days of worldwide fear for a potential visit of a pandemic of a global scale. Jesus Christ, our Great God and Saviour, was able to raise the dead back to life (Mt 5:35-43; Jn 11:43,44) and command even the most virulent and deadliest diseases to dissipate into thin air simply by the Word of His command (Mt 5:25-34; Mk 7:37, 10:52. 15:31; Lk 7:6,7, 50, Lk 8:48, Lk 17:19, 18:42) and He is still the same omnipotent God and Saviour who is in absolute control and is still able to heal any disease or sickness if it is within His will! However, there may come a day that God may allow His people to go through temporal or physical sufferings and experience diseases and illnesses or even pandemics, but rest assured that He is still in absolute control and He loves you and cares for you.

CONCLUSION: God’s people in the last days must know what to expect according to the light of God’s revelation, know how to respond to epidemics or pandemics of any scale and place confidence in the Lord to enjoy peace and comfort in times of possible global threats, risks and uncertainties. For those of you who have not come to Jesus Christ and trusted Him as your Saviour, the time for you to repent and receive Him as your Saviour is now! May God help you to come to His saving knowledge before His return to judge both the quick and the dead as the Word of God asserts, “…he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.” (Act 10:42; cf. 2Ti 4:1; 1Pe 4:5). 

Pastor David Weng


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

Announcements

Kitchen Rosters: Team Leader: Bro Daniel Volvricht

All members & regular worshippers are encouraged to join and regularly attend at least one Neighbourhood Bible study group. Please see Elder Michael Lee for details.

Candidates: Baptism - Bro Phil Surman; Membership Transfer - Bro Wai Kin & Sis Mavis Wong (Sherilyn & Benjamin); Bro Frank Wong; Sisters Shu Ai Cho, Lydia Fan, Wendy Liang & Iris Surman

Sis Aranka Rejtoe conveys her love and regards to all worshippers. She welcomes and appreciates visitors.

23rd Anniversary Thanksgiving Service Invites on literature table. Please take one.

 

Looking Ahead

23rd Anniversary Thanksgiving Service, 28 June. Speaker: Pastor Ki.

VBS 6-10 July, Speaker: Bro Hai Seng Lim

 

Praise & Thanksgiving

Journey mercies: Ps & Sis Ki,; Bro Ngie Joo & Sis Sooi Chin Gong (Adl); Bro Youwen Yeap (S’pore); Sisters Sheila George (Bangalore), Vanessa Tan (Melb); & all others who have arrived safely.

Church activities: BBK Class; Shorter Catechism Class;  BSAG Prayer Meeting & Bible Study; Men’s Fellowship; Sparks4Christ; Sunday School Staff Meeting; YAF Bible Study; Working Bee.

Ministry of Ps & Sis Ki in the USA.

 

Prayer Items

Health & God’s healing - Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren; Rev John & Mrs Christine McKenzie; Rev Stephen Khoo, Dr S H Tow, Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros Tommy Brooks, Colin Creaser, S Dhamarlingam, Makoto Kobayashi; Len & Richard Pearson, Winston Selvanayagam, Fred Volvricht & Hans Ziegelmann; Mr Swee Liang Ng, Mr Yeom; Grandpa Ki; Auntie Oei; Sisters Mabella Booth, Lai Kheng Cheong, Nita Chong, Annie D’Mello, Myung Ki, Alice Lee’s father, Choon Fong Lee (Evangel BPC - KL); Fiona Paauwe; Margaret, Dianne, & Sarah Pearson; Aranka Rejtoe, Sally Teng, Susan Veradi, Irena Kurek-Braden; Mrs Win Hooper; & others in affliction.

Missions - Cambodia (Rev Stephen Choi & Ministry in Phnom Penh & Kandal Province; Pr Zhang & ministry in Sihanoukville), Pastors & believers in Laos, Pakistan & India; Kuching Ministry (Teo family).

Special Prayer: Bro Surish Dharmalingam - for financial support for his family & ministry in Vientiane & Siem Pang.

Sketch n’ Tell Ministry - Pr H S Lim

Pastor & Sis Ki - future ministry in New Life BPC, London; UK visa application.

Journey mercies: Ps Ki (S’pore/Malaysia/Cambodia); Bro Raphael Ng (Brisbane/Adl); Sisters Margaret Hooper (S’pore/HK), Vanessa Tan (Adl), Audrey Yeo (Swan Ridge); & all others who are travelling.

Pastor Weng: family & ministry in Hope BPC.

Job - Bro Cong Pham; Sisters Marion Chan, Tabitha Heah, Judy Li & Corinne Teng.

God’s comfort, guidance & care: Sisters Kathleen Creaser & Margaret Hooper.

Bro Max Opaskiatikul serving the Lord in MV Doulos

Bro Richie Hornung’s mission (Cebu)

Job security during this recession.

Fellowship Exams - Bros Raphael Ng (Next week) & John Wong (July)

VBS Speaker: Pr Hai Seng Lim

 

 

© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063