The COVID-19 pandemic has left an earth-shattering imprint. Sadly, according to one report, there have been over six million COVID-related deaths. There are important biblical implications for believers and unbelievers regarding the pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the following truths:
1. It reminds us of the Fall and its effect on the world (Genesis 3). After Adam sinned against God, viruses, diseases, and death entered the world. Not only did sin make people susceptible to illness, but it also introduced mortality (Romans 5:12; 8:19-22). COVID-19 reminds us of the Fall.
2. It reminds us to weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15). The pandemic reminds us to enter into the grief of believers who weep over the death of their loved ones. Such grief is compounded for loved ones who die without Christ.
3. It reminds us of the command to love our neighbors (Matthew 22:39). COVID-19 reminds believers to practice love through good works, especially for those experiencing sorrow or suffering. Jesus tells us that good works may cause people to worship God (Matthew 5:48). Furthermore, God may open doors for evangelism through acts of compassion.
4. It reminds us that life is transitory (Hebrews 9:27). The fact of death is a topic that many unbelievers (and even many believers) wish not to discuss or prefer to suppress. However, Scripture reminds us that life is transitory, momentary, fleeting, and short-lived. Life passes away (Job 7:7; 14:1-2; Psalm 90:5-6; 144:4; James 1:10). Only believers alive at the rapture will not see death (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). The COVID-19 pandemic magnified this truth.
5. It reminds us that, ultimately, people do not control the future. God has determined our days, and we can neither decrease nor increase our life on earth (Job 14:5; Psalm 139:16). Our days (and every second) are in God’s hand. The COVID-19 pandemic reminds us that men and women are not sovereign over their lives.
6. It amplifies Jesus's warning to unbelievers amidst tragedy (Luke 13:1-5). People should not assume that COVID-19 or other illnesses are God's judgment upon people for sin. People must not think that since their lives were spared, they are morally superior to those who died (vv.2, 4). Instead, unbelievers must turn from their sins or they will perish under future judgment (vv.3, 5). This was Jesus's message to unbelievers then, and it is applicable today.
7. It reminds believers to maximize opportunities (Colossians 4:5-6). Just as unbelievers must turn to Christ while they have the opportunity, believers should maximize the opportunity to proclaim the gospel. This season is a heightened opportunity to tell unbelievers about eternity, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the way to salvation.
There are biblical implications from COVID-19 for unbelievers and believers. The pandemic reminds us that life is fragile, death is inevitable, and God is sovereign over peoples' lives. Therefore, unbelievers must seek the Lord while they have the opportunity (Isaiah 55:6). They must call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved (Joel 2:32; Acts 2:21; cf. Isaiah 45:22). Furthermore, believers should compassionately communicate the above truths to point people to Christ. This is how unbelievers should respond and what believers must proclaim.
Source: Statistics taken from "WHO Coronavirus (COVID-19) Dashboard." World Health Organization. Accessed May 26, 2023. https://covid19.who.int/