Should We Fear the Trumpets or the Coronavirus Epidemic?

Dear Wake Up Friends,

During the past few months, national economies throughout the world are experiencing unprecedented upheaval due to the coronavirus epidemic. The economic impact extends far beyond the disease itself. As of early May 2020, more than 26 million jobs have been lost in the U.S. in just five weeks. Some economists project as much as 14 percent of the population may become unemployed before any improvement, considerably larger than the 12 percent during the Great Depression.

The physical and economic damage has extended to members of the Wake Up family and we are praying for those who have fallen ill and also become unemployed. Stress and financial misery are likely to cause more severe results than the virus in mental health issues such as depression and suicide. Studies show nearly half of the U.S. population believes themselves under mental stress due to the virus. Estimates of suicide and drug deaths rival current deaths from the virus.

While the virus and subsequent mental health problems are serious and can have a deadly impact, I would like to address an issue which is more personal to those who are awaiting events of the Great Tribulation. The governmental response to the coronavirus is a snapshot of what will rapidly occur when the trumpets sound. In a climate of fear, people become very willing to give up their natural, God given freedoms confirmed in the U.S. Constitution for the “greater good;” as if trading liberty for safety actually provides either.

For example, seventy percent of the population is willing to accept restrictions on personal speech during emergencies like COVID-19, despite freedom of speech being guaranteed by the constitution. Major internet sites already are blocking information judged to be in conflict with allowed scientific or political narratives. Yet, the same websites would argue that China is not a free society because its government limits what people are allowed to say openly. During the Great Tribulation, the first four trumpet/judgments will make the current travails seem trivial. Imagine the conflict in the last days if the 144,000 are effectively presenting a message counter to governmental and religious leaders. If U.S. residents are willing to accept speech control when, as of May 18, 2020 only 89,892 people have died, consider the fight to silence the 144,000 if 82 million (one-fourth of the current population) are annihilated.

During the height of the epidemic, 42 of 50 states in the U.S. issued stay at home or shelter in place orders covering 300 million citizens. While there has been some outcry about egregious governmental requirements, the vast majority of the population accepted the governmental mandates without question. Larry describes a similar condition that will occur during the trumpets this way: “When fear rules, common sense is usually left behind. In this setting, religious leaders and lawmakers will exert enormous influence and authority over survivors. Due to the chaos caused by the first four catastrophic events, the leaders will establish martial law in all nations. Constitutional rights and privileges, due legal process and other inalienable rights that many nations currently respect will be suspended.”

In an environment of pain and suffering caused by the first four trumpets, fear will overwhelm governments and religious leaders. The COVID-19 epidemic provides the stark example that many people will accept draconian mandates controlling their lives from political leaders despite concerns about personal liberties. However, personal fear does not have to overwhelm those who allow the Holy Spirit to operate within their lives. God is in control and He will ensure His end time message is shared throughout the world. Nearly 3,000 years ago, Solomon wrote, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5–6) If we allow God to fulfill His purpose within our lives and put our trust in Him, even in an environment of fear, we can follow David’s example. “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Psalm 56:3–4) May we have trust in the Lord and be not afraid to share His message whether in freedom or in lockdown.

Walking in faith,

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