Before the news headlines of the past two or three months, the majority of us had never heard of Ebola. Cable news networks, local television networks, newspapers, magazines, the Internet, and social media sites alike have all informed us about Ebola. For a period of time it seemed like every day we heard something about Ebola. Not AIDS, not cancer, not tuberculosis, not high blood pressure, but Ebola.
While many Americans have been alarmed by this illness (given the media coverage it has received), three West African nations, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, have been the hardest hit. As of this writing, more than 8,000 individuals have died from Ebola globally. Yet according to the World Health Organization the Ebola epidemic is probably much worse than the world realizes, with health centers on the front lines warning that the actual numbers of deaths and illnesses are significantly higher than the official estimates.
One health worker for Doctors Without Borders cited on the World Health Organization Web site said, “The Ebola outbreak has turned parts of western Africa into a ‘medical war zone,’ with response teams not even able to document all
the cases erupting.”
Medical scientists working to develop a vaccine as significant research is being conducted note that the disease has a high mortality rate, killing 50 to 90 percent of those Ebola’s Last Hope pestilences? Is this the beginning of the end? After all, it was Jesus who said in Matthew 24:7, 8 that in the last days such calamities would occur, for “nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”*
Despite the frequency and emerging regularity of major catastrophes and calamities, we must be careful to avoid assertions or pass judgment regarding the source or reasons for such deadly infected. So to those who are infected, it is almost like a death sentence. Hence, Ebola patients, coupled with persons suspected to have been in the company of Ebola patients, have to be quarantined.
The worldwide fears, the rising death toll, the lack of effective treatment, and the highly contagious nature of Ebola have led some to wonder whether there’s a spiritual angle to this scourge. Could this be a modern-day plague? Is this an example of God’s wrath being poured out in the final days of earth’s history? Is this one of earth’s eschatological scourges as Ebola. Advanced science notwithstanding, expert biblical knowledge notwithstanding, our limited discernment cannot sort through the loss of innocent lives or the specific spiritual implications tied to these dramatic events.
One thing is certain, however: as with many other illnesses, Ebola is a consequence of the overall dreadful pestilence of sin. Ebola is in this world because of sin. We are
therefore vulnerable, because we are in this world. As a result, sin left unchecked, has brought a death sentence to every human being.
Fortunately, sin is not unchecked. Humanity has received an opportunity for reprieve from the deadly scourge of sin and all of its fearful symptoms. Despite the hysteria that
Ebola has caused, and while we should take precaution, let us be reminded that it is not time to be afraid. Followers of Christ have been called not to timidity or fearfulness, but to vigilance. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). This power, as manifested through God’s Spirit, should be expressed by telling a dying world that Jesus saves! (Matthew
28:18-20; John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 5:21).
Ebola, and every other pestilence of this dying world, has an antidote. We do have a vaccine. This vaccine was not developed in a laboratory, research center, or hospital, but it was procured 2,000 years ago on a hill called Calvary! So for every death sentence that has been carried out by sin, the precious blood of Jesus Christ is the vaccine that can eradicate it (John 1:29; 1 John 1:9)!
The day is fast approaching when Jesus will return to this earth, and He will save us from sin and its effects, including Ebola! “Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20).