COVID-19, The Economy, And Our Future
The world changed in December 2019 when the COVID-19 pandemic spread exponentially in every part of America and around the World. It’s not just a health crisis, but a terrible economic crisis. At no other time in history has a modern, industrialized economy essentially shut down in a matter of weeks.
I am convinced that the economic ripples will continue long after the health scare has passed. With thousands of businesses closed, leaving millions unemployed, it will take time—perhaps years—to rebuild. The economy is not a light switch that can be shut off and turned back on. I believe there will be several lingering effects that will become a challenge for the church. How we respond will impact our future ministries, both here and abroad.
Let me mention only two of them in this article:
First, the lasting effects of fear. Moving from a vibrant economy to long lines of desperate people waiting for food—and from low unemployment to millions of unemployed families and individuals—has completely unnerved us all. The amount of money lost to the airlines, the sporting and entertainment industries, and thousands of other businesses is massive. We have lost our faith in a predictable economic future.
How will this affect us? I’m hearing anecdotal reports of churches that are doing well, thanks to the faithful and increased generosity of its members. But I am also hearing reports of Christian ministries that believe they won’t survive. My greatest heartbreak is for the international ministries that are almost totally dependent on American funds. Fear will cause many Christians to pull back their giving—some because of genuine financial need, others because of our tendency to hoard our assets, keeping more than we need.
To us, God may be saying, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:5–6). This is not a time for us to succumb to panic; this is not a time to think only of ourselves and our families.
This is a time when we must trust God, not just with our funds, but also to help us reach out and take risks for others. Christians have faced pandemics before and have usually responded differently than the world; they have proven their faith by being willing to sacrifice for others. In many instances, Christians risked their lives to care for the sick. This ought not be a moment of fear, but of asking: What is God requiring of me?
A second lasting effect: renewed government dependency. The ability of the Federal Reserve to create trillions of dollars by fiat reminds us that money itself has no value; its value is always based on trust. Even gold itself has no special value, except that throughout the centuries people have assigned value to it. The Knights of Malta stamped their coins with Non Aes, sed Fides (Not the Metal, but the Trust). I believe calls for the government to create more money for more bailouts and programs will continue to escalate. Politicians will promise more “free money” to get votes. Let’s wait and see.
This is a wonderful opportunity for Christians to grapple with questions such as: What is money, really? How can money created by men be used wisely for investments that are eternal and lasting? Why did Jesus repeatedly warn about dependence on money? And what did He mean when He spoke about the “true riches” in Luke 16?
This is a time when we have to think more deeply about our role as believers in a frightened and hurting world. It is a time for clear thinking and sacrifice—a time for those of us who are redeemed to look like our Redeemer!
How Does COVID-19 Give A Boost to Technological Surveillance? And Why Does It Matter?
Globalists are using the COVID-19 crisis to push for universal immunization and a digital certificate for every person on the planet. Does this open the door to the Antichrist? Will it lead to the mark of the beast “on the right hand or the forehead?” Pastor Lutzer gives his perspective.
Q: At the beginning of your article, you said you believed there were several ways the economy would continue to be affected by this crisis. You mentioned only two. What are some others?
A: Too much to discuss here, but I believe that this crisis has been a real boon to the globalists. Technology already plays a big role in our lives, but I see this increasing in the days ahead. Let’s put several facts together. The World Health Organization says on its website that its goal is to immunize every person in the world; people might need a “Vaccine Certificate” to travel. The World Economic Forum (WEF) and the ID2020 project says its goal is for every human being to receive a “Digital Certificate” as a mark of legal identity. Put all this together, and you can see the kind of personal control we might expect in the days ahead.
Q: So, is this universal “Digital Certificate” the mark of the beast in Revelation 13?
A: I’m very careful when it comes to prophecy. We’ve been embarrassed by Bible teachers who have made false predictions. But I will say this: we can be quite sure that this Revelation 13 identification, “marked on the right hand or the forehead,” will almost certainly involve some kind of a “Digital Certificate” in a cashless society. As Rothchild has been quoted as saying, “Let us control the money of a nation, and we care not who makes its laws.”
Read the book of Revelation, and you will find that some of the judgments described (earthquakes, wind, drought, plagues) have already existed in the world for centuries. Already in this world, God gives us a preview of the world to come. This present convergence of technology, a pandemic, and push for a global economy could be God’s warning that the era of Antichrist’s rule might not be far off.
Q: Before the invention of our digital technology, believers taught that the Lord could have returned in their lifetime. But did technology as we know it have to be invented before the Lord could return and the rule of Antichrist come on Earth?
A: That is really a good question. Each generation has had its own explanation as to how these things could happen. Of course, long before modern technology, Bible interpreters believed that this “mark of the beast” was just some kind of an indelible mark or tattoo on the hand or forehead. Technology has given us a more compelling picture of how worldwide control could be instituted.
Q: Money is only as valuable as the trust a society or culture (or the world) has placed on it. Do we have an example of when that trust has been broken?
A: Too many instances to mention. Perhaps the best example is when the government in Bonn, Germany canceled the mark in 1947. Savings accounts and cash went to zero overnight. Hundreds committed suicide that very day. Money that would have bought food and helped spread the Gospel one day was worthless paper the next. As Christians, we must remember that the dollar will someday be canceled. We must use our money while it can still do good.
Q: Why are you speaking about these things? What is your bottom line?
A: The crisis has made me think about money, what it really is, and how it is created. My only desire is this: Jesus talked about using money to gain “true riches.” In context, He mentioned that we should use our money as an investment so that future generations would welcome us into “eternal dwellings” (Luke 16:9). I often think about that.
Rebecca and I have always prayed about how to use our money wisely, but we also are reassessing the best way to invest in the Gospel going forward. The road ahead for our country will be long and difficult, but God asks us to think beyond time to eternity—from money to the “true riches.”