Evangelist and teacher Anne Graham Lotz, who has long tied biblical prophecy to world events, is asking if the coronavirus is a sign of the end in a new post on her website.
“It’s almost as though our nation is being attacked by an invisible enemy seeking to destroy us,” she wrote after summarizing a list of closures from ballparks to schools, ongoing travel restrictions and an unruly stock market.
Graham, who completed chemotherapy last October for breast cancer, acknowledged that her age and compromised health puts her at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, but added, “I am more concerned about the fear the coronavirus has provoked than I am of the virus itself. We seem to be caught up in a national panic.”
Lotz, the daughter of the late Rev. Billy Graham, used Luke 21:11 and 28 as the foundational Scripture for her blog post.
There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven…When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.
“As I reflect on all the above, I remember the words of Jesus,” she wrote. “He warned us that at the end of time there would be pestilences. In the last few years, we have endured SARS, the swine flu, ebola, avian flu, MERS, West Nile virus, and now the coronavirus. Could COVID-19 be one more sign that our redemption is drawing near? Is the End in sight? Is Jesus coming … soon? If so, is fear the proper response?”
Lotz, founder of AnGel Ministries, argues the proper response is to look toward heaven.
“When Isaiah’s life was shaken, he responded by looking up,” she wrote. “As a result, he had a fresh vision of the Lord. ( Isaiah 6:1) This is the time to look up…from our knees! Let’s ask God to give us a fresh vision of Himself. Because, God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear… (Psalm 46:1-2) since He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from…the deadly pestilence…You will not fear the terror of night…nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you … (Psalm 91:1,2,5-7)
She concluded her blog by urging believers to pray and assess their walk with Jesus.
“This is a time to pray for ourselves, our families, our nation, and all those worldwide whose lives are being devastated by the death and disruption this disease is causing,” she wrote. “You and I need to make sure we are right with God so that we are ready to meet Him whenever the time comes. And then join me in helping someone else get right with God. Let’s pull out all the stops as we tell others that it’s possible to have peace in the midst of the storm and confident hope for tomorrow, claiming Jesus’ promise, Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. “(Matthew 28:20)
Last fall, Christian Headlines reported on Lotz’s assessment that Trump’s decision to pull troops out of Syria could be part of a divine plan that could herald "the last of the Last Days."
“I’m like a lot of people—what in the world is going on?" Lotz said during an hour-long interview on The Jim Bakker Show.
Lotz, when asked about Syria, brought up Ezekiel 38 and its prophecy about a still-pending battle, suggesting the passage could relate to the developments in the Middle East.
The charismatic evangelical questioned, “So I wondered, did God move Trump to move Americans out of the way, freeing up Russia to come down like the Bible says they will?”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Brian Blanco/Stringer
Lori Arnold is a national award-winning journalist whose experience includes 16 years at a daily community newspaper in San Diego and 16 years as writer-editor for the Christian Examiner. She owns StoryLori Media and is a member of the Evangelical Press Association.