How Long Will It Last?
St. Augustine is one of the greatest teachers the church ever had. In his book The City Of God he says this about the duration of wars:
“Thus also the durations of wars are determined by Him as He may see meet, according to His righteous will, and pleasure, and mercy, to afflict or to console the human race, so that they are sometimes of longer, sometimes of shorter duration.”
— The City of God (Translated with an Introduction by Marcus Dods) by Saint Augustine http://a.co/hoHfHym
What Augustine says about wars could just as well be said about emergencies such as the one being experienced around the world at this time.
How long will it last? It is in the hands of God. If he wishes to afflict us, as a good parent does the child he loves, it will last as long as is needed for the world to learn the needed lessons. To date this Biblical teaching has gone missing. But Scripture states that: "Whom the Lord loves he chastens." (Hebrews 12:5 FF)
This is the hard, but true and salutary message that the church must proclaim at this time; so that humanity will not be lost by hardness of heart, but will turn to its Maker and Redeemer and be saved.
What the church dare not do, however, is connect this plague (of Biblical proportion) to any particular sin. But we can and must say that God judges sin. All sin. He does it in this present age, and will do so ultimately in the age to come. Hear the Word of the Lord: "Truly truly I say to you ... an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment." (John 5:25-29)
But the same Lord also says: "For God loved the world in this way. He gave his only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." (John 3:16-18)
And so let us confess our sins and humble ourselves before God so that he may exalt us in due time. (1 Peter 5:6). And exalt us he will. Jesus says: "Call upon me in the day of trouble and I will deliver you, and you will glorify me." (Psalm 50:15)