By Mark Ellis –
You know very well that The Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and Safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. (1 Thessalonians 5:2-3)
The Apostle Paul taught that when people are crying out for peace and safety, the judgment will arrive suddenly. In his book, And Then the End Will Come, author Douglas Cobb makes the case that the current response to the Covid pandemic is one more sign the cultural conditions are in place for the return of Christ.
“There are a group of clues that point to historical events and another that point to cultural climate in the time of Jesus’ return,” Cobb told God Reports. “Jesus said it would be like the days of Noah and the days of Lot,” he noted.
Cobb says the cultural markers would necessarily be harder to discern until we get close to the Second Coming. “What would it look like to have a culture obsessed with personal serenity and safety? The last couple years have shown us,” he maintains.
“American culture and western culture have become obsessed with safety.”
Mask mandates, vaccine mandates, social distancing, and fear-driven cancellations, all add weight to Cobb’s case. “The fear of this disease has led countries around the world to shut down their economies and impose drastic restrictions on the liberties of their citizens,” he notes.
Christians have also been impacted by the cultural trend. “Listen to what people pray for others: keep them safe. If you listen to how often people pray, it is remarkable how often people pray for that,” he observes.
“You could pray that they would be courageous or effective or bold. But we pray they will be safe. I think this is a subtle sign of how the church is a part of the larger culture.”
Cobb credits the book, The Coddling of the American Mind, with alerting him to the rising trend toward safetyism, which the authors define as “a culture or belief system in which safety has become a sacred value” – in other words, a cult of safety.
“In the safetyism cult, they say, ‘Safety trumps everything else, no matter how unlikely or trivial the potential danger.’”
As a first grader, Cobb recalls walking alone four or five blocks to school, something many parents might now allow today. “Think about helicopter parents who will not allow their children out of their sight for fear of an accident or abduction.”
“The cult of safetyism plays on the most primal human emotion: the fear of death. As Christians, we should be set free from this fear.”
The writer of Hebrews declares: (Jesus) shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery to their fear of death. (Hebrews 2:14-15)
Moreover, Paul wrote to Timothy: For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
“I don’t think we’re called to live safe. We are called to live bold, risky lifestyles,” Cobb says. “We have been infected by the obsessions with safety that comes from the culture.”
Cobb maintains compassion for those personally impacted by the pandemic. “My heart goes out to anyone who has lost a loved one. But if you get behind the numbers it is not worthy of what we have done as a culture to respond to it, which is a signal of this obsession with safety.”
“As we become unmoored from the faith as a culture, death has become more fearful to us in general. I would never have imagined that people would give up their rights to a one world dictator. People have seemed very willing to sacrifice their rights and freedoms in exchange for safety. It is not hard for me to see now how Antichrist will seduce a lot of people into his orbit by promising he will keep them safe.”