Evang Segun Popoola, in his new year message which he delivered on the night vigil of the 31st December 2019/1st of January 2020, stated that this year and indeed this decade is majorly going to be devoted to God’s judgement. He warned his congregants that it is only the mercy of God, which He selectively gives to His beloved, that can overrule every judgement that is not in their favour. He said the judgement will hit commerce and the church because commerce has entered the church. He traced the reason why God decided to punish the earth to God’s desire for the earth to learn righteousness. He cited the book of Isaiah 26:9 which states “With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness”. This implies that before now, the earth has forsaken God.
The world woke up the next 24 hours after the message to the assassination of Qasam Soleimani on 2nd January, 2020 around 22:00 UTC or 3rd January 1:00 a.m. local time by US drone strike near Baghdad International Airport. This, instantly, led to panic around the world about the prospect of a global war. About 58 Iranians died in stampede trying to bury the General. Tensions were reduced when Iran decided to retaliate in a measured way and left no casualties. Afraid of a US retaliation for the Iran’s missile attacks against a US military base in Iraq, Iran unintentionally shot down a Ukranian passenger jet killing all 176 people on board including 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians and other nationals in the plane.
The most visible attestation to this prophesied judgement of God is the globalisation of this vampiric virus called coronavirus or covid-19 which the US President, Donald Trump, loves to christen the Chinesevirus to reflect the place where this virus originated. The virus originated in Wuhan Province, China, through a medium of a bird called bat towards the end of 2019 but was globalized early in 2020 and arrived in Nigeria on the 27th of February. A vampire is simply a person or living thing that preys ruthlessly upon others. In demonology, it is often referred to as a demon that is said to suck the blood of sleeping persons at night. A careful observation of the image of this virus shows that it is roundish in shape with tentacles that look like blood sucking instruments with which they use to damage sensitive organs, especially the lungs, of their preys and suck them to death.
In the history of mankind, I am not aware of any event that has crippled the whole world like this corona vampire. The Olympic slated for July in Japan has been postponed, so also are all the global and local sporting activities on earth, including Nigeria Professional Football league. The movie and music entertainment world including Nollywood is in coma. Every school has closed down. Aviation shut down. World economy has jumped into recession in weeks. N1.5 trillion of Nigeria budget has been wiped out on account of the fall in oil price from about $57 to $21. US economy within a month is on life support requiring more than $2 trillion to keep it alive. In Nigeria, churches and mosques have been banned from holding services. Even the Vatican, Mecca and Jerusalem have closed down worship centres. All ceremonies in Nigeria, including marriage, burial, birthdays, festivals, etc are banned. The most disturbing statistics is the toll on human lives. Globally as at 1st April, 2020, the total cases of infected people worldwide stood at about 862,200, total deaths 42,400, US total cases 185,400, deaths 4,000, Nigeria total cases 139, deaths 2, Italy total cases 105,792 , deaths 12,428 , Spain total cases 102,136 , deaths 9,053 etc. With these staggering figures, the whole world is virtually locked down with everyone, from the Heads of government to the least persons on earth, being on coronavirus house arrest. Honestly, even the devil cannot pull this feat because some men of God would have angrily put him in a cage by now. There must be some elements of truth that this might have come from a power above the devil.
Weighing on the heavy casualties, it is important that people have to take this virus more seriously. It is spread from person to person through droplets of the virus from an infected person released through sneezing, coughing, spitting or touching of surfaces from which healthy persons unsuspectingly touch with their hands and subsequently infect their eyes, nose or mouth with the contaminated hands. It is highly contagious. The symptoms include constant coughing, sneezing, short breaths, fever and flu generally. The effect is more deadly on the aged or people with pre-existing medical complications which result in lower immunity and make them more vulnerable to die from the effects of the virus. There is no known cure for the viral disease. Suggestions have ranged from the scientific to the ludicrous. Chloroquine, originally used for malaria, has been cited as possible cure just as everyone is enjoined to build their immunity through healthy food laced with fruits and vegetables while avoiding sugary and alcoholic drinks. Although no certified cure exists, there are ways by which the spread of this virus can be curtailed. Wash your hands regularly with soap after encounter with people or touching suspected contaminated surfases, avoid touching your face with your hands during interaction with people. Maintain a safe distance from people especially those who are constantly sneezing, coughing or showing symptoms. Above all rid yourself from every unrighteousness and go back to God in repentance and prayers to be shielded from this notorious vampire called corona. Remember that when the destroyer shall see the blood, he will pass over you.
This corona episode has exposed some of our weaknesses as a country. The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, made it clear that whoever travelled abroad should come back to a voluntary personal quarantine for 14 days before communing with other people in order to avoid infecting others. Some very powerful men and children came back from abroad and took turns to infect other powerful men and children before submitting themselves for tests when the damage was already done. We had also the case of some worship centers, both churches and mosques, which were quick to disobey government’s directive to shut down services. It is important to note that if anarchy results from the disobedience of lawful directives of civil authorities, the churches and mosques will be the worst hit because every religion teaches forgiveness and not revenge. God instituted civil authorities to protect and preserve humanity and avenge any evil done against anybody. In Romans 13:1-4, God said, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation … For he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” It can be seen that all the churches and mosques that disobeyed the directives of the government in its bid to curtail the spread of this disease have committed sin for which they should ask God for forgiveness. There is no doubt that faith can heal and even prevent coronavirus, but the gift of faith is not given to everyone in equal measure. So we must learn to accommodate both those who are strong in faith and those who are weak in faith and the only institution ordained by God to do this is the government and we are bound to obey them. If these men of God and clerics were a bit more spiritually sensitive, they would have known that God himself was the one who ordered this quarantine and was using the human government to enforce it. In Isaiah 26:20-21, God said “Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.” To whoever is reading this article, I cover you with the mercy of God and the blood of His Son, Jesus. You will see the end of corona virus, it will not see your end. Amen.