People may laugh at the idea of a zombie apocalypse, but it’s claimed by some to be possible that if rabies and the flu virus were to form a hybrid, then you would have a deadly combination capable of recreating The Walking Dead in real life. In a similar manner, some Christians fear that if the Ebola virus outbreak were to ever become airborne, the resulting spread of death would be enough to qualify as Biblical prophecy for the end of the world.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, Christian evangelical leader Franklin Graham, son of renowned Billy Graham, is one of many Christian leaders who are wondering aloud whether or not the Ebola virus outbreak seen throughout the world could qualify for the conditions set forth by Jesus Christ and the Apostle John’s writings in Revelation.
“Jesus warned His disciples in Matthew 24 when they asked Him about the signs of the end of the age,” Graham wrote. “He said there would be wars and rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, and pestilence…. We have seen firsthand the pestilence of Ebola. A medical doctor serving with Samaritan’s Purse in Liberia was infected with this deadly virus, but through the prayers of many righteous, God spared his life. I don’t know if we have hours, days, months, or years — but as Christians, God calls us to take the truth of the Gospel to the ends of the earth.”
Franklin is combining Jesus’ words in Matthew 24:7 with descriptions of the Biblical end times of Revelation 6:8. In Bible end times prophecy, one of the famous four horsemen of the apocalypse heralding the end of the world is associated with global plagues like the Ebola virus outbreak and is often called pestilence. In the end, the Bible predicts a quarter of the world’s population will perish.
“I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.”
Reverend Eric Strachan is the pastor of New Life Community Church and he points out that the Mayan calendar panic led to nothing, and there’s even been fellow Christians falsely predicting the end of the world for thousands of years. At the same time, Strachan believes it’s wise to keep an open mind.
“Is the Ebola virus the beginning of a global plague that will cause untold damage worldwide and will it be one of the signs of the end times? Only God knows the answer to that question for sure, but make no mistake about it, global plagues will figure prominently as we move into the climactic days of world history and if you’re out there and you happen to dismiss these predictions as the ramblings of some nutty Christians, be forewarned, for Jesus said it Himself, ‘You also must be ready, because the Son of Man (Jesus) will come at an hour when you do not expect Him.’ (The Bible, Matthew 24:44) Is Ebola the first wave of the coming storm? Who knows. But the wise amongst us, the very wise, will be at the ready, in the event that it is… the beginning of the end!”
According to Christian magazine Charisma News, Christians are divided on whether or not the Ebola virus outbreak signals the end of the world.
“Some think the Ebola outbreak is the first bowl of judgment in the book of Revelation. Others say judgment is coming. Still others think the news of the virus is just fear and propaganda.”
Those of the latter viewpoint highlight how the spread of the Ebola virus is actually fairly limited by its method of transmission. In order to become infected, people have to come in direct contact with body fluids from an infected person. In theory, this should prevent the Ebola virus outbreak from matching the death toll of the Spanish Flu pandemic, which caused an estimated 25 to 50 millions death less than one hundred years ago.
This fact has not prevented the spread of panic in American towns affected by Ebola victims. In Dallas, Texas, parents like Qeuna Dawson are worried about their children going to Jack Lowe Elementary School because a student was removed after coming into contact with the first patient diagnosed with the Ebola virus in the United States.
“I wanted to keep my boys home but they told me the school is safe. But if I hear of one child sneezing, those boys are staying home,” said Dawson. “This is a deadly disease. It’s just crazy.”
Unfortunately, there is a real scenario where those fears may become justified. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevent (CDC) believes there will be 1.4 million cases of the Ebola virus by January of 2015. Anthony Banbury, chief of the United Nations Ebola mission, takes that warning a step further and suggest it’s possible an airborne Ebola virus outbreak could happen.
“The longer it moves around in human hosts in the virulent melting pot that is West Africa, the more chances increase that it could mutate,” Banbury said. “[An airborne Ebola virus] is a nightmare scenario, and unlikely, but it can’t be ruled out.”
The Inquisitr has another in-depth article discussing the Ebola virus in the context of evolutionary theory, but Harvard geneticist Pardis Sabeti worked on the genetic sequence for the Ebola virus during this summer and he believes there’s no reason to panic.
“That’s a worst case scenario, but I’m actually glad we’re thinking worst case scenarios,” says Sabeti, an infectious disease researcher at the Broad Institute and Harvard. “I don’t want people to be scared. I just want them to be prepared. We have in our office something that says ‘No Wishful Thinking.’ We have to be ready for everything.”
What do you think about the idea that the Ebola virus outbreak could represent one of many plagues in Bible end time prophecy?
[Image via Deviant Art]