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With the coronavirus pandemic spreading across the globe, a lingering question has resurfaced: "Are we witnessing the end of the world?"
Tom Meyer, a Bible professor who has the Book of Revelation memorized, has written a verse-by-verse commentary on the final chapter in the New Testament.
"What is happening in the world isn't new, it has happened before," said Meyer, also known as "The Bible Memory Man," in an interview with Fox News.
"We should think of the current outbreak as a preview of things to come, the slightest taste of what life will be like during the Great Tribulation as recorded in the Book of Revelation," Meyer says.
The Book of Revelation, the last book in the Christian Bible, is interpreted by many evangelical scholars as a description of Jesus returning to Earth. At that point, it depicts believers being raptured to heaven and those left behind suffering tribulation, but Christians have varying views on this.
Meyer explains Christians will be delivered, but unbelievers will suffer for 42 months until Jesus returns to Earth to destroy the Antichrist and establish his rule in Jerusalem for a millenium.
According to the Christian professor, who studied in Israel, "Global pandemics, like we are all currently suffering through, are a wake-up call to the world to get right with God now through Jesus, the Jewish Messiah."
Other scholars, though, have differing views.
“If a person were just completely ignorant about what the Bible says about the end times, they may think this right now: 'This is it,'” Jeff Kinley, a biblical prophecy author, told the Washington Post.
He said one of the major signposts, which doesn’t have to do with war or famine or disease, in the Bible has yet to occur. The ancient temple must be rebuilt in Jerusalem, he said, referring to the building of the Third Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
The Jewish Third Temple was unrealized, after Solomon’s Temple was destroyed by Neo-Babylonian Empire in 586 BCE and the rebuilt Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE.
“The key focus that we have in our minds is Israel," Gary Ray, a writer for the prophecy website, Unsealed, agreed in a comment to the Washington Post. "That’s God’s prophetic clock.