Written by Matt Ward – What a year 2021 has been! Recording-breaking in all the wrong ways. Now that it has drawn to a close, it is perhaps time to start looking more deeply into 2022 and to pondering what prophecy-related challenges this new year may bring.
Many of the issues and trends established in 2021 will continue unabated into and throughout 2022. Many of these trends will become even more entrenched. Some will, no doubt, turn into genuine crisis points for the world.
The following summaries are by no means complete, but they do represent a precis of where I personally see some of the main issues occurring over the next twelve months, especially from a biblically prophetical point of view. I intend to touch on a number of key areas in the following articles, encompassing Coronavirus, the global pandemic and the erosion of personal freedom, Israel, and finally, the key world geopolitical flashpoints for 2022. All these areas are spheres any Christian should be watching closely.
However, before I begin, a word of caution – call it a caveat, if you will. As a Christian who believes in a literal interpretation of the Bible, and especially of Bible prophecy, it is my contention that events are now increasingly spiraling out of control in all spheres. I believe the momentum of events is speeding up too. I genuinely believe that this fallen world has now reached, indeed has far exceeded, the point of no return. It is clearly a fallen world closing in on its death throes, and the only hope here, now or ever, is to be found in a personal salvation established in the blood of, and a personal relationship with, Jesus Christ.
The way of salvation today is just as clear and open to all as it was two thousand years ago. As Paul explained to his jailer 2,000 years ago, so he explains to us all today,
“…and after he brought them out, he said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’”
They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved…” (Acts 16:30-31).
Outside of Jesus, there simply is no hope, individually or corporately. In a world increasingly devoid of hope, this message is all the more important and prescient for it. Today is the day of salvation, not tomorrow,
“For he says, ‘In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.’ I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation’” (2 Corinthians 6:2).
If you have yet to make that fateful decision for Jesus Christ, then do it today. None of us are promised any tomorrows, “…seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near” (Isaiah 55:6).
History, and world events, often take place on a continuum. It is therefore easy to predict that some trends and events next year will likely impact in much the same way as they have this year.
However, it is my contention that these multiple flashpoints are now, alongside other prophetic indicators, converging into a potentially bigger world engulfing series of crises that are beginning to feed into one another. This in itself will likely increase the frequency and severity of what may potentially take place over the next twelve months.
The first potential flashpoint to note for 2022, and the main focus of this article, is perhaps the most obvious one: Covid-19. This is the biggest global topic of 2021 and will no doubt be one of the biggest of 2022. Covid-19 and the endless pandemic it has birthed is not going anywhere anytime soon.
It is hard to quantify the amount of damage Covid-19 has caused over the last 12 months. The damage to the economies of the world alone has been almost incalculable. The negative impact upon trade, tourism, small, medium and larger businesses, and to business owners, the self-employed, those who have lost their jobs because of the pandemic… I could literally go on and on about its impacts. Nothing like this has occurred in recent history, and in terms of impact alone, certainly from an economic point of view, it sits right alongside the Second World War in respect to the damage caused to the worldwide economy.
Yet, despite this, I genuinely believe that some of the more severe consequences that will come to be associated with Covid-19 may remain yet future.
Covid-19 has already deeply impacted our personal freedoms and our civil liberties. This erosion will certainly continue into 2022. Covid-19 is going to be used more and more as a platform to radically change and erode personal freedoms in 2022. To put it bluntly, we are all losing key rights and freedoms in this pandemic that we will never ever get back, short of the return of Jesus Christ himself.
It is highly likely that it will not be too long, perhaps in 2022, that we will see the first ruling for mandatory vaccinations taking place. As of this writing, there is a decision still pending in the U.S. Supreme Court about Biden’s vaccine mandate, which is certain to affect U.S. businesses nationwide. (1)
Of course, it will not be labeled as such. People will still have “a choice.” The catch, though, will be that businesses will not be able to employ you unless you take that vaccination, and shops will not allow you to buy your groceries unless you can prove you are vaccinated. Either way, it will be the same — comply or suffer the consequences. No jab will very soon equal no job.
Unfortunately, for those who choose to remain unvaccinated, I suspect 2022 will not be any easier a place for them than 2021 has been. It is my opinion, just from observing the news and in conversations generally, that many of the vaccinated are rapidly losing their patience with the unvaccinated. This is especially so as one of the many falsehoods circulating right now in Western Europe and America is that the vaccinated are having to take all these necessary precautions imposed upon them by Covid-19 expressly to protect the unvaccinated. That this is just plain nonsense becomes clear when one considers that Omicron, the most recent and virulent variant, is currently spreading with equal speed among both the unvaccinated and the vaccinated alike.
It will also not be long, perhaps in 2022, when every person in Western Europe and the United States of America will have to be able to produce some form of digital “Covid Passport” just to access basic services and facilities. It will not be too long before just such a digital ID will be needed to even “buy and sell.” We have heard this before, and we all know just where that particular thread is heading,
“…that no man can buy or sell, save he that have the mark or the name of the beast or the number of his name” (Revelation 13:17).
This time is almost upon us. How long before this digital passport — already so brazenly and openly discussed by politicians and lawmakers of every political persuasion, which will also be linked to our finances, debt history, social security, criminal records and more — will be replaced “for ease” with some kind of chip, or a quantum Nano tattoo? No doubt inserted on the right hand or the forehead.
“…and he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in the right hand, or in their foreheads…” (Revelation 13:16-17).
In terms of the Coronavirus itself, I also have to wonder if this pandemic will yet take another, more ominous turn. Other commentators have talked often in columns such as this about the birth pains associated with the end of the age. They have talked about how both the frequency and intensity of the birth pains will increase the closer we get to that final terminal hour. With regard to Covid-19, the one question I am constantly asking myself is not how this current phase will come to an end so that life may return to normal (life is never going back to the way it was before), but what may be coming next, further down the line?
No matter what one’s views currently are on the severity of Covid-19, or whether one believes this current crisis is whipped up out of all proportion or not, we do know from scripture that pestilences are a big part of end-time events, that a huge swath of the earth’s population will be killed by just such pestilences and diseases, in just a short time to come. The obvious question one has to ask at this point is whether the pestilences described in scripture are, in fact, further variants of Covid-19, ones that are far more infectious, transmissible and deadly, or something altogether different?
One of the huge, unspoken worries at the moment by those involved in public health is the potential emergence of a super mutation. Currently, with the rise of Omicron, there are two pandemics taking place simultaneously in the world. There is a Delta pandemic and an Omicron pandemic, both separate but taking place at the same time in the same places. The big concern is that an individual who is already immunosuppressed, such as a person living with undiagnosed HIV, may get the Delta variant and the Omicron variant at the same time. The worry is that this could or may then mutate and combine together into a super mutation that would have the transmissibility of Omicron but the increased detrimental health impacts of Delta.
Only time will tell, but it would not surprise me at all if at least some of the pestilences that are described as wiping out a huge percentage of mankind at the end of this age were much more deadly variants of the relatively mild disease that we currently know as Covid-19.
Next time, we will look at God’s prophetic timepiece, Israel.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5).