Economist Jim O’Neill wrote a report about drug-resistant infections, “bacteria and other microbes that have become impervious to antibiotics” (The Atlantic, Ed Yong, 5/19/16). Ten million will die yearly by 2050. O’Neill gives ten suggestions to avert this: improve sanitation, a global surveillance network, a public-awareness campaign, better diagnostic tools, avoid unnecessary use of antibiotics in agriculture, promote effective alternatives, improve incentives for workers, adequately fund and reward those working on the problem, and build a global coalition.
I read this in light of the epidemic we are fighting together. It is the most dangerous threat any of us will face. Many of O’Neill’s suggestions for fighting microbes are the marching orders God has given us to fight sin. Holiness, unity, improved evangelism, Bible study, avoid unnecessary fights, example, focusing more on eternity, better giving, and increased mission efforts all factor in saving more souls!
We don’t know that O’Neill’s prediction will come to pass. But, the Bible tells us in no uncertain terms that “it is appointed unto men once to die, and then the Judgment” (Heb. 9:27). The majority will be lost (cf. Mat. 7:13-14)! God is counting on us, Christians, to stem that tide as much as possible (Mark 16:15-16). Every individual you and I reach with the gospel is one less who will succumb to this eternally fatal threat!