The Coming Plagues & COVID-19
The coronavirus, COVID-19, has caused worldwide death and has had devastating effects on the economy of the USA and other nations. The Lord Jesus Christ, surveying the future, warned: “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places” (Mt 24:7). Are the future plagues predicted by Christ far worse than COVID-19?
What Will Future Plagues Do?
The Bible predicts a future seven-year period of horrible judgments before the return of Jesus Christ. The future will witness successive waves of warfare, bloodshed, and widespread famine (Rev 6:3-5), the death of a fourth of the world’s population (6:7-8), the death of a third of sea-life (8:8-9), the poisoning of a third of the fresh water (8:10-11), and the darkening of a third of the heavenly bodies (8:12-13). Then “the bottomless pit … [will be] opened … and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power … And to them it was given that they should … tormen[t] [men] five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them” (9:1-6). Following this plague, demonic beings will be loosed on the earth “to slay the third part of men” (9:13-21).
The Antichrist (1 Jn 2:18) will control a one-world government in which “he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor … to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast [Antichrist, compared to a bloodthirsty animal], or the number of his name.” He will seek to kill all who refuse to worship him and his image or take his mark (Rev 6:1-2; 13:11-18). Those who take the Antichrist’s mark will be able to get this world’s goods, but the Bible warns: “If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name” (14:9-11).
The final plagues before Christ returns are described as: “a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image. … The sea … became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea … the rivers and fountains of waters … became blood. … The sun … [will] scorch men with fire … [following which the sinful world will be] full of darkness; and [men] gnawed their tongues for pain, and blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds” (16:1-9).
Then the kingdom of Antichrist will be destroyed (17-18) and Jesus Christ, the resurrected Lord, will return: “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS” (19:11-16). Christ will rule the world, and His enemies will have to stand before Him in judgment: “I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire … the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (20:11-15; 21:8). “And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” (6:14-17).
These judgments of God will be unutterably horrible—far worse than any plagues humanity has experienced in all its sinful history. In the worst plague of all—eternal torment in the lake of fire—“the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God” (19:15) will be manifest, as He shows to all what the infinite weight of His unrestrained wrath, fury, and fierceness is upon the damned (Rom 9:22) who get what they deserve for their sins.
Why Is Judgment Coming?
Judgment is coming because you—and the rest of the human race—are sinners who have broken the holy law of the pure and righteous God. He commands: “Be ye holy, for I am holy” (1 Pet 1:16), but “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God … there is none righteous, no, not one” (Rom 3:10, 23). You have a sinful nature passed down from the first fallen man, Adam (Rom 5:12-19). God “saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Gen 6:5). You are “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph 2:1); controlled by Satan (2:2); and are “fulfilling the [sinful] desires of [your] flesh and … mind” as by “nature the chil[d] of wrath” (2:3). Because your “heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jer 17:9), unless your sin is taken away, you “cannot please God” but are “defiled and unbelieving” with “nothing pure” (Rom 8:8; Tit 1:15). At this very moment you are “condemned already” (Jn 3:18). “Kno[w] therefore the terror of the Lord” (2 Cor 5:11), and tremble before Christ’s warning: “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell” (Mt 23:33)?
Can I Escape the Coming Judgment?
God has made a way for you to escape His judgment. In fact, before the coming seven-year period of plagues, He will take to Himself those He has redeemed, sparing them from the punishment He will bring on the world (1 Th 5:9; Rev 4:1ff.). Those of His people who die before these judgments begin are immediately in the bliss of heaven (Jn 14:1-3), while those who perish in their sin are immediately “turned into hell” (Ps 9:17). To escape judgment, consider that “the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mk 1:15).
Repent: “Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin … turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die” (Eze 18:30; 33:11)? You will experience the coming “great tribulation” unless you “repent of [your] deeds” (Rev 2:22). Do not be like those who “were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols … neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts … [but] blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds … they repented not to give him glory” (9:20-21; 16:9, 11). Turn from your sins and submit to Christ as Lord!
Believe the gospel: The “gospel” is the good news “that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day” (1 Cor 15:1-4). The Lord Jesus is “God manifest in the flesh” (1 Tim 3:16). He is the Son of God, who has existed from all eternity with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit, the three Persons of the one and only true God (1 Jn 5:7; Mt 28:19). Christ became a Man, lived a sinless life, and then died on the cross, where His Father “made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Cor 5:21). He died to pay in full what you owe for your sin, and then rose from the dead, conquering death and Satan and proving that His payment was enough to remove sin forever. You cannot take your own sins away, but Christ “loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood” (Rev 1:5). You cannot be saved by your works, but you can be saved by Christ’s perfect and complete work on the cross.
You must “believe the gospel” (Mr 1:15). “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (Jn 3:16). Commit or entrust your soul to Jesus Christ alone. Forsake all confidence in any good works or religious rituals you have done, are doing, or plan to do in the future: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph 2:8-9). If you think you will be saved by being a good person, you reject Christ’s work on the cross: “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain” (Gal 2:21). You must be “justified [declared righteous based on Christ’s death] by faith without the deeds of the law” (Rom 3:28) or you will certainly perish eternally. After justifying you, God will change you so that you love Him and His commands, and hate sin, not in order to be saved, but because you are already saved: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Cor 5:17).
Because of the plague of sin, God will soon send plagues that are worse than anything the world has ever experienced, culminating in the worst plague of all—eternity in the lake of fire. Christ promises: “Surely I come quickly” (Rev 22:20). Are you ready for the coming plagues—have you been saved from your sin?