A Third of Mankind was Killed

12/31/2011 09:03

As we enter into 2012, the world population is at 7 billion. There are 7 billion people on this planet! With the recent debates about national debt being in the trillions, I’m not sure people appreciate big numbers anymore. They’re just numbers they say. If we can’t appreciate debt, let’s at least appreciate numbers when those numbers represent people. 

In trying to put some perspective on these numbers, let’s go back to the World War One era and then move up from there.  Back then the world population was a mere 1.86 billion. WWI took out 15 million who died in war related injuries. Although that was quite notable, The Spanish Flu ravaged during the same time period causing worse casualties than the war.

The 1918 influenza pandemic was the first one involving the H1N1. The second happened in 2009. The 1918 pandemic killed 50 million, although some reports go as high as 100 million.  It was bad.  That was about 3% of the population who died with the flu. The war and the pandemic both conservatively killed 65 million people or about 3.5% of the world’s population. Although 3.5% isn’t a huge number, those who remained had the heaviness of death and it’s effect to deal with for years, and a lot of people were touched by it in one way or another.

The world population in the 1940s was just over 2 billion and WWII resulted in the deaths of 26.6 million; a little over 1% of the population.

Can you imagine what the effect of one third of the population dying might be like?

A third of mankind was killed by these three plagues, by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which proceeded out of their mouths.  Revelation 9:18.

If this happened right now, 2.31 billion people would die.

OK, I know there are a lot of theological and dogma type issues with that simple statement related to when it happens, the rapture, and a few other details, but my point is this:  looking over history we see the effect of small percentages of the total population dying.  This future event is beyond what the mind can comprehend—33% of the total world’s population will die within the period of seven years. Actually, thee will be more than that—I’m just citing a specific number revealed in the sixth trumpet judgment. There are not enough morgues, mortuaries, or people to keep up with it.

These are gruesome facts, but if they will compel people to turn to Christ, then the numbers have value.  There are parts of the end times revelation that are far from pleasant, but ignoring those parts places us in the position of judging God’s word and that’s not a place in which we want to be. The message of Revelation was delivered to humanity for specific reasons and we have the hope that the message will speak to people’s hearts and that they will turn to Christ.

For the church, the message is clear—quit siting around waiting for a rapture to deliver you and get out and reach people. The door is closing on this opportunity—we need to become the church of Jesus by becoming fishers of men. We catch and He cleans. 

I’m preaching to myself too here. You know the old saying, one finger pointed at you and three pointing back at me. Let’s do it!




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