Who could have guessed, around this time last year, all that the future would hold? In much the same way, the events described in Revelation chapter 6 will come on a world unprepared. In this week’s episode of “5 Minutes with Pastor Lutzer,” Pastor again addresses the question of whether the pandemic is a direct result of God’s judgment. We learn that nothing we see today compares to what is coming and the time is short to turn to Christ.
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Transcript: Welcome to “5 Minutes With Pastor Lutzer.” I’m so glad that you joined us today as we continue our discussion of “Pandemics, Plagues and Natural Disasters: what is God saying to us?”—a very critical question. Now, I want to suggest that natural disasters are actually a preview of future judgments. You know, Jesus said in Luke 21—He said that in the last days, there’s going to be pestilence and so people ask me, “Pastor Lutzer, is COVID a fulfillment of the words of Jesus?” My answer would be: no, not really. I think that there’s going to be a different kind of pestilence to come, but this is critical, it’s a picture of the kind of experience that people are going to have in the future that is going to be much worse. If you go to a movie theater, you know that there’s a preview—preview of coming attractions, usually filled with a lot of trash, but nonetheless, it’s saying “this is on the way” and what we are seeing in the world today is a preview of coming judgments.
Now, if you came to this episode today hoping that I would give you something warm and encouraging—I will have an encouraging word at the end but we’re going to cover some very hard truth that the Church of Jesus Christ needs to hear. One time, I read the book of Revelation just looking at the parallels between what is happening today and what is going to happen in the future and I’ll tell you things are going to get much worse before they get better. The worst is yet to come. I’m only going to read one passage from the book of Revelation, for example, in chapter six—“When he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say ‘Come!’ and I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And it’s rider’s name was Death and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with the sword and with famine and with pestilence and even by the wild beasts of the world.” Did you get that? You know in COVID perhaps 1 or 2% of the people who have it die; imagine being in a plague where a fourth of the people die, either with sword or pestilence. Can you even imagine how bad it’s going to get? Last year there was a plague of locusts in Africa. Terrible. I read about it. Awful. But if you look at Revelation 9, you discover that there are locusts like scorpions that come to torment human beings far worse than we saw in Africa. When we look at these natural disasters, we have to recognize that God is saying the worst is yet to come.
I think I have time to quote another passage. It says, “When he had opened the sixth seal, behold, there was a great earthquake. The sun became black as sackcloth of hair and the moon became as blood and the stars of the heavens fell onto the earth, even as a fig tree cast her untimely figs when she is shaken of a mighty wind. The heavens departed as a scroll when it is rolled together and every mountain and island removed out of its places and the great men and the rich men and the bond man and the free man hid themselves in the dens and caves and rocks of the mountains and said to the mountains and rocks, ‘fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb.’” Can you think of anything more terrifying than the natural disasters that are still going to come on the earth? When you look around today, God is saying, “Prepare! Because the worst is yet to come.” And isn’t it wonderful that Jesus is the one who delivers us from the wrath to come, the wrath of the Lamb, the wrath of God, and that’s the point that is very hopeful. I say to you today with a sorrowing heart: That this world is headed for great judgment during the period that we call “the tribulation” and so if you want a hopeful word today, I can do nothing better than to quote the words of Anne Cousin. Now, her husband was a pastor in Scotland and perhaps you’ve heard me quote these words before because I love them so much. “Oh Christ, what burdens bow’d thy head! Our load was laid on Thee; Thou stoodest in the sinner’s stead, Didst bear all ill for me. Death and the curse were in our cup, Oh Christ, ‘twas full for Thee! But Thou hast drained the last dark drop—‘Tis empty now for me.”
In a future episode, we’re going to be talking about how we can escape, of course, the judgment that is coming and it all has to do with Jesus, who bore the judgment for all those who would believe on Him. Today, I want you to leave giving Him praise and glory for the redemption that He purchased for all who trust Him. Thanks so much for joining us and actually we’re going to continue this discussion about the judgments to come next time but as for today you just go with God.