BBC: Global insect decline may see ‘plague of pests’

Insects  (Photo Credit: Pixabay)


The BBC reported the following:

Global insect decline may see ‘plague of pests’

11 February 2019

A scientific review of insect numbers suggests that 40% of species are undergoing “dramatic rates of decline” around the world.

The study says that bees, ants and beetles are disappearing eight times faster than mammals, birds or reptiles.

But researchers say that some species, such as houseflies and cockroaches, are likely to boom. …

Published in the journal Biological Conservation, it reviews 73 existing studies from around the world published over the past13 years.

The researchers found that declines in almost all regions may lead to the extinction of 40% of insects over the next few decades. One-third of insect species are classed as Endangered.

“The main factor is the loss of habitat, due to agricultural practices, urbanisation and deforestation,” lead author Dr Francisco Sánchez-Bayo, from the University of Sydney, told BBC News.

“Second is the increasing use of fertilisers and pesticides in agriculture worldwide and contamination with chemical pollutants of all kinds. Thirdly, we have biological factors, such as invasive species and pathogens; and fourthly, we have climate change, particularly in tropical areas where it is known to have a big impact.” …

“Fast-breeding pest insects will probably thrive because of the warmer conditions, because many of their natural enemies, which breed more slowly, will disappear, ” said Prof Dave Goulson from the University of Sussex who was not involved in the review.

“It’s quite plausible that we might end up with plagues of small numbers of pest insects, but we will lose all the wonderful ones that we want, like bees and hoverflies and butterflies and dung beetles that do a great job of disposing of animal waste.”

As regular readers of this Church of God News page are aware, I have covered the decline and potential impact of the loss of bees for many years (e.g. ‘Bee Apocalypse Now’).

Furthermore, the old Worldwide Church of God (WCG) warned of humans destroying beneficial insects and other life decades ago through chemicals:

Modern man also uses poisonous insecticides, which not only exterminate insects, but also many helpful forms of life in the soil and air. Insecticides also enter the ecological web of life and threaten the extinction of birds and mammals. Even man himself is potentially in danger! (Lesson 2 – World Peace – Coming In Our Time! 1983)

That being said, Jesus Himself warned that the “signs” of the end of the age would include pestilences:

7…And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. (Matthew 24:6-8)

11 And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven. (Luke 21:11)

While the above will likely include human-engineered pests, natural pests are also expected to be an issue.

In the sixth chapter of the Book of Revelation, the ride of four horsemen are described. The passages about the fourth horseman are as follows:

7 When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come and see.” 8 So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth. (Revelation 6:7-8)

So, the opening of the fourth seal is the time that the pale horse of death is apparently increasing death by war, hunger, and pestilences (the beasts of the earth).

Notice something the late Pastor General of the old Worldwide Church of God (WCG) cited decades ago:

a quotation from a former Harvard Professor who gave this report to ‘The Plain Truth’. He is now President of the Physicians for Social Responsibility; and this is the quote.

“Survival is the only issue that matters now. The other issues pale into total insignificance if we don’t do anything about it, that is the nuclear war threat, within 10 – 20 years we’ll all be killed anyhow.”

  “In the first milliseconds after detonation, gamma radiation would kill everything within six miles [just in milliseconds]. An electromagnetic pulse created by the nuclear blast would fuse all unprotected circuitry within several hundred miles, knocking out communication. A fireball would consume everything within 280 square miles [now this is only one bomb — 280 square miles], in ten seconds. Followed by a blast wave that would flatten remaining structures within four and one half miles, and severely damage other buildings dozens of miles away.”
“If the device exploded near the ground, hundreds of tons of debris now highly radioactive, would be thrown into the air; returning and settling for days afterward as fine deadly ash. And the long term effects are as devastating as the initial blast. If the device exploded on the ground, the surrounding area would be uninhabitable for decades.”  …
“The high radiation would kill most, if not all, of the local bird population, allowing the exponential growth of radiation-resistant insects. Radioactive particles would cause ‘beta burns’ and kill plant life. Radioactive fallout would be carried into water supplies and aquifers through streams and lakes, rendering drinking water unfit in many areas.”(Armstrong HW. The Unthinkable Will Happen. Sermon: June 19, 1982)

Notice that the idea that certain insects would grow exponentially has been a concern from some time. Insects are also a threat as various ones, like mosquitoes, carry various diseases.

How serious of a threat are pestilences? Notice also the following from an old WCG sermon:

In Chapter five, of the prophecy of Ezekiel, and verse twelve, “A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with the famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee:” That means one third of our people are going to die in this famine, this terrible drought — it’s going to be, it surely will be virtually nationwide. I don’t know that this scripture tells us how many states it’s going to cover but it’s going to be the greatest thing that has ever hit this earth and the most terrible thing, the most devastating thing and disease epidemics are going to follow as they naturally would, in the wake of a thing like that. And one-third of our people are going to be killed by it.

When, if God doesn’t step in and supernaturally and intervene — which He will — that no flesh could be saved alive. That humanity would be blasted off of this continent.
Now, what does Ezekiel says about that? And the third part, after a third of our people die in the famine, and the disease epidemic, “…a third part fall by the sword round about thee” (Ezekiel 5:12) and the remaining third are to be scattered into the land of our enemies unless we repent and turn to God. You’re getting that warning, my friends … You’d better repent while there’s time.  (Armstrong HW. Radio broadcast titled: Man’s Last Chance )

And, yes, the old WCG was right that repentance in needed. And yes, the solution will be God’s intervention, and the establishment of the coming Kingdom of God.

That is good news.

However, before then, more pestilences are coming (Revelation 6:7-8).

Is God Calling You?

If so, properly respond to that calling.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse What is the pale horse of death and pestilences? What will it bring and when? Spanish: El cuarto jinete de Apocalipsis, el caballo pálido de muerte y pestilencia.
Is God Calling You? This booklet discusses topics including calling, election, and selection. If God is calling you, how will you respond? Here is a link to a related sermon: Could God be Calling You?
Christian Repentance Do you know what repentance is? Is it really necessary for salvation? A related sermon is also available titled: Real Christian Repentance.
Just What Do You Mean — Repentance? Do you know what repentance is? Have you truly repented? Repented of what? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject.

The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
Differences Between Islam and the Continuing Church of God What are some of the main differences? Are there any similarities? A video of related interest is titled: Islam: Any Christian Concerns or Similarities?
GMOs and Bible Prophecy What are GMOs? Since they were not in the food supply until 1994, how could they possibly relate to Bible prophecy? Do GMOs put the USA and others at risk? Here is a related YouTube video GMO Risks and the Bible.
Chimeras: Has Science Crossed the Line? What are chimeras? Has science crossed the line? Does the Bible give any clues? A video of related interest is Half human, half pig: What’s the difference?
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse What do each of the four horseman of the Apocalypse represent? Have they began their ride? Did Jesus discuss the any of this? Might their rides coincide with the “beginning of sorrows? Do they start their ride prior to the Great Tribulation? Did Nostradamus or any other ‘private prophets’ write predictions that may mislead people so that they may not understand the truth of one or more of the four horseman? There is also a related YouTube video titled The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2019, 2020, or 2021? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2018 o 2019? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon videos: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives and Can the Great Tribulation begin before 2020? A shorter and newer video is: Might the Great Tribulation start in 2019?

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