When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!”8 I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth. (Revelation 6:7-8)
This verse reveals that 25% of the worlds population will be killed by the famine, war, disease, and attack of wild animals at the beginning of the tribulation period. And this is just the start! For comparison, only about 3% of the world’s population died in world war two.
Now some people may say that it is wrong for Jesus to punish the world this way. But God is longsuffering, having waited for 2,000 years at least for people to repent. Human beings are selfish and are naturally bent on war and destruction of each other. In fact, God has graciously limited warfare on the Earth, restraining the evil that could otherwise come (II Thessalonians 2:6). As bad as things have been, they could be a lot worse, since the human heart is capable of almost infinite evil. For now God is giving everyone a chance to repent, but there will be an end to his patience, and then he will stop restraining evil for a period of time.