Seven Deadly Sins Listed in the Bible's Revelation in the Last Days
- Summary: Most of the Book of Revelation is a book of prophecy (Rev. 22:7,10,18,19). In its 9th chapter there is an end-times list of seven deadly sins that is quite different from the traditional seven deadly sins list of anger, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony. Come see these seven sins that will be so prevalent in the last days at the end of the world we live in.
Revelation 9:13-21 The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the horns of the golden altar that is before God.  It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” ...  A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of their mouths....  The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood — idols that cannot see or hear or walk.  Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.
- •• The Book of Revelation, from chapter 4:1 on, was primarily a prophecy of the end times, the "latter days." The apostle John prophesied of seven deadly sins, 7 things to repent for, that will be prevalent in the last days — (1) demon worship, (2) idolatry, (3) murder, (4) magic arts/witchcraft, (5) sexual immorality, (6) theft, and (7) refusal to repent. The context makes it clear that these are sins that will be especially seen among those living in the end times.
•• Notice first the key statement in these verses — “[They] did not repent.” This is both tragic and spiritually destructive, since it is sincere repentance, coupled with faith in Jesus Christ, that spares us from the wrath of God.
- • Proverbs 28:13, KJV “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”
• Acts 3:19 “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”
- •• A reminder: the warning here for us in the Revelation is a list of seven deadly sins in the end times — (1) demon worship, (2) idolatry, (3) murder, (4) magic arts/witchcraft, (5) sexual immorality, (6) theft, and (7) refusal to repent.
- • This is a list of seven specific sins that God singles out to the writer John that will characterize the blatant ungodliness of the latter days. It’s not that these will be the only sins at the end of the days of the Church age. But they will be prevalent ones, sins entirely inconsistent with and destructive to an upright walk with God. These 7 sins, so harmful to our Christian walk, are not the same as the historical list of "seven deadly sins" created in the early Church several centuries after Christ's time on earth. By contrast, this list in Revelation was given directly to the apostle John in a heavenly vision.
• And that, of course, serves as a warning to us to be especially vigilant, lest these sins creep into our lives in these biblical “last days”.
- •• Let’s now examine the apostle John's prophetic identification of seven deadly end-time sins and receive it as a relevant warning from the Lord.
- • Proverbs 27:12 The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.
(1) “worshiping demons” — Man is made to worship. All human cultures show a tendency to worship, whether it be God or their own gods.
- •• This was one of Satan’s temptations of Jesus in the desert — Matthew 4:8-10 Again, the devil took [Jesus] to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.  All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”  Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’ ”
- • Look at America today, and you’ll see much of this sin — occult practices, Satanist churches, witchcraft, etc. As a website designer, I spend time researching web statistics about areas of interest to the general public. I noticed this frequently-asked question in Google searches: "Is witchcraft a deadly sin?" Yes, yes it is, God's Word says.
• So watch for an increase of devil worship and spiritism in the last days, at the end of the age. Avoid like the plague such things as horoscopes, ouija boards, and the like.
(2) “Worshiping ... idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood — idols that cannot see or hear or walk.”
- •• This is a companion sin to #1 above. Demon worship and idolatry go hand in hand. And both sinful practices will be widespread signs of the end times.
- • It is all leading up to the ultimate idolatry, the worship of the image of the Antichrist-Beast in Revelation 13. Such idolatry incurs God’s fierce wrath — Revelation 14:11 “And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image...”
- •• Notice what happens when men choose not to worship the true God — they end up worshiping “the work of their hands” (20).
- • The sinful tendency of man is to substitute his own creations, ideas, and preferences for those of God.
(3) “Murders” — Jesus called Satan a murderer (John 8:44). Adam and Eve's son Cain was a murderer (1 John 3:12). These days in which we live are a time of much murder.
- •• Homicides have turned many of our nation’s cities into war zones.
•• Crazed suicide bombers, including the infamous 9-11-2001 terrorists in the USA, are frequently in the headlines.
•• In America a million and a half babies’ lives annually are snuffed out in the womb through the violence of abortion.
•• Violence short of murder is everywhere, even on our highways, where “road rage” has become a common occurrence.
(4) “Magic arts [NIV] or sorceries [KJV]” — The Greek word is “pharmakia”, the root of our English word “pharmacy”. There is a direct reference to drugs here.
- •• Vine’s Greek dictionary says of pharmakia: “...primarily signified the use of medicine, drugs, spells ... In sorcery, the use of drugs ... was generally accompanied by incantations and appeals to occult powers...”
•• Witness the flood of illegal drug use today. Lives and families are being ruined by addictions that the Bible says will be prevalent at the end of the age.
(5) “Sexual immorality” — Again, remember the key: “They did not repent” of their immorality and these other named sins. Repentance brings forgiveness. So no matter how deeply you may have fallen into sexual sin, God is ready and willing to forgive those who are truly repentant and willing to confess and forsake those sins.
- •• The Greek word used here covers the broad realm of sexual immorality — both adultery and fornication, heterosexuality and homosexuality, incest and other forms of sexual perversion.
•• Bible teacher Kevin Conner has written: “These days under the sixth trumpet will be days of lust, sensuality, lewdness, abominations, adulteries, fornications, licentiousness and sex perversion. It will be a collapse of morals. It will be the breakdown of the institution and ordinance of marriage and the home.”
- • His words have sadly proven true in our day. As just one example, some studies report that the divorce rate among Christians has now surpassed the divorce rate among the general population in the USA. The Hollywood scene flaunts its “love ‘em and leave ‘em” philosophy so openly that it has permeated our culture to its core.
- •• In the face of all this, it is urgent that we be reminded of the Bible’s straightforward warnings:
- • “Flee from sexual immorality” (1 Corinthians 6:18).
• “God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral” (Hebrews 13:4).
(6) “Thefts” —
- •• This is a specific instance of the character trait of dishonesty. In the last days we will be increasingly unable to trust the truthfulness of other people’s words or actions. Contracts will be routinely violated, property becomes unsafe, swindlers will abound.
- • In our day famous CEOs of major corporations have been indicted for fraud.
• Well-known accounting firms have been found to engage in deceitful practices.
(7) These people living at the end of the age “still did not repent” —
- •• God’s mercy is vast; He forgives those who come sincerely to Him in repentance — “There is forgiveness with thee” (Psalm 130:4, KJV).
•• This seventh deadly sin of the end times essentially mocks the grace of God. Despite God’s offer of mercy and forgiveness, many last-days sinners will still not repent (vss. 20,21).
Some closing thoughts:
- •• These seven sins and others will abound in the last days.
•• Their all-encompassing problem, which serves as a lesson for us living at the end of the age, was that they “did not repent.”
•• Notice the violation of most of the Ten Commandments:
- • First = “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” — they will worship demons.
• Second = “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image” — they will make idols and bow down to them.
• Sixth = “Thou shalt not kill” — they will commit “murders”!
• Seventh = “Thou shalt not commit adultery” — they will engage in “sexual immorality”.
• Eighth and Tenth = “Thou shalt not steal ... not covet” — they will covet what belongs to others, and that leads to thefts.
- •• Biblical signs of the end times are appearing with more frequency and clarity. As the literal last days draw closer, let these Scriptures on seven deadly sins in the end times lend an urgency to the need to strengthen our own walks with the Lord.
In summary, watch out for seven deadly sins that will be prevalent in the latter days:
- 1. worshiping demons
2. worshiping idols, the work of man’s hands
4. magic arts, sorceries, drugs
5. sexual immorality
6. thefts, dishonesty
7. failure to repent of sin
You might be interested in a related message on sin at our sermon: 'Does God Forgive Deliberate Sin? Willful Sin? Intentional Sin?'
BONUS! For those desiring an in-depth study of the end times, I highly recommend Bible teacher Elton McMillan's website. I believe it's among the very best end-time Bible studies available today. Elton's many excellent, descriptive charts and artwork are best viewed on your desktop or laptop computer. You'll find this free treasure trove of last-days teaching at The End Times Explained Step by Step | Bride of Christ
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©2002, James H. Feeney.
Pentecostal Sermons and Bible Studies
by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.