Do you ever try to figure out how the stuff in Revelation is going to go down and the World will just blow it off like, “Yeah, it sucks… but whatevs”. I’ve had a theory for a while that things are just going to continue to get worse and worse until life as we know it will be so bad that the judgements of God will just be … worse. Well, of course that’s very much like labor pangs. They start out light and build up.
Anyway, I decided tonight was a good night to spit this out on paper. This week has been rough as I watch the world get worse and worse and more and more hateful. Please feel free to discuss in comments!!
2 Thessalonians 2: 11 For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, 12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.
- In other words, they’ll believe it’s just a dark chapter in history. Most deluding influences in the Bible involve initial self-deception that God causes to stick so that the folks self-deluding can’t go back on their choice at the last minute.
- Scholars are divided about whether or not folks can be saved in the Trib, and then again divided about who can be saved if folks can be saved. Ice-water fills my veins when I think that there are solid men of God who don’t believe (based on this verse) that those who had the gospel given to them prior to the start of the Trib will be able to be saved. I pray that God instead chooses to smack the World upside the head for His usual purposes, to get their attention in a last-minute bid for faith. I have too many unsaved friends to do other than hold that hope… and I don’t believe that God would torment the earth for that long without a *reason*. That’s not in character. If He’s just going to squish something, He doesn’t mess around.
2 Thessalonians 2:6 And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.
- Those of us who believe in the Rapture consider this a reference to the Holy Spirit. Because each believer is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, when we leave, the earth will have less of a presence of the Spirit, thus less restraint. And frankly, believers stop a lot of evil just by being faithful to God.
Revelation 6:2 I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.
- This is generally understood as AntiChrist. Someone’s going to show up, and much of the World is going to greet him as a savior. The more division we sow, the worse the economy, the bigger the mess, the better a charismatic ruler who can “fix everything” is going to sound. You can see this hunger developing now. We’ve had plenty of demagogues in our time, I don’t know that this is particularly difficult to envision.
Revelation 6: 4 And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him.
- This doesn’t mean war, per say – this means a warlike spirit. I think that the riots we’re seeing are only the beginning. Violence between individuals, races, nations. Humans are nasty critters, and the evil in men’s hearts will finally be manifest.
Revelation 6:5 When He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, “Come.” I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. 6 And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine.”
- Note that basic foods are expensive and luxury foods are not damaged.
Revelation 6:8 I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.
- The additional causes of death here are pestilence and wild beasts. All four horsemen together kill 1/4 of the world’s population. Can we look at pestilence? How many diseases have threatened us with major plagues in the last five years, only to be tamped down? How would it be if antibiotic resistant strains of Ebola and Spanish Flu showed up, while Zika caused babies to die en masse? (I always watch disease that disproportionately affects children and babies, as I think as many as possible will be spared the experience of the Tribulation. No, I don’t believe in infant damnation).
- Wild beasts are odd. There just aren’t that many hungry polar bears sitting outside weather stations… I believe the Word, I just don’t see this. Yet. Of course “wild beasts” can be quite small. Insects are beasts.
Revelation 6:11 And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also.
- Martyrs. Well, we’ve all noticed that serious Christians are about as popular as Chicken Pox these days. *That’s* only going to get worse.
Stuff I look at – carcinogens in the water supply. Killing off the bees. Pandemics. Changing attitudes. Food instability. It’s creepy out there, folks. As Pastor Mike says, “The trumpet case is open”. :P
My heart cries because of the ugliness we humans have embraced, and I scream maranatha with my whole heart. And then I think about my beloved unsaved and I can’t scream it so loud.
It’s hard to understand that we’re on mission until we’re called off the field. This is a war zone, and our various ways to forget that it has always been one are disappearing. It was CS Lewis who said that the very presence of our craving for the undiscovered country was proof that it exists…
One day we’ll get our rewards, and live in peace and plenty and perfection – but that day is not today.