What if …?
What if the seals of Revelation are end-time events that take a lifetime or more to unfold?
What if Jesus opened the first seal, a rider on a white horse, seventy years ago?
Formation of the State of Israel, the first seal. As a horse carries a rider on its back, God graciously carried Jews to the land he promised their fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, where, on May 14, 1948, they established the first Jewish state in two thousand years. Israel has military strength (a bow), has won sovereignty (given a victor’s crown), and has fought several wars with neighboring Muslim nations, extending its borders (a conqueror bent on conquest).
Terrorism, the second seal. A rider on a red horse takes peace from the earth, making men slay each other. Violence and murder not only headline the news but touch us personally. GlobalIncidentMap.com monitors terrorism, gang activity, etc. in real time. The Global Terrorism Index ranks the nations of the world according to terrorist activity.
Hunger, the third seal. A rider on a black horse weighs grain for bread against a manual worker’s daily wage. The laborer will only be able to buy one loaf of wheat bread with what he earned that day. Yet there will be enough wine for people to party and become drunk. In developing countries one in eight people is at risk for hunger, nearly one in ten in my community. According to WikiAnswers the average daily wage in the world is $1.65. In many places that’s not enough to buy a loaf of bread!
Hate crime, the fourth seal. Death comes riding on a pale horse followed by a rider named Hell. The riders are given authority over one fourth of the earth, either earth’s geography or its population, to kill those they hate. Their crimes against humanity include mass killings, forced deportation, genocidal rape, etc. The UN secretary-general noted that the frequent occurrence of ethnic cleansing in the 1990s was not the by-product of war. Rather, civilians were deliberately targeted in an attempt to expel or eliminate segments of the population.
Christian Martyrs. When the fifth seal is opened, those who are slain for being faithful to the Word of God and for proclaiming Jesus, cry out to God for justice. The World Watch List ranks the top fifty countries where Christians face the greatest persecution. A world map at Persecution.org shows the thirty most recent persecution reports, including the deaths of Christians killed for their faith.
What if …? Then the first five seals of Revelation read like my lifetime!
And … Hate crime and violence against Christians will spread and intensify until the sixth seal is opened. The apostle Peter encouraged Christians to stand firm in the face of persecution. From the album “Apologia – Answers for Troubled Minds” this video is music overlaid on slides.
Click here for the seals of Revelation.
Read about ethnic cleansing here.
Print sheet music for wind quartet is available for Stand Firm.
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