Monday, June 22

Revelation: Tough Days Ahead

Is the Swine Flu a big deal? I am sure it is to those who have it or know someone who does. But, on the whole, is it a big deal? Maybe the better question is, Is it the big deal the WHO and media are making it out to be?

Are you aware of the swine flu epidemic of 1976? There was a big push to get people vaccinated to stave off this world killer. I think there was one reported fatality. Check out the YouTube ad from 1976: swine flu ad

Regardless of the relevance of the Swine Flu, the fear created by the WHO and our government is very real for some. This has created worldwide panic unseen since ... er ... 1976!

In Revelation 6 we read about very scary times for the world. Times of war and killing. Times of economic upheaval. Times of famine and disease. Times where the heavens will seem to have gone crazy with stars falling from the sky. Times where 1,676,748,288 will die (1/4 of the earth based on 6/08 estimate of earth's population). That is a few more than the 1 person that died from the Swine Flu at Fort Dix in 1976!

Read: Revelation 6
1 As I watched, the Lamb broke the first of the seven seals on the scroll. Then I heard one of the four living beings say with a voice like thunder, “Come!” 2 I looked up and saw a white horse standing there. Its rider carried a bow, and a crown was placed on his head. He rode out to win many battles and gain the victory.

3 When the Lamb broke the second seal, I heard the second living being say, “Come!” 4 Then another horse appeared, a red one. Its rider was given a mighty sword and the authority to take peace from the earth. And there was war and slaughter everywhere.

5 When the Lamb broke the third seal, I heard the third living being say, “Come!” I looked up and saw a black horse, and its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. 6 And I heard a voice from among the four living beings say, “A loaf of wheat bread or three loaves of barley will cost a day’s pay. And don’t waste the olive oil and wine.”

7 When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the fourth living being say, “Come!” 8 I looked up and saw a horse whose color was pale green. Its rider was named *Death, and his companion was the Grave. These two were given authority over one-fourth of the earth, to kill with the sword and famine and disease and wild animals.

9 When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of all who had been martyred for the word of God and for being faithful in their testimony. 10 They shouted to the Lord and said, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you judge the people who belong to this world and avenge our blood for what they have done to us?” 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them. And they were told to rest a little longer until the full number of their brothers and sisters—their fellow servants of Jesus who were to be martyred—had joined them.

12 I watched as the Lamb broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake. The sun became as dark as black cloth, and the moon became as red as blood. 13 Then the stars of the sky fell to the earth like green figs falling from a tree shaken by a strong wind. 14 The sky was rolled up like a scroll, and all of the mountains and islands were moved from their places.

15 Then everyone—the kings of the earth, the rulers, the generals, the wealthy, the powerful, and every slave and free person—all hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16 And they cried to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. 17 For the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to survive?”

The breaking of the seals is bad for the inhabitants of the earth. With each broken seal judgment begins to fall on those that denied Christ and ignored the will of God. It is so bad, in fact, that the folks on the earth would rather be dead then live through it (v. 16)!

In a relativistic culture, where everything is gray, there is little room for a God that places expectations or draws lines. We like easy gods we can control and make likeable to others. In a relativistic culture what is good for you is good for you and what is good for me is good for me and there is no right or wrong, just "my freedom to chose what I want and not be told it is wrong or be held accountable for it". This thinking effects kings and rulers, the wealthy and powerful and even slaves (v. 17).

Christians fall for this too. We are so far down the "grace path" and we are so open that we might forget that there are real consequences to actions and that judgment is not always bad. Note the attitude of those that were killed for their faith in vv. 9-11. When given a chance to finally speak to God they don't ..... they SHOUT to Him! They cry out for justice and judgment on those that killed them. In other words, even after seeing the God of grace and truth, even after having time to get over it they instead shout out for justice and judgment. This is a testimony against those that harmed them but also a testimony against our Christian relativism that might think that too harsh.

Please note that there are no relativists when judgment begins! From the kings to the slaves, everyone knows Who is judging them and why. They are not arguing any more about the right or wrong, they are trying to manage the abject fear of being the focus of a holy God.

Is your thinking culturally or biblically derived? How do you know? Do you have God's view of the world? Do you know that there is black and white in life?

You might say something is white and I might say it is black. The rule of logic says we cannot both be right. We can both be wrong but we cannot both be right. As an example, someone may say that life begins at conception. Someone else might say that the union of sperm and egg is just plasma stuff and that it is not life until it is born. They cannot both be right.

Make it a point to study the Bible for yourself. Do not be content with what you learned in Sunday School as a kid or what your pastor feeds you on a weekly basis. Study to show yourself a workman approved. Dig in to the Bible. Look up words. Understand the context. Pray for wisdom and insight.

DevoLink: Devotions to help you Link with God.

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