Summary: The four horsemen of the apocalypse are on the horizon: world-wide conquest, world-wide conflict, worldwide famine, and world-wide death. That can mean only one thing: Jesus is coming soon! Be ready.
On March 11, 2004, terrorists exploded 10 bombs in Madrid, Spain, killing almost 200, wounding another 1,800. Two months later there was a scare in Philadelphia. It was May 5th, and a conductor for Pennsylvania's transit authority discovered something frightening on the tracks near Philly's massive 30th street station. It was an electronic transmitter, planted alongside the tracks in the commuter rail yard. Agents from the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI soon swarmed the scene. Investigators discovered that the mysterious gadget was in fact a motion detector designed to send a signal to a nearby receiver. Tension mounted.
Finally, a train mechanic stepped forward and admitted installing the transmitter. Was he a terrorist, or a disgruntled employee looking for revenge? No, the mechanic worked the graveyard shift and had installed the motion detector to sound an alarm in his work area whenever his supervisor was approaching. That way he could safely take a nap; if the alarm went off, he could get up and look busy when the boss showed up. (Jere Downs, “Device Found by Tracks,” Philadelphia Inquirer; www. PreachingToday.com)
Let me tell you: the “Boss” is about to show up. “Alarms” are going off all over the world, pointing to the very soon coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
When that happens, the dead in Christ will rise from their graves, and we who know the Lord, we who are believers in Christ will be “caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17).
That’s wonderful, but those who are left behind on this earth will go through seven years of tribulation. They will go through seven years of hardship, such as the world has never known before we return with Christ to set up His Kingdom.
Now, I believe that that time of tribulation is very near. Like I said, alarms pointing to Christ's arrival are going off all over the world. If you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn with me to the book of Revelation, chapter 6, Revelation 6, where we’ll see the first six of those alarms.
Revelation 6:1-2 Now I watched when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer. (ESV)
The beginning of the tribulation starts with the arrival of a champion.
THERE WILL BE WORLD-WIDE CONQUEST
A conqueror will appear on the scene. A victorious leader will come riding on a white horse.
When Rome’s generals would return from war victorious, they would parade down main street on a white horse. This is a war hero we have here. The bow speaks of military might, and the crown is a champion’s crown. He has been victorious in battle, and now he returns home to celebrate his victory. He’s got the Medal of Honor (so to speak), and he is parading up and down the streets to receive the praise of the people.
Let me tell you, the people of the world are looking for such a hero today. They are looking for someone in our war on terror, who can bring peace to a desperate situation.
Can you imagine the praise someone would get who solves the threat of terrorism around the world fomented by ISIS, the Boko Haram, and Al Qaeda? Can you imagine the admiration someone would get who seems to eliminate the threat of nuclear war coming from Iran and North Korea? Can you imagine the honor someone would get who could broker a treaty that seems to bring peace to the Middle East? The people of the world would fall in line to follow such a man, and that’s exactly the picture we have here in Revelation 6.
Daniel 9 tells us that the Tribulation starts when this “ruler who will come” brokers a 7-year peace treaty in the Middle East. Now, if anyone can pull that off and make it stick for just a couple of years, that one would be considered a hero and would quickly rise to prominence on the world stage. The stage is set, my friends.
Daniel 2 and Daniel 7 tell us that this “hero” will be the leader of a revived Roman empire. Now, the ancient Roman Empire stretched from Great Britain in the north down through Europe. It ringed the Mediterranean basin and extended into some parts of the Middle East.
I find it amazing that many of these same nations are coming together in the European Union. They include nations from Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and even Turkey, which is now in the process of joining. That was not possible before the breakup of the Soviet Union.