Summary: The Apostle John records for us this killer storm and the riders who will bring it as he witnesses Jesus opening up of the first four seals. In sermon we'll look at the 2nd through 4th seal, which are War, Famine, and Death.
The Book of Revelation
“War, Famine, and Death”
Whenever I think of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse the song by the Doors always pops into my head that these four horsemen are the Riders on the Storm.
As I listen to what’s being said over the airways, many people are scared about what’s happening, because no matter where they turn everyone has this sort of impending doom that things are only getting worse, and to them it seems like everything is going to hell in a hand basket and it is all coming to a head real soon.
And this fear isn’t a matter of political or religious persuasion, heck even the UFOers believe the world is about to experience something cataclysmic. It’s like the world knows that a killer storm is on its way, and fear is beginning to set in as they can sense the destruction it will bring.
And for those who don’t see or sense that the end is near, Jesus says this to them,
“When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red;’ and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.” (Matthew 16:2-3 NKJV)
The Apostle John records for us this killer storm and the riders who will bring it as he witnesses Jesus opening up of the first four seals. Last week we looked at the first seal rider, the Antichrist. Today we’ll look at the other three, War, Famine, and Death.
Second Rider: War
Read Revelation 6:3-4
Jesus opens the second seal and out rides War riding upon a fiery red horse, and power was given to him to take away the peace brought by the first seal rider, the Antichrist. In other words, whatever restraint existed up to this point that has been preserving peace, God has given this rider the power to remove it.
This rider is the seal rider of strife, violence, assault, division, abuse, anger, hate, uprising, murder, insurrection, war, and bloodshed. He divides race against race, class against class, neighbor against neighbor, employee against employer, spouse against spouse, children against parents, religion against religion, and nation against nation.
The rider is war, and he’ll take peace from the earth.
War is big business and it’s bigger than pornography and drugs put together. Hundreds of billions of dollars are spent each year supporting military activities around the world. And the more we spend on defense the more it heightens insecurity. The more countries spend on their military, the more paranoia runs rampant.
What I’ve found sad is that military spending in third world countries is more than 50 percent greater than what they spend on health and education.
Yet there have always been wars, and there always will be wars, and it’ll only get worse softening up a world that’ll accept anybody who’ll bring a little peace, which is what the Antichrist will bring. But like all peace pacts it’ll be short lived, because riding right behind the Antichrist is War, and with his arrival all hope of a permanent peace is smashed.
But where do wars really come from? The Apostle James probably says it best.
“Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war.” (James 4:1-2 NKJV)
Wars and battles start from within the human heart. James says they come from our desire for pleasure, where pleasure is the chief end of life. And so a battle pursues within the human soul, it’s the desires of man in direct opposition to the Spirit of God, Galatians 5:17.
It’s because of this internal war that’s raging inside humanity that makes external peace between people impossible. This is why peace never lasts. But to have true peace, and peace that will last, we have to stop turning our attention outward and begin turning our attention inward and upward.
True peace starts when we have peace with God. Inside us all there exists a selfish and self-centered natured called sin that keeps us apart from God and one another. And until this nature comes under the power of God, then there’ll be no peace.
Only God can bring peace, and that only through Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself confirms this.
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27 NKJV)
If you want true peace, peace of heart and soul, then you need to turn your heart over to Jesus Christ. Paul said,