By Steven J. Hogan
~ A Saturday Morning Post #11 ~
Picture an ancient scroll, one that has seven seals on it. It is in Revelation 5 that we first read about this most valuable scroll, and there we learn that only Jesus Christ can break these seven seals. And He must break them, for they set in motion conditions that must be met, and events that need to take place before the coming of Christ and the rapture of the church. Revelation 6 describes the breaking of the first six seals, and you realize that the content of this chapter corresponds to Matthew 24. But why would God give us two chapters so similar to one another? Because He wants to stress that what Christ is saying is true, and that it is vitally important information that all Christians living in the end times need to know.
Revelation 6:1-8 tells us about the breaking of the first four seals, resulting in false christs, wars, famines and death. Now these famines are related to financial hardship – that is, there will be major economic problems, which should not surprise us. We see too that these first four seals are very similar to the beginning birth pains described in Matthew 24:4-8. This will be a most difficult and troubling time in the world for many people will be hurting and dying; but remember that these events won’t affect everyone in the world, for “you will be hearing of wars,” and “in various places there will be famines and earthquakes.” Matthew 24:6-7
Revelation 6:9-13 tells us about the breaking of the 5th seal and it speaks of more death, and specifically the martyrdom of Christians. These verses correspond to Matthew 24:9, 21, which speak of great tribulation, of Christians being killed all over the world. Matthew 24:15 informs us that it is the evil Antichrist who is promoting this persecution. Revelation 6 does not specifically talk about this Antichrist, but we need only to go to Revelation 12-13 for more details about this man’s devilish work in the end times. These are sobering passages, and you need to read them so you can learn what will be taking place, and what may be affecting you, your family and your friends. “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37
But notice three things about the Christians: first, they love God’s Word and are proclaiming it. Second, they want to know when God will judge their enemies. Third, they learn that God is sovereign over each believer’s death, and has ordained who is yet to be killed, and then Christ will return to rapture the Christians who have endured, and who remain on the earth.
Revelation 6:12-17 speaks of the 6th seal. And the breaking of this seal is one thing Christians should be looking for, for this is the sign of the end of the age, which is also described in Matthew 24:29. At this time the entire world goes dark, which means great tribulation is over, is done. For the Christian this is “Hallelujah” time! For non-Christians, this is their worst nightmare, but sad to say, it is not a nightmare. These unrighteous, ungodly unbelievers now know that God’s wrath is coming, and so they try to hide from God, but they cannot hide, and they will not escape. God is most holy and these unholy worshipers of the Antichrist deserve what is coming. “It’s a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Hebrews 10:31
What about the 7th seal? When will it be broken? It is Revelation 8:1 that tells us that this seal is broken, and it is at this time that the scroll is unrolled. Chapters 8-9 go on to describe the contents of this scroll, which is God’s righteous wrath being poured out upon an evil world. But what happens to the Christians? Revelation 7 answers this question, telling us that a great multitude of believers is delivered out of great tribulation. And so the rapture of the Christians is in Revelation 7, and this is after the tribulation in Revelation 6, but before the wrath of God in Revelation 8.
By God’s Word and Spirit, a great number of Christians will be overcomers, and will persevere to the end of this age. They will be looking for Jesus Christ, and then suddenly be raptured into heaven, and then they will see Him, and then they will know that it was all worth it. Just think, you and I might be part of this great multitude of believers who will be lovingly, powerfully and safely taken up to be with Jesus Christ. Amen!
P.S. We recently started a new tab, Español, that takes you to blog posts that are translated into Spanish. Please tell your Hispanic friends about this. I thank my friend Mario for doing the translation work.