Thoughts about a forthcoming Apocalypse have influenced filmmakers for years and captivated audiences. Apocalyptic end of life scenarios played out before our eyes can trigger reactive fear, self-protectiveness, defensiveness, isolationism and hoarding of any resources we deem indispensable should the worst happen.
If we seek a biblical perspective on it we begin to glimpse light at the end of an extremely dark tunnel. The four horsemen of the Apocalypse are mentioned in the book of Revelation. A grim and dismal future is predicted for mankind, with suffering, hardship and death. But that is not the end of the story, it is more of a warning.
Because Jesus is waiting to rescue us. He will come again and return to earth. There will be a battle to end all battles and He will be victorious. Death and sickness, famine and disease will be gloriously defeated forevermore.
Why it is relevant now
Although the Apocalypse might seem a rather strange or morbid topic to introduce in the second month of a new year, it is relevant. Because each new year may start with raised hopes, fresh goals and optimism, but it can quickly descend into disappointment, defeat and despair.
Times are turbulent, political situations are volatile and many are worried and scared. We all need a Saviour more than ever. Our hearts may quake at the thought of worsening times ahead, but those who trust in Christ can rest secure in every way.
God is going to rescue His people. He will come physically to earth like He did before. Only not as a helpless baby but as risen Lord, Saviour and King of kings. And as the glorified Christ who sits at the Father’s right hand. Full of power and might, wisdom and strength.
The 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse
Coming on the clouds,
brandishing their weapons before them,
because now is the time
as their horror unfurls,
to wreak havoc on the world.
Only one lets
his trident slide sneakily behind him
to indicate his
sneering nonchalance, his seeming
mastery over death and the grave.
His skeletal frame
is rigid with intent, as morbidity rises
to greet mankind
at a stroke, with a touch and a trample
from his horse.
All bear arms
against the earth, against our hope
bringing war, conquest
none wanting to concede.
their very drivenness is caused
by an awareness
that their time is short,
their days are numbered,
the world will be woken from its slumber.
waits patiently in heaven’s wings,
ready to outwit their evil schemes
and call a halt
to violence, sickness, wars,
to all that his gentle soul deplores.
The scrolls are sealed
for now, but their imminent breaking
open will reveal
how earth will receive her dues,
alongside God’s grace,
his loving mercy and recompense.
This poem is based on the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse painting by Albrecht Dürer. Image courtesy of wikipedia.org.
How we wait
How do we wait for the Second Coming of Christ and maintain our faith during the fiery trials that mount up? I think it’s like the book of Romans suggests here:
“Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.” – Romans 12: 11-13 The Message
Waiting for our lives to improve involves hope and faith and our active engagement to help make it happen. Our waiting for the Second Coming of Christ also needs to be faith filled, hopeful and prayerful rather than alarmist and fearful. Because waiting on God is not a passive thing but an active, eager expectation, fuelled by hope and faith.
We can rest assured that God is coming to redeem, rescue and restore. Therefore our role in all of this is to keep the faith, be unafraid and stay alert for signs of change.
How hard is it for you to wait for things?
What helps you to stay in faith while you wait?