Revelation 6:3-4 Believers Must Shield Their Communities From Lawlessness by Closely Following Christ’s Manner of Life.
Revelation 6:3-4 Believers must shield their communities from lawlessness by closely following Christ’s manner of life
When He broke the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come.” And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him.
The second seal exposes the moral degradation of humanity. Here, the restraining effect of the law is lifted at the emergence of lawless leaders. And the people are left to their own devices to express their darkness. The breaking of the second seal ushers in the dawn of lawlessness, which precedes the other evils that will swiftly come upon humanity. Today’s devotion teaches us: Believers must shield their communities from lawlessness by closely following Christ’s manner of life.
The colour red symbolise blood which represents death and destruction as ushered in by the second horse man. How is it possible that the Christ whose mission is to bring peace (see Luke 2:14), take peace away from the earth? Here, Christ is in fact removing the restrain of the law which gives an appearance of peace and harmony. With the dawn of lawlessness, people become uninhibited in expressing their violence towards one another. In fact, Jesus said His coming will be accompanied by violence (see Matthew 10:34-36). A man’s enemies will be the members of his household. Thus, there will be an increase in the acts of violence and terrorism globally. Many nations will experience civil conflict fuelled by hatred among fellow citizens.
BELIEVERS MUST SHIELD THEIR COMMUNITIES FROM LAWLESSNESS BY CLOSELY FOLLOWING CHRIST’S MANNER OF LIFE.
The man of lawlessness and the apostasy of the church is the sign and the beginning of tribulations (2 Thessalonians 2:3). History teaches us that all of humanity’s problems begin with lawlessness which culminates in destruction. Like the COVID pandemic, or climate change, we can still slow the spread and protect our community and nation. We can protect ourselves and our community from the second seal by the following:
There Is No Messiah Other Than Christ.
In recent years, we observed many false Christs have arisen (especially in Western nations) with the promise to deliver the people from their troubles. These leaders profess to come in Christ’s name even when they are nothing like Christ. They see themselves as gods seated above law (2 Thessalonians 2:4). But the church pledged their loyalty to these leaders in return for support for a false righteousness called conservatism. The phenomenon of lawlessness will become more rampant before the men of lawlessness are slayed at the coming of Christ (see 2 Thessalonians 2:7). Therefore, believers must be wise to discern the motives of all who aspire to lead (see Luke 21:8). Only Christ and those who live in the manner of Christ can help solve the world’s problems. Therefore, believers must shield their communities from lawlessness by closely following Christ’s manner of life, by preaching the word and exhorting the people with long-suffering (see 2 Timothy 4:1-5).
We Must Stir up the Gift of God.
At the coming of the last days, Paul encourages Timothy,
Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. – 2 Timothy 1:6-7 (NKJV)
The gift of God refers to the spiritual gifts of love, wisdom, and power. They protect believers from being deceived and attacked by lawless people. The operation of spiritual gifts points people to God by delivering them from their problems. The days of King Ahab were rife with idolatry and lawlessness, and Elijah was sent to preach the word of repentance with great power. Similarly, in the days of king Josiah, Jeremiah was sent to exposed the false prophets. And Daniel held steady the beam of godliness by divine wisdom during Israel’s exile in Babylon. And Jesus, with great wisdom and power confounded the Jews while demonstrating that He is indeed the Messiah.
Therefore, the church must go beyond cognitive bible teaching and institutional religion to operate in the manner of the prophets. Many believers studied the scriptures, for in them they think they can acquire Christ’s power and eternal life. But they are hindered from coming to Christ because they are weighted down by the busyness of running their institutions. As a result, the modern church cannot operate in the fullness of God as seen in Christ.
There Is No Such Thing as Eternal Life Without Wholehearted Sacrifice.
Jesus warned His disciples not to vacillate between preserving their lives and losing their lives. Those who are half-hearted, who go by “best effort” will be caught unawares and risk losing their place in God’s kingdom. Jesus said,
And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, the one who is on the housetop and whose goods are in the house must not go down to take them out; and likewise the one who is in the field must not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever seeks to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. – Luke 17:26-33
The majority of believers today is focused on living the good life while coping with Jesus’s “demands”. They supposed God’s grace will supplement their half-hearted determination to follow Christ. Such are like the rich young man who appeared to follow Jesus initially, but quickly left when he is called to leave his business, to risk everything in an all-out effort to serve God. And those who are half-hearted will invariably and inevitably be enticed by the suggestions of lawless leaders and support them.
Spend at least 10 mins a day doing the following:
Meditate on how Christ would love people of different race, background and moral condition. Imagine yourself being kind and friendly to all who will cross your path today.
Mediate on how Christ would empathise with people, to know their struggles and feel their pain amid life’s challenges. Begin empathising with the people around you.
Meditate on how Christ would face the many problems in today’s society. Imagine yourself handling the problems as Christ would handle them.
Meditate on how Christ would face His challenges with boldness without compromise. Imagine yourself overcoming your fears with boldness and courage.
Dear Lord, I call my Christ-Self to arise with love for all people. Help me to empathise and to be an encouragement to them. Sharpen my ability to discern all things through divine wisdom. Strengthen me to overcome my fears concerning the future. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.