Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, “Come and see.” (
“Left Behind,” was a series of popular books that later became the source of several movies. The characters and conversations are fictional, but the basic story line is Biblical. Scripture portrays the end time commencing with the rapture of the church. When Christ raises the sainted dead and raptures the living believers, those who are “left behind,” will face a world gone mad. The primary restrainer of evil—the church—is gone.
Imagine a powerful magnet suspended over the earth—a magnet that would only attract gold. As it moves over the planet, the iron, copper, silver, and aluminum are unaffected. Only the gold is drawn to the sky. That is akin to what happens when the rapture of the church occurs (
Thess.4:16-17). The light
of the world and salt of the earth is removed.
The darkness of evil then completely engulfs the globe. The rot of sin has no restraint. With the eclipse of hope comes the outpouring
of God’s wrath.
It is called the time of tribulation—seven years of judgment on a Christ-rejecting world. The last half of that is known as “the Great Tribulation,” so intense will the suffering be. Jesus described it in
Matthew 24 as a period of
unparalleled horror which if not brief would bring extinction of all life!
This wrath is outpoured as the seven seals of the heavenly scroll begin to be peeled open in
6. The scroll has been
delivered into the hands of the Lamb.
Jesus holds the title deed to the universe. When each seal is opened, a judgment is
The first seal is the judgment of a false messiah (v.1-2). This rider on a white horse has the appearance of being Christ, but he is instead a counterfeit—the Devil’s hand-picked man who will rule the world. Satan will have his man waiting to takeover.
The second seal opens to reveal the judgment of war (v.3-4). The pseudo-peace promised by the Antichrist is quickly broken, as covetous men jockey for power. War sweeps in a crimson wave across the planet—a time of “wars and rumors of wars” (
The third seal discloses a time of famine (v.5-6). Famine will follow the fighting. Our economy has become global in scope, so that when it is disrupted by world war, the entire financial system collapses and people will be starving.
The fourth seal pictures the rider on a pale horse and that is death (v.7-8). A quarter of the world’s population dies as a result of war, famine, and disease that comes in its wake.
The fifth seal is the martyr’s seal (v.9-11). There are many in our world that have never heard the name of Christ. God is so gracious that even in such days, those people groups will be evangelized, and many converted. They will seal their testimony in their blood.
The opening of the sixth seal unleashes an earthquake as the foundations of the earth are shaken. Rather than fleeing to the Rock of Ages for salvation, they cry out to the rocks to hide them. Such is the steadfast heart of sinful man, set against the True God and His Son, Jesus Christ. You do not want to be in that number—the multitudes of those judged.
Trust in Jesus! Don’t be left behind!