Then I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, "Come." I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. 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. When He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, "Come." I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine." When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, "Come." I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth. When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" Rev. 6:1-10 NASBOut of the Gate, I believe in a literal return of Christ and an eternal establishment of his kingdom as stated in the historic Christian creeds. He will, as stated in the Nicene Creed "Come again to judge the living and the dead, and His kingdom shall have no end". And, as the earlier Apostle's Creed simply stated "He will come again to judge the living and the dead". But this said, I don't subscribe to Darby's view that holds to a belief that Christ would return for his church prior to the seven year period referred to as the Great Tribulation, a seven year period where the Almighty would pour out his wrath and judgement on an unbelieving world.
It seems more and more, that events in our world are becoming darker and seem to be coming out of the final pages of Scripture. Wars, death, violence, famine, and now pestilence; it certainly brings to mind the 6th chapter of the Apocalypse of John. There we read of specific judgements being levied against humanity for their persistent unbelief and rebellion against the Almighty. In this, Four Horsemen are seen being unleashed upon the earth. A white horse & rider who appeared as a conquering hero. A red horse & rider who unleashed carnage and death. A black horse & rider who unleashed famine and economic privation and famine. And finally a pale horse & rider who brought famine and death. These four horsemen were seen as being responsible for millions upon millions.
Each morning, we wake to read and see news that seems to be lifted right out of the final chapters of scripture. Whether it's stories of the slaughter of innocents, global catastrophes, or deadly plagues sweeping populations, all of these would seem to point to the closing moments of the age of man. And, like REM sang, its the end of the world as we know it.
I'm not about to say that these news stories are scripture being fulfilled before our own eyes. I'm not a prophet and I've never played one on TV. I would contend that these point to the terminal sin sickness of our world. They stand as a reminder that this world is winding down and soon, our redeemer is returning. These are mere portents and it will be likely become unimaginably much worse before the coda of time.
As easy as the urge may be, we can't look at the end through the pages of the Washington Post, Fox News or even LaHaye and Jenkins. There are websites that have made cottage industries out of this, even to the point of posting a weekly "Rapture Index".
So when we read of these things and we believe we're hearing hoofbeats of dark horses, we should look up and know that our redemption is drawing near.