Be a prepper

Be a prepper

Introduction

Revelation 6:5-17 ESV  When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a black horse! And its rider had a pair of scales in his hand.  (6)  And I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures, saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius, and do not harm the oil and wine!”  (7)  When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!”  (8)  And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth.  (9)  When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne.  (10)  They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”  (11)  Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.  (12)  When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood,  (13)  and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale.  (14)  The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.  (15)  Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains,  (16)  calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb,  (17)  for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”

We know have the first six seals of the scroll of the end of this world as we know it.

We have God showing Johm the order of events that will happen as the end of this broken world comes. And of course, after the end of these times God will recreate the earth and we will live in perfection with Him forever.

So, as Jesus opens the scroll of the end times there are seven seals… seven events that take place, all correlating to God’s judgement and wrath on mankind.

There is then a definite timeline of things that will take place, first this happens, then that happens, then that… and so on…

The first seal must happen before the second seal, etc…

Let’s just recap the first 6 of the seven seals:

Seal One: The White Horseman conquers. (Rise of the Anti-Christ)
Seal Two: The Red Horseman takes peace. (Global war)
Seal Three: The Black Horseman brings weighs food. (Global Famine)
Seal Four: The Pale/Green Horseman named Death followed by Hades. (Mass Deaths)
Seal Five: The Souls of the martyrs cry out to God.
Seal Six: Global calamity. (Natural disasters)

  • Now, we already spent time last week talking about the first two seals… and in a few chapters we will start going through the seventh seal. But for today I want to focus on Seals three through six.
  • And before I get into the application of today’s message, before I get into the “So what does that mean for me” part of todays message, I want to spend a little bit of time explaining these four seals so we are all on the same page.
    • But even before we do that, let’s pray.

So let’s go over these seals for a minute.

We know the first seal is the rise of the Anti-Christ.

And the second seal is global war and unrest that comes with following the Anti-Christ…

But what’s next.

Next we have seal three…

Revelation 6:5 ESV  When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a black horse! And its rider had a pair of scales in his hand.

  • The third horseman that comes with the third seal is holding a pair of scales in his hand.
    • These scales, Biblically, represent famine. Because in times of famine food would be weighed out by scales in order to ration what food was left in the land.
    • And of course we see this in verse six where we here about the prices that food will be…

Revelation 6:6 ESV  And I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures, saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius, and do not harm the oil and wine!”

  • A quart of wheat is about a days worth of wheat for a family and three quarts of barley would last a family three of four days.
    • A Denarius is a single days wages of an average worker.
    • These prices, for the time Revelation was written, are about 8-16 times the normal price of food.
    • So the famine will be bad, but it will be survivable.
  • After the global famine has started, we get the next seal, seal four:

Revelation 6:7-8 ESV  When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!”  (8)  And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth.

  • Now the word pale here can also mean the color green. In the same sense we might say someone who is about to throw up looks green or pale, so this horse was pale and/or green.
    • So there are wars happening, there is a famine happening, and now we the added horror of a global plague or pestilence happening and animals going mad and killing humans.
    • All of this results in the death of a FOURTH of all mankind living on the earth at that time.
    • (Side note, Thanos from Marvel is named after this Horsman. Death in Greek is Thantos)
  • After a quarter of humanity is wiped out comes the fifth seal, the crying out of Martyred saints.

Revelation 6:9-11 ESV  When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne.  (10)  They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”  (11)  Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.

  • What we see happening in this seal two fold, first, a bunch of Christians had been killed and are asking God for vengeance.
    • And second, God gives them more rest and informs them there are more Christians who are going to be killed before God recreates the earth.
  • Finally we come to the Sixth seal, one that is very devastating indeed…

Revelation 6:12-14 ESV  When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood,  (13)  and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale.  (14)  The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.

  • Now the wrath of God is really beginning to pick up steam and the whole earth and even the sun are buckling under the wrath of a might and just God.
    • Earthquakes, Blackouts, Blood moons, Meteors hitting the earth, massive wind storms, mountains falling down… The earth will be shaken!
  • So again, the six seals in order are as follows:

Seal One: The White Horseman conquers. (Rise of the Anti-Christ)
Seal Two: The Red Horseman takes peace. (Global war)
Seal Three: The Black Horseman brings weighs food. (Global Famine)
Seal Four: The Pale/Green Horseman named Death followed by Hades. (Mass Deaths)
Seal Five: The Souls of the martyrs cry out to God.
Seal Six: Global calamity. (Natural disasters)

  • And it is important to note that these need to happen in order… many people have falsely prophesied the return of Christ because one or two or even three of these things have happened, but never in the correct order…
    • WW2 seemed like it fit… global war, check, global famine, check, lots of people dying, check… But it was missing the anti-Christ…
      • Now many people claimed HITLER was the anti-Christ… but if you remember from last weeks sermon, the Anti-Christ will be loved by almost everyone! Even those in the church.
      • Hitler may have convinced Germany, but he did not deceive the world… at least not for long.
    • Another one I saw more recently was blood moons… the sixth seal tells us the moon will turn red like blood!
      • There were even books written about the blood moons that happened a few years ago…
      • But what about seals one through five… Did God just forget about those?
  • No, these seals happen in order… but I do think we are beginning to see the early signs that these seals might be getting ready to come to pass.
    • The coronavirus is bad, but it’s not “Kill a fourth of the earth bad”.
    • The economy isn’t great… but I can still buy bread and food and things I need… Amazon still offers next day delivery.
    • There are some natural disasters happening… but the mountains are still standing.
    • So I think we see some early rumblings of what is to come…
  • But once the Anti-Christ rises to power… things are going to get worse… way way way worse.
    • It’s going to be terrifying, horrifying, cripplingly horrendous… at least it will be if you are not ready for it… And that is why todays sermon is titled:

Show Title Slide

  • Be A Prepper!
    • You guys have seen the TV shows… maybe you even have a friend who is a prepper…
    • They have a few months’ worth of food, a few thousand rounds of ammo, survival guides, first add, gasoline, drinking water… all stored up… just in case.
      • Well I am here to tell you today, that this is not a JUST IN CASE scenario… this is Biblical prophecy, these things WILL come to pass.
      • And there WILL be Christians on the earth to experience them, we know that from the firth seal.
      • So the only question is, ARE YOU PREPARED FOR THEM?
  • This is the application of todays message, be prepared, if you are not prepared, GET prepared. Now I know I spent a good deal of time on the introduction so I will try to not beat around the bush with these two points.
  • Our first point this morning: be Physically Prepared…

Point One – Be Physically Prepared

  • Are you physically prepared for the opening of the seven seals? I mean it, are you PHYSICALLY prepared?
    • I used to SCOFF at Pastor Matt for being a prepper… and I would mock even the idea of being a prepper.
      • Until someone challenged me.
      • First they quoted Revelation in regard to the mark of the beast.

Revelation 13:16-18 ESV  Also [the beast] causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead,  (17)  so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.  (18)  This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.

Revelation 14:9-10 ESV  And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand,  (10)  he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.

  • So my friend quoted these verse then says to me “You know that famine is coming, and you know that Christians, if they are still here, must refuse the mark. You also know how tempting it will be to get the mark of the beast… BUT WE MUST REFUSE.
    • You know that in the time of Famine that only those marked with the mark of the beast will be able to buy food… how difficult of a time this will be for Christians… so, why not prepare for what you know is coming, why not make this time a little bit easier for yourself?
    • So that when the time comes to refuse the mark of the beast at least you have SOME supplies to live on.
  • So, that was my friends argument… and it was a pretty good one, I have to say.
    • Now we will talk in depth about the mark of the beast when we get there…
    • But this much we know… there will be a time of famine (The third seal) and there will be a time when we as Christians can no longer buy or sell or trade.
      • Should we not get prepared?
  • “But Pastor Christian, I thought we will be raptured before this happens”.
    • Maybe… but maybe not. There are a lot of people much smarter than me who believe the rapture happens after the tribulation.
      • There are people smarter than me who believe it happens during the tribulation.
      • And there are people smarter than me who believe it happens before the tribulation.
    • I am not here to make an argument on when the rapture takes place, all I am saying is that we KNOW there will be Christians during this time (because of the fifth seal) and we know these things will happen.
    • If there is a CHANCE that we could be around when these things happen, shouldn’t we be prepared?
  • So my wife and I have a survival bag. It’s got some water purification devices, some first add, some ammo, and books on how to survive off the land.
    • We need to do more, but it’s a start.
  • More than that, we need to be physically fit. I know some of y’all don’t want to hear this… heck, I don’t want to hear it…
    • But we need to take our fitness more seriously.

Ecclesiastes 7:17 ESV  Be not overly wicked, neither be a fool. Why should you die before your time?

  • Why should you die before your time?
    • The Average life expectancy in the use is about 80 years, specifically 81 years for a woman and 77 years for a man.
    • If you are obese your average life expectancy as a man is only 63 years, if you are a woman only 67 years!
      • Being Obese cuts of 14 years of your life! Why should you die before your time.
      • And I am saying this as someone the Doctors classify as Obese… and I am working on it… because I want to have the energy, should I see the end times, to not just survive, but also to preach the Gospel and make disciples! Even while the world is falling apart.
    • And listen, do you really want to be dealing with health issues while there is famine, and plagues, and wars going on… while the fourth of the world is dying off, the church of Christ must be strong! And we have an opportunity to get strong and healthy now, before things get too bad!
  • But even if the end does not come in our lifetime, the Corona-virus pandemic should teach us that being physically prepared even now is beneficial to the Christian church.
  • Guys there are places in this nation, right now, where you can not eat at a restaurant or go to a movie if you do not have the government mandated shot.
    • Now however you feel about the vaccine, know this… it is for a virus with a relatively low mortality rate.
    • Imagine if a FOURTH of the world is dying… how strong do you think the mandates will get then?
      • No longer will it be “Get the shot or you cant eat inside”
      • It will be “Get the mark or you can’t buy groceries!”
  • And y’all the Coronovirus is real, is it hyped up… yeah probably… is it being used for political gain? For sure it is… but it is real. And people really do die from it.
    • And it is causing supply chain issues in our nation.
    • And shortages of certain things in the global economy.
    • And making life a little more difficult everywhere…
      • Would it be THAT bad of an idea to have some food saved up, and some supplies… just in case the world doesn’t get better but actually gets worse?
  • And even more so to get healthy? The mortality rate of the coronavirus is 0.09 percent if you are under 65 years old… but that skyrockets to 5.04 percent if you are obese!
  • Y’all! I want our church to survive whatever the enemy throws at it! And that starts with being physically prepared! Amen?!
    • So take your life under control, take dominion of yourself, get a gym membership, go for walks, buy some emergency supplies, GET PREPARED for whatever comes your way… and that will make the second point easier.

Point Two – Be Spiritually and Mentally Prepared

1 Timothy 4:8 ESV  for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

  • Paul says it right there! Physical fitness, physical training has some good value to it. But far more important is SPIRITUAL training… far more important is GODLINESS!
  • Take the sixth seal for example… how does it make you feel when you read this seal?

Revelation 6:12-17 ESV  When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood,  (13)  and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale.  (14)  The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.  (15)  Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains,  (16)  calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb,  (17)  for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”

  • How do you feel when you read that? How do you feel thinking that you may be here to experience that?
    • Does it make you anxious?
    • Does it make you frightened?
    • Are you horrified at the thought?
  • Or are you like me? When I think…
  • THAT’S MY GOD! THAT’S MY KING! GO GET EM GOD! SHOW THEM WHO IS BOSS! POUR OUT YOUR WRATH!
    • Blood moons, earthquakes, mountains falling, meteors?! LET’S GO!!!!!!
    • You can’t mess with Jesus for too long eventually he is going to pour out his wrath, and y’all done messed up world!
    • You have bene killing my brothers and sisters in Christ.
    • You have been persecuting us for centuries.
    • We begged you to repent and you just spit on us, beheaded us, burned us at the stake.
    • NO MORE! JESUS IS COMING WITH A VENGANCE.
  • Just think for a minute church: WHO’S SIDE ARE YOU ON?!

Revelation 6:15 ESV  Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains

  • This shouldn’t be that hard to imagine… if you are 28 years or older you probably remember this happening to the King of Babylon.
    • What do I mean? Well modern day Babylon is this country called Iraq, and do you remember what happened in 2003 to the leader of Iraq? His name was Saddam Hussein… and he was found hiding in a hole in the ground… was he afraid of the wrath of God? No! He was afraid of the wrath of AMERICA!
    • Now if you remember watching on the news the photos of the soldiers opening up the hole and ripping Saddam out of his hiding place… do you remember how you felt?
      • Did you feel scared? Horrified? Anxious?
      • NO! You felt victorious! WE GOT EM!!!!!!!!! One of the most evil men in the world… hiding like a scared child in a little hole in the ground.
      • WE GOT HIM! DON’T MESS WITH AMERICA!
      • THE GOOD GUYS ALLWAYS WIN!
      • At least that is how I felt! Because I was on the winning side!
  • CHURCH, YOU ARE ON THE WINNING SIDE!
    • If your heart and spirit don’t know that, you need to get it together.
    • You need to have a relationship so close to God that you fell HONORED not AFRAID when God pours out His wrath.
    • You need to be His ambassador, His soldier, His messenger… not His enemy.
    • YOU ARE ON THE WINNING TEAM!

1 Peter 5:6-7 ESV  Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,  (7)  casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Isaiah 41:10 ESV  fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Philippians 4:6-7 ESV  do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  (7)  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Matthew 6:25 ESV  “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?

John 14:27 ESV  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

2 Timothy 1:6-7 ESV  For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands,  (7)  for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

1 John 4:18 ESV  There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

Joshua 1:9 ESV  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

Psalms 23:1-6 ESV  A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.  (2)  He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.  (3)  He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.  (4)  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  (5)  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.  (6)  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

  • THOUGH I WALK THROUGH THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH, I WILL FEAR NO EVIL!
    •  The opening of the Seven seals releases some horrible evil on the world.
    • But do not be tricked into thinking that God is not in control and not using that evil for His good.
    • Yes, a fourth of the world will die… yes there will be wars, and famine, and plagues, and natural disasters, and mad animals running amuck… But God is in control of it all… watch I will prove it to you… remember who the riders are of that fourth seal?

Revelation 6:8 ESV  And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth.

  • Death and Hades… they usher in the horrors to come… but look at this… do we need to fear them? No! Because Jesus is in control. Remember this from Chapter 1 of Revelation?

Revelation 1:17-18 ESV  When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last,  (18)  and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.

  • JESUS HAS THE KEYS TO DEATH AN HADES! HE CONTROLLS THEM! SO WHY SHOULD WE BE AFRAID?!
    • WE ARE ON THE WINNING TEAM!
  • Listen church, if you struggle with fear and anxiety now… you need to deal with it.
    • Because things are only going to get worse for us. You need to deal with it before the mountains start falling.
    • How do you deal with it? Through a lot of prayer, healing, and discipleship.
    • You need to have someone discipling you that you can be open with… tell them your fears and your anxieties… and work through them, pray through them, get your mind and spirit right!
  • I am not asking you to swallow your anxieties and pretend they don’t exist… I am asking you to deal with them the same way we deal with any problem in our lives…
    • We confess, repent, and pray pray pray.
    • We study the word, we digest it, we trust it… we grow in faith.
    • It may take some time… so get started tackling your mind and spirit now.
  • And listen, if you have sin in your life… don’t wait for the world to get worse to deal with it.
    • Deal with it now while it is easy.
    • While we are allowed as Christians to meet publicly.
    • While we have an altar you can come and kneel on and cry out to God on.
    • While you can meet with your discipler in broad daylight!
    • Don’t wait until it is hard… because if you can’t do it now while it is easy, what makes you think you will do it latter when the world is being judged by God’s wrath?!
  • Now that was a lot, so we are going to leave this message right there and go into our conclusion.

Conclusion

A question that is often raised when talking about the trials and tribulations of Revelations is this: How can God be the author of such horrible trials that afflict the saints?

The answer is that these trails bring judgment to the world but they don’t bring judgment to the saints… instead they bring refinement to the saints!

What do I mean? Consider this:

If your life is nothing but cow dung… your life is just a pile of poop, you are selfish and sinful and wicked and have no love of Christ in you…

When you put that cow patty in the fire, what happens? IT BURNS UP and nothing is left. It is destroyed.

But if you have been made new by Christ, then you are made of gold… there may still be some dung that gets on you from the world… and you may have a bit of sin in your life that sticks to the gold and stinks the place up… but if you put some poopy gold into the fire, what happens? The poop and all the impurities burn up, but the Gold remains, pure and shinning.

I wanna be tried by fire

Purified

You take whatever you desire

Lord here’s my life

  • If you want to dig deeper into this concept, go through all the heroes in Hebrews chapter 11 and consider all the trials and tribulations these mighty men of valor faced, and think about how God used that to refine them into become the greatest men in history.
  • Gospel Call

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