In Revelation 5 we gain a picture of Christ taking from the Father’s hand a scroll, which He alone can open. What does this scroll reveal? First it reveals that God Himself has raised up a people from “every tribe and language and people and nation… a kingdom of priests... who shall reign on earth.” (Rev 5:9-10)
When the first seals from this scroll are opened we get a snap shot of how God’s people with Christ will reign. It begins with four horsemen, the first and most important one being Christ himself, riding victoriously on a white horse, armed with a weapon (a bow), crowned as king and ready to conquer. (Rev 6:2) What is He conquering?
The following seals provide an answer: famine, death, economic woe, persecution and war among nations. One way to read these verses is this: despite all that is wrong with this world Christ is working through His people to accomplish His purposes. Despite the sin, injustice and evil we see, Christ is fulfilling His promise, "the gates of hell will not prevail." How is Christ working? Through the “kingdom of priests” that He has raised up from every “tribe and language and people and nation.” Who are these priests? They are the church itself.
I appreciated Franklin Graham’s recent message this past week in terms of what God is doing through His church in a middle of a war in Ukraine. Over 3000 partnering churches are feeding the hungry, ministering to the sick, encouraging the persecuted, and standing for Christ in a time of great crisis. Here we indeed see Christ “riding victoriously… armed… crowned… conquering.”
Let us remember that God’s solution to a world in darkness is His people working through the agency of His Spirit's power to be a witness despite the worst this world can dish out. The great testimony of history is God at work through His Church vanquishing famine, disease, war (peacemakers) and economic woe. May we understand our role that He may reign triumphantly through us and bring healing to the nations.