And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that men should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.Revelation 6:4.

I’m no expert on the Book of Revelation. To be quite honest, I’m not sure anyone else is either. But this I know: in the vision of John the Apostle, the drama which unfolds is of eternal significance. God’s plan for the cosmos will be fulfilled, and no detail will be omitted. One day, all of the ramifications of sin on this fallen planet – death, decay, crime, disease, war, and even sadness – will be swept away by a new creation. Christ’s new creation!

But by Revelation 6:4, we’re not there yet. The red horseman is on the loose, ushering in a tidal wave of unmatched violence upon the whole world. This will be the end of any thought that “we can make it just fine on our own, thank you.” This will be the boldface betrayal of the promises of humanism of an advanced civilization where innate human goodness has solved every cultural and societal ill. It will be a moment when – with crystal clarity – the godless will recognize that “peace on earth” is impossible without the Christ whose very birth signaled that message in the first place.

People run from flash-bang grenades in uptown Charlotte during a protest of the police shooting of Keith Scott. REUTERS/Jason Miczek

People run from flash-bang grenades in uptown Charlotte during a protest of the police shooting of Keith Scott. REUTERS/Jason Miczek

When I see the reports from uptown Charlotte, I am grieved. My niece, Briana, lives in the Queen City. She moved there to enjoy Charlotte’s robust economy, four distinct seasons, and some of the sweetest sweet-tea drinkers you’ll ever meet. This week hasn’t been all that sweet.

I am not foolish enough to declare this God’s judgment. Nor would I similarly label the murderous violence of Southside Chicago (now statistically off the charts). Nor Detroit with its virtual “no go” zones. Such theological proclamations are beyond me, and I’m forbidden by wisdom and life experience to go there. But I can tell you that – eschatological distinctives set aside – chaos and violence are hallmarks of the epoch of the red horse.

If you’re waiting for America’s golden age or glory years, please don’t. This is not so say that we’ve lost hope – for we still have all the hope we’ll ever need in Christ– but it is to say that we may be nearing the end of the hunt for another Eden which we have made. Truth is, we have monster weeds in this here garden.

Though we should decry racism at every level, one local Nation of Islam leader – solicited to speak at a press conference in Charlotte – praised Allah, lashed out at white America, promised more widespread rioting and looting, and called for a boycott of the city. Sadly, that is also racism.

Please join me in praying against anarchy. Anywhere and everywhere. And this is no call to passive prayer. Now is the time for us to love with great intentionality. By God’s grace and for His glory, we must keep our cool. As I said in Wednesday night’s Bible study: when emotions run high, logic runs low. The best gift you can give to those who are suffering through this turmoil is to deliberately pursue in genuine gospel-centered friendship someone whom the media might provoke you to reject, or even hate.

No matter what goes down on the world stage, you and I know the rest of the story. We know the God who loves to turn bad things around for good. We know the God who shines light into darkness. We know the God who gives amazing grace to people who despise Him.

Utopia here and now? Don’t bet on it. But Jesus came, lived, died, and rose again to give us a world that’s even better (Matthew 6:33).


Pastor Charles

Posted in Blog Posts
5 comments on “Utopi-uh
  1. Ralph VanPeursem says:

    Loved you commentary. Thanks for it and the beautiful relationship you and Eileen have developed and nurtured over the years with Ron and Kandy. They truly treasure that relationship as do Pat and I.


  2. Lloyd Housman says:

    Thanks so much for your comments. You very aptly described my thoughts–and our only hope– for the chaos that exists today in our world!

  3. Diane Lamm says:

    Thank you for this message. I have been studying Revelation in Sunday School for months with Mac McKinley. Great study and wonderful teaching. I know God’s perfect plan will be fulfilled in the utmost detail. Have been praying so much for the unsaved and with the Lord’s leading, witnessing to my cousin. Got a great book called, “Praying the Scriptures that Inspired our Founding Fathers”. It is fascinating. It is only 60 pages and I am sending one to you. It is very easy reading and I know you will be amazed. Keeping you,Eileen and Joshin our prayers.

  4. Linda Hart says:

    That was it in a nutshell!

  5. Becky Thompson- Pozsgai says:

    Been needing encouragement lately and God leeds me in your direction. We always listen to our copy of your message from 2013. Love One Another, when we have a distant to drive. I didn’t have a distant to drive today but I drove around So OC listening. After I wipe my tears from the thrill of hearing your sermon, it always encourages me in different areas/people in my life.
    Love One Another. You repeated that several times in a row. So, I read the news and God’s asking me to love people who murder innocent children? Who’s Dad is taking the rail system to work and the mom is walking to the grocery store? They do this in the name of the “figure” they worship? I have always avoided Revelations because I would be lost in e first chapter. I’m living my life, like I’m living the presidential election”…God is my President. I have no one, nor army, to be afraid of. He knows who will be USA’s leader until the end of time. Love ❤️One Another. Becky Pozsgai

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