(Today’s post by Marc Cannon)
“Nothing like a good piece of hickory”, The Preacher: Pale Rider
If there was ever a man to sit upon a pale horse and bring hell with him cinematically, Clint Eastwood is perfectly sculpted to play that part. In 1985 the movie Pale Rider was released and it cemented Eastwood as one of my favorite actors ever along with placing Pale Rider in my top 5 movies of all time. Its draw for me isn’t particularly the actual basis of the movie itself, but the innuendo that “The Preacher” is in fact death, a ghost of sorts.
Megan Wheeler: And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the fourth beast said: “Come and see.” And I looked, and behold a pale horse. And his name that sat on him was Death. – The Preacher (Clint Eastwood) Rides into the scene on a pale horse) – And hell followed with him. Revelations 6:7-8.
There have actually been numerous westerns written with the 4 horses of the apocalypse as the underlying theme. Some have only used the 4th horse, the Pale Horse. Tombstone is another one of my top 5 movies that carries an underlying hint that the main character is actually THE Pale Rider. In fact, there have been movies, books, studies, songs, religious factions developed around the 7 seals alone. The verbiage and imagery used by John in chapter 6 isn’t just scary, but downright scare you out of your pants-can’t sleep kinda frightening. If you really think about it, the entire book is a good way to cure narcolepsy. This book hasn’t just brought fear into lives for “Christians”…But for the secular world that portrays the end of times as unencumbered hell on earth.
It’s often been said that John was trying his best to describe an actual nuclear holocaust based on the last 5 verses of chapter 6 alone. From what the average person knows and understands about nuclear warfare it doesn’t sound like a bucket of fried chicken on a spring day in the park. So what does all this mean? Does anyone really know? Is John’s prophecy an interpretation or is this a view point of the actuality of how the Lord ends life as we all know it? For a layman that has no biblical training, and who doesn’t claim to be a scholar of the Word or a theological guru, I honestly couldn’t tell you. There have been thousands, if not millions of people who have tried to decipher this book and it’s every word, as the rest of the books of the Bible. I myself am not one of them.
Several years ago I was in a pit, maybe the lowest, depressed, I’ve got to climb out of this hole so I can be at rock-bottom place I’ve ever been in my life; broke, alone, for lack of a better word…Homeless. So guess what I did one night – I opened my bible, a rarity … And I’m still not great at that, turned on a dim light laid in my bed and read Revelation. WHAT! Why in the Sam Hill I did that? I’ll tell you why…To “Scare” myself straight; to usher in fear so that I would “Get right with the Lord”. I’m curious as to how many people have done that; I can’t be the only one can I?
It wasn’t until I saw a conversation on Facebook one day talking about Revelation. I can’t recall the full context of the debate, but it focused around Revelation being a warning and that it was given to us to be able to mark when the world was going to end so that we could make ourselves “Right with God”. If Revelation is the reason you “Got right with the Lord”, you may want to check your heart and your motivation. I know from experience! I wholeheartedly believe that the book of Revelation was to be first, an encouragement of God’s faithfulness; that no matter what happens in the end, even being slain for your faithfulness, His children, you and I, will join Him where He’s promised…In our Heavenly abode. But that’s not the only encouragement we should take from Revelation. We see millions if not billions of people in this book that will end up in an eternity void of God’s love and His presence. We have been commissioned to reach those people so that they may have the same appreciation and encouragement that God provides believers.
Maybe my viewpoint isn’t popular, maybe Revelation encourages a lot more people than I think, and maybe you haven’t looked at the book and what it ultimately leads to as encouraging through all the fire, torment and death. Take new perspective of encouragement on Revelation if you haven’t done so, it may brighten your eyes that the Lord truly is in control and there is NO reason to fear, not even death.