When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth. (Rev 6:7-8 NKJ)
Wherever an empire goes death comes along for the ride. Literally, the Roman Empire was given the liberty to do as they chose. God knew that they would steal, kill and destroy, that’s why Hades followed Death, not to clean up the mess but to swallow up the empire.
Eight reasons why the Roman Empire would fall.
1. Invasion by an empire more evil than they were. The Barbarians became strong and when the Roman Empire split in two, east and west, they saw their opportunity to attack.
2. Economic troubles and over-reliance on slave labor. With Rome under attack from the outside, the empire started to crumble on the inside. Too many wars, over spending, high taxes, inflation and a widening gap between rich and poor, with the rich moving their money elsewhere to avoid paying taxes.
3. The empire split in two. An Eastern and a Western Empire became easy to manage at first, but they became divided and vulnerable.
4. Military budget too big.
5. Corruption and political instability
6. Treatment of the alien and the stranger. The Huns were attacking the Goths, pushing them up to the edge of the Roman Empire. The Romans allowed them to cross over for safety but treated them terribly. The Romans forcing the starving Goths to put their children into slavery in exchange for dog meat. Eventually they turned.
7. Christianity destroyed traditional Roman values—the Emperor was no longer god. The popes became the power house. The Church also suffered until the 1500’s
8. Unable to recruit citizens for the army, they relied on mercenaries. The mercenaries were available to the highest bidder and became the enemy within.
John four horses didn’t come and go overnight, but God was in no hurry, others had come and gone before. After all, the Lamb was now enthroned.
Could we learn from history–Yes! Will we learn from history–No!