Reflections on Revelation #253

Day 253

“8And another angel, a second one, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who has made all the nations drink of the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality.” REV 14:8 (NASB)

Remember, God’s last day people, the 144,000, are not defiled by this woman.
This is the first time Babylon is mentioned in the book. The original symbol of Babylon is rebellion against God and the doctrine of salvation by works; building a tower of human effort. Later, Nebuchadnezzar said, “Is this not great Babylon which I have built” (Dan 4:30.) There are two sides to God in the Bible. In the Old Testament there is the stern but gracious and patient God. In the climate of New Testament times, God comes as a gentle lamb. But in Revelation, both pictures of God are portrayed together. The Lamb is also a Lion (Rev 5:5-6). The gospel of Jesus Christ has two sides. On the one hand, is the free offer of full acceptance with God. On the other hand, there is a penetrating analysis of human depravity and its consequences. While God desires the salvation of all, the message of the end requires corrective action.

The message of our text goes against the grain. The whole world worships the beast (Rev 13:8). The 3 angel’s messages (Rev 14:6-12) will counter the voices of Hollywood, the news, and universities. The good news is that judgment is proclaimed before it is completed (Rev 14:7). There is still an opportunity to avoid its personal consequences. The condemnation of Babylon is not so much bad news as a last opportunity to hear and follow the good news! God cares enough to give us every opportunity to repent before it is too late.

Many threads run through the book of Revelation. One of the golden threads is the theme of worship. The devil wanted to be worshipped right from the beginning. It was one of the temptations offered to Jesus in exchange for the kingdoms of this world. Revelation shows that the central issues in the last crisis of earth’s history will be worship and obedience to God, (Rev. 14:12). The people of the world will fall into two groups: those who fear and worship God, and those who serve and worship the beast.  Whose side are you on?

Our Decisions our ours but the outcome of those decisions has already been decided. Long ago God said, via Moses, “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have placed before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live…” Deuteronomy 30:19.

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