Reading through the Bible together
The 7th plague forecasts the collapse of Babylon, and Rev 18 describes the event in detail. Her destruction is so devastating that her former lovers, the kings of the earth, “will weep and mourn over her. Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry: ‘Woe! Woe, O great city, O Babylon, city of power! In one hour your doom has come!’” Three times it says “in one hour,” like a bell tolling her doom. Other voices in contrast shout, “Rejoice over her, O heaven! Rejoice, saints and apostles and prophets! God has judged her for the way she treated you.” There’s a twofold reason for her condemnation. V. 23 discloses the fascination that grips those who are exposed to her artful ways; v. 24 portrays the sufferings of those who remain faithful to Jesus. Deception and intimidation have always been the tools of Satan, and he has loaned them to Babylon.
Before God brings to absolute conclusion the reign of this merchant of a corrupted gospel and falsified doctrine, He has one last appeal to make: “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive of her plagues.” Among the hordes who have associated themselves with spiritual Babylon are many whom God calls “my people.” They have simply grown up in Babylon and have never known another way to express their devotion to God. But now they’ve been enlightened as to the pure gospel and true obedience. God has not lost sight of these true-hearted believers who are still in Babylon.
There is today a true church within the false, and a false church within the true. There are those who follow God, to the best of their understanding, amid religious perversion; and there are those who, despite being exposed to the glorious, unfiltered light of the gospel, have but a veneer of spirituality covering their unsanctified hearts. The final days of the drama of salvation will see a shifting of loyalties. Many now in Babylon will walk across the line to join those who obey God’s commandments and keep their faith in Jesus; many who now associate with the saints of Rev 14:12 will slip away into darkness under the pressure of persecution and the attractiveness of deception.
Today’s heart experience will determine tomorrow’s final decisions.
Greater Sydney Conference