Continuing our study of Revelation 18.
Revelation 18:4 ‘Then I heard another voice from heaven say: “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins so that you will not receive any of her plagues; for her sins are piled up to heaven and God has remembered her crimes.’
Plenty of people, down the ages, have interpreted this verse as meaning they must flee society and head up into the proverbial hills and disconnect themselves from the corruptions of this evil world.
Some have found they have taken their own corrupt evil with them in their suitcase!
Most have sought to live in society but resolutely choose not to indulge in the worldly temptations that await us at every street corner but live as upright and righteous as is possible.
The Christian life embraces a set of values and beliefs that are often at loggerheads with contemporary society. Those coming to faith often face the challenge of changing their perspectives and habits which can be disturbing, if not bewildering at times.
I seem to remember some dear chap, a recent convert to the Lord, who insisted on going back to the pubs to share the gospel with his old mates. Sadly, he found it hard not to refuse a drink when offered to him and was soon back to his old drinking ways again.
I found the same problem. One of the hardest parts of becoming a Christian was to leave my old drug subculture behind. They were like family but I knew they would only drag me back down again. I had to make a clean break in order to stay free.
Difficult decisions have to be made at times. Friendships that have been built up over the years that may have to be set aside if they endanger our walk with the Lord. One hopes and prays that the fellowship of the church will replace these old friendships.
Sodom had fallen into such a grotesque immorality but God had provided escape for Lot and his family:
Genesis 19:15 ‘With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.’
But yet Lot’s wife still held affections for the allure of this corrupt city.
Genesis 19:26 ‘But Lot’s wife looked back and she became a pillar of salt.’
We all face the temptation of looking backwards with regret.
We are called to come away from the corruptions of this world, whether we live in the middle of the metropolis or up on a misty mountain, somewhere in the middle of nowhere. We are called to embrace holiness and renounce the influence of Babylon.
I will leave Peter to explain:
2 Peter 3:11 ‘Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives, as you look forward to the day of the Lord and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.’
Whilst we live in this world, let us not look backwards to the allure and false promises of Babylon but rather, let’s look forward to our new home, the Holy City, New Jerusalem, that will come down from heaven to earth when Christ Jesus returns in power and glory.
It will all be worthwhile!
Thank you for reading this.
For my commentary on Revelation chapter 1, 2 and 3 please click below:
- Revelation 19:11 Faithful and TrueOur testimony is that Jesus has been faithful and true and stood alongside, through every storm that has been thrown at us, and never let go of us ever!
- Revelation 19:10 The Testimony of Jesus…One understanding of the testimony of Jesus is that he will return as the radiant King; and he will bring peace and righteousness to this earth when he establishes his kingdom and reigns from Jerusalem.
- Revelation 19:9 InvitedThe Church as a whole will be invited to the wedding as a corporate being but we will also be invited as individuals, by virtue of our personal salvation that we have received.For many of us who are not usually invited to high-society events and who are often left out and behind, this comes as a blessing indeed!
- Revelation 19:7 Eager AnticipationIn the same way, we are called to look forward to the day when we meet with Christ Jesus, on the day that he returns in power and glory. He is our blessed hope and our lives lived here on earth should be directed towards this coming moment.
- Revelation 19:7 A Wedding!I pray that we will live out our salvation with fear and trembling, and walk closely with our Lord, that we might walk with confidence and reassurance, knowing that we will be warmly welcomed and honoured as a guest, wearing the white robes of righteousness.