Monday, January 23, 2017


(written by Pastor Joe)
The Word for Today: Revelation 18:1-20
mark this: 18:17
"For in a single hour all this wealth has been laid waste."
In our passage today, we read about an unmitigated disaster- one that makes the Great Depression, Hiroshima and 9/11 look like small potatoes. We witness the titanic collapse of Babylon. The biggest and greatest and only hope that the godless world has, is destroyed. The source of the world's power, wealth, luxury, and splendor is wrecked in spectacular fashion. History has witnessed much destruction, but the scale we see in this passage is unprecedented.
It's hard to wrap our minds around it. "When the foundations are being destroyed,what can the righteous do?" (1)
What do you take for granted?
We are told that the only guarantees in life are death and taxes, but in our everyday reality, I think we assume much more than that, especially in America. Today, we expect financial security, we expect personal safety, we expect family stability, we expect physical health. When any of the above don't quite measure up, we then take appropriate measures to return us back to normal. The problem is, we no longer live under the assumption that we can greatly influence these four categories (which we can). We now live under the illusion that we can control each of these categories (which is impossible).
Have you ever considered the hard truth of just how close any one of us is to disaster in any of the above areas? One market crash, one lost job, one terrorist, one nuclear strike, one terrible choice, one doctor visit, one phone call, one moment away from our own world forever turning upside down. It's rather disconcerting and so most of us prefer not to think on such matters.
But the truth is, that even if we are not around to face the events found in the book of Revelation, each one of us will have to face our own personal apocalypse, our own personal judgment day. It's for good reason that Word of God compares our brief time on planet earth with a fading flower, withering grass, a passing mist. (2)
When everything is going well, we all can lose sight of eternity and priorities very quickly. When everything is going well, it's easy to assume that we are trusting in Jesus Christ. It's only when everything falls apart that we can see what we really believe. All the wealth and hopes and dreams of Babylon were gone within a single hour. It can take much less time for any single one of us.
May we all take the advice of the angel in this passage and "come out of her." May we remove our hopes and security from this sinking ship, before it's too late.
(1) Psalm 11:3
(2) see Isaiah 40:7 and James 4:14

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