Rejoice, O Heaven

Today’s reading is Revelation 18.

Babylon is Fallen! We have been repeating the cycle over and over. Jesus goes out to conquer, but things don’t seem to be going His way, but then He wins. We come to the ending of the final cycle. Each time, we’ve been given a fuller picture of the story. For the next several chapters, we’ll see the judgment of the enemies and the victory of Jesus. Heaven rejoices! The apostles, prophets, and saints rejoice. And what an interesting statement is made in Revelation 18:18. “What city was like the great city?” In one sense, no city. Babylon was vile, immoral, ungodly. However, it is actually an ironic question. When asked from the perspective of what other city was so mighty as Babylon, the obvious answer is, “Well, the city of God which defeated Babylon.” We’ll meet that city in a couple of chapters, but we already know who that city is, right? Yep. It’s us. We are the city of God. No matter how mighty Babylon, Rome, Moscow, London, Washington ever think they are, the Heavenly Jerusalem is more mighty and will always come out victorious. Praise the Lord!

Tomorrow’s reading is Revelation 19.

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Babylon is Fallen

Today’s reading is Revelation 18.

“Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great!”

Whether Babylon initially represented Rome or Jerusalem is beside the point. The point is Christ’s kingdom prevails and Babylon falls. The victory may have seemed in question for some time, but in the end Jesus always wins. We bring the message to our day. Whether the great city is Mecca, Washington, Hong Kong, Beijing, Seoul, London, or Timbuktu, every city and kingdom that raises its head against Jesus will fall. Yes, they¬† will have authority for an hour. Yes, they may even drink the blood of saints. Yes, they may conquer for a time. But the worst they accomplish is sending saints to be with their Lord. In the end, they will fall. In the end, they will be defeated and destroyed. Hang on! Jesus always wins!

Tomorrow’s reading is Revelation 19.

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Today’s reading is James 5.

As we talk about making disciples, we need to remember it is not merely an issue of bringing someone out from the world and into Christ. The end of disciple making is not baptism, but being like Jesus. In other words, disciple making is, in a sense, “Christ making.” No, I’m not saying any of us will become the Savior or be able to pay the ransom for anyone else. But it really is to become “Christian,” or “little Christs.” That is why the last few verses of James are so important. As we make disciples, don’t just look out to the world, look to your brethren. Look especially to brethren who are wandering from the truth and work to bring them back. That is just as much making a disciple as converting those completely outside of Jesus. Can you think of some fallen brother or sister you can call this week?

Tomorrow’s reading is Philemon 1.

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