Revelation 18:4–5 (NKJV)
4 And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. 5 For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.
Revelation 18: 1-10: Another angel comes down from heaven crying that Babylon has fallen and become a place of demons and every foul thing. All nations have engaged in fornication with her, becoming rich because of her abundance. The people of God are called to come out of Babylon lest they be caught up in her plagues and judgment. The kings who participated with her will see her burning and say, “Alas . . . for in one hour your judgment has come.” 11-20 The merchants who profited from all the precious stones, fine linen, etc., will mourn because she has fallen. On the other hand, heaven, the holy apostles and prophets are told to rejoice because God has avenged them.
21-24 A mighty angel throws a great millstone into the sea and says that this is the way Babylon will be thrown down. There will be no more music, no more merchandising, no more light, and no more marriage in Babylon because the nations were deceived by her sorcery and the blood of the prophets and saints was found in her.
I particularly find that vv 4-5 speak to me and to the church today. We are told to come out from “Babylon.” The various interpretations of this are:
Historicist: This is the call of the reformation to come out from the corrupt papal system.
Preterist: This is the call Jesus gave to those living in Jerusalem to flee the city before the destruction in 70 a.d.
Futurist: This is the call of Christ to separate from the corrupt Babylon which will be the economic centerpiece during the Tribulation.
Spiritualist: This is Christ’s timeless call to be separated from the corrupt system of this world.
For our present application, I think the spiritualist’s interpretation the most practical. Believers must be careful not to get sucked into the system of this world. The question is, where do you draw the line? The answer to that question finds expression in various ways in various sects. Sadly, as time passes we seem to be less and less separated and that is why Christianity is less and less important in society. Actually, this is only part of the problem. Yes, separation is important, but separation without a commensurate filling with the Spirit only makes things worse. It is the Spirit’s presence that attracts the world. The point is this: To be filled, you must be emptied: To be filled with the Spirit, you must be emptied of a love of the world.
God I need you to change my heart! Help me to love You, not the world.