The Babylonian Captivity of the Church

The Babylonian Captivity of the Church

When St. John wrote the ebook of Revelation, he was making an attempt to assist the primary century Christians perceive how you can be folks of God whereas dwelling in what was the oppressive Roman Empire. Each time these early Christians spoke concerning the empire, they referred to it as Babylon. Babylon was the code phrase for the Empire; the dominant society during which they had been dwelling.

Each societal system must be considered Babylon, given its utilization within the ebook of Revelation. For folks dwelling in Japan, their Babylon is the Japanese socio-economic system and tradition. For the German folks, Babylon is the German socio-economic system. However as a result of we stay in the US of American, our Babylon is the American societal system.

Dont get me incorrect. I like my nation. I imagine its the perfect Babylon on the face of the earth; however it’s nonetheless Babylon. It’s not the Metropolis of God! To deal with it as such is, based on the ebook of Revelation, idolatry (see, Rev. Chap. 17).

Our Babylon invitations us to embrace wealth, whereas the life-style of those that stay out Jesus radical life-style requires that we sacrifice our wealth to assist the poor (Mark 10:17-27).The American Babylon affirms capital punishment and legitimates conflict, whereas the ethics of Christs Kingdom ask that we present mercy and be peace makers. On the one hand, our dominant tradition invitations us to glorify ourselves and assert ourselves above others whereas the Jesus we examine in scripture teaches us simply the alternative (Matt. 5:5 and Phil. 2:4-11).

Whereas Babylon glorifies recognition and fame, Jesus tells us to beware when everybody speaks effectively of us, and to see ourselves blessed when the folks of Babylon reject us and say ugly issues about us (Luke 6:22-23). It’s no marvel that there are those that regard Christians who stay in accordance the values and life-style prescribed by Jesus as dwelling an the wrong way up existence in distinction with those that have been seduced by Babylon.

The dominant society additionally fosters idolatry. Certainly, so many people within the Church may very well be accused of worshiping Babylon relatively than Jesus, and thus may very well be referred to as idolaters in that we’re compromised Christians who adore and search after the glories of Babylon, relatively than searching for to glorify God by dwelling in accord with the values and requisites of God’s Kingdom (Matt. 6:33). Many people who name ourselves followers of Jesus usually are not able to commit ourselves to following the Christ who calls us out of Babylon (Rev. 18:4) and challenges us to withstand being conformed to what Babylon desires us to be (Rom. 12:1-2). You can not learn the New Testomony with out turning into conscious that being a follower of Jesus is to be counter-cultural to all that Babylon is making an attempt to promote us and lure us into turning into.

As we learn the closing chapters of the ebook of Revelation, we be taughtthat ultimately Babylon will fall. Each Babylon finally falls, and the American Babylon isn’t any exception. Solely that Kingdom whereby Jesus is King has no finish. We affirm this on Easter Sunday after we be a part of the church choir in singing the Hallelujah refrain that declares that, He shall reign ceaselessly and ever. There may be one different Easter hymn that lets it’s identified that Kings and Kingdoms shall all move away, however that Jesus shall reign over his kingdom ceaselessly.

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As we think about this current age we’d conclude that one cause that our Babylon will fall is as a result of our consumeristic life requires the exhausting of the sources, each pure and human, which have made the luxurious existence we’ve come to take with no consideration attainable (Rev. 18:12-13). There’ll come a time, the scripture tells us, when the remainder of the folks of the world will now not purchase the merchandise that our Babylon is promoting (Rev. 18:11) and that’s another excuse Babylon will collapse. Our financial domination of different nations will probably be no extra and the commerce that has made America wealthy, at occasions on the expense of others, could have come to an finish.

Ours has been an empire constructed on the sufferings of many harmless folks. As I learn Revelation 15:5-6, which makes clear that there’ll come an finish to such an empire, I couldn’t assist however assume, in historic perspective, how our American prosperity has been constructed on the sweat and blood of individuals we’ve victimized and from whom our ancestors have stolen. I’m considering of individuals like Native Individuals and African slaves. The ebook of Revelation lets us know {that a} day of reckoning is coming.

The Bible says that the autumn of Babylon will come shortly (Rev. 18:10). There will probably be, based on scriptures, two reactions to this in a single day collapse. First would be the response of the retailers, who will weep and wail as a result of that they had been completely invested in Babylon. They are going to weep as a result of all that was treasured to them will probably be no extra. They are going to agonize as a result of the markets into which that they had poured their lives could have disappeared as a result of, No man buyeth their merchandise anymore (Rev. 18:11). We Individuals ought to have identified this was coming in that we got foretastes of such a collapse in the course of the financial downturn in 2008, after which once more have witnessed the results on the financial system following the Coronavirus outbreak in 2020. Throughout these days we must always have sensed the precarious nature of the prosperous lifestyle we had discovered to get pleasure from (Rev. 18:14).

Not solely will the retailers on Wall Road weep and wail upon the autumn of Babylon, however so will most of the remainder of us whose lives have been so vastly invested in its materialistic system. We individuals who have develop into snug within the methods of Babylon will weep and wail however, because the scripture inform us, so will these in different nations whose lives had been inexorably tied in with our Babylon (Rev. 18:3). These different peoples of the world who had lived the nice life derived from Babylons environment friendly and productive societal system additionally will share on this struggling. The collapse of Babylon will pull them down as effectively.

In distinction to all of the dangerous information about Babylon, there’s some excellent news. There additionally will probably be an excellent celebration in response to the autumn of Babylon. The nineteenth chapter of Revelation declares that these folks of God who had not been seduced by Babylon, however relatively, had poured themselves and all that that they had, into the ministries of the Kingdom of God which might be marked by love and justice, will be a part of the heavenly hosts and shout Hallelujah! as Babylon falls. These will probably be those that had invested themselves in works of evangelism and social justice. Their good works had been treasure laid up in Heaven the place neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and the place thieves don’t break by and steal (Matt. 6:19-20).

Right here is the query that all of us should sooner or later reply: On that superior day when Babylon collapses, with whom will you stand? Will you be with the retailers, and all these recognized with them, and weep and wail since you and all you had lived for had been invested within the empire? Or will you be capable to stand with the angels and the folks of God and shout, Hallelujah! as a result of you have got been invested within the works of God? The way you reply that query could have everlasting penalties. I, myself, wrestle to reply that query and I have to admit that I’m uneasy every time I give it some thought. My solely consolation is the excellent news that my salvation is a present of God, given by grace due to Christs faithfulness to his Father in His loss of life and resurrection. And so I ask once more, On which facet will every of us stand on that nice and superior day?

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