The Fifth Sunday of Easter

Revelation 18:21-19:10

How the Righteous Pine for a Different City

The Book of Revelation is good for showing the stark contrast between the righteous and the wicked.  It is seen primarily in their desires and affections.  Yesterday, we saw how the wicked groaned over the destruction of Babylon, over the death of the Prostitute.  Their lust for her was insatiable, and then they were left with nothing but an unabated craving.  There are few things more insufferable than a burning passion that cannot be quenched and will not be extinguished.

But notice the manner of the righteous.  Not only do they not pine for Babylon; indeed, they rejoice in her demise.  And why shouldn’t they?  For we read that “in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all who have been slain on earth.”  As Christians, we must understand that the world is not our friend.  Therefore, John says, “Do not love the world or the things in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15).  And James tells us, “Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?  Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4).  For us, the world is a prostitute, seeking to lure us under her spell.  “But,” you say, “the world has slain none of us.  This speaks of another day, another time.”  Not at all.  True, in some places believers are literally slain and fall under the sword.  But everywhere and at all times the world seeks to conquer us, either by might or by seduction.  It is the devil’s domain, and so he is called “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:1-2).

The people of God have desires, to be sure, but they are far different.  When we come to saving faith in Christ Jesus, we trade the passions of the flesh and pride in possessions for desires of godliness and holiness – in short, we are given a passion for God, which we then cultivate.  It is a godly passion with which He gifts us, so that we may desire Him who desires us, for “He yearns jealously over the spirit that He has made to dwell in us” (James 4:5).  We love what God loves and despise what He despises.  So we rejoice in the ultimate and final overthrow of Babylon, mistress of Satan, for her destruction signals the beginning of the manifest and visible reign of our God.  Our betrothal will soon come to an end and our nuptials begun as we are adorned in the fine linen our Groom desires.  We will have cast off the last relics of the old nature and be completely swallowed up in the new.  Our desires and passions will be finally purified, and “we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2).

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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