Monday in the Twenty-Sixth Week of Ordinary Time

Revelation 14:12-13

Blessed Are the Dead Who Die in the Lord

The writer of the Book of Hebrews tells us that the saints “desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one.  Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared for them a city” (11:16).  Please don’t misunderstand: The saints don’t hate this world; this world hates them, just as Jesus said it would (John 15:18-19).  The Book of Revelation paints just such a picture—from the ancient Church to the end of time.  Indeed, Hebrews has it all starting when Cain (a citizen of this world) murdered his own brother Abel (a citizen of the world to come [11:4]).  The Apostle Paul tells us plainly that “all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12).  This is why it is critical that in this world we gladly embrace and proudly march under the banner bearing the titles: “Exiles,” “Sojourners,” “Pilgrims,” and “People Just Passing Through,” keeping ourselves unstained by the world while doing as much good in the meantime as we can (1 Peter 1:2; 2:11; James 2:27).

“Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great,” we read yesterday.  And what music to the ears of the saints this is!  One day, the world which seeks to destroy us through the idolatry of materialism and immorality will itself be destroyed.  The world will finally collapse under its own weight of sin when God’s wrath is ultimately poured out upon it.  For God so loved the world, meaning the people in it whom He would save.  God has never loved the world under the dominion of sin and death; indeed, He has ever hated it.  For it is that world that has tormented and persecuted His chosen ones beginning with Abel and continuing even to our own day, and it is that world He must soon judge—to  avenge the spurning of His holy name through idolatry, the desecration of His creation through sin and death, and the abuse of His people through temptation, trial, and ill-treatment.  All of this calls for judgment and retribution, and we may rightly expect that the Judge of the earth will execute justice (Genesis 18:25).

But the saints will come marching in: “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.”  The Psalmist said it centuries before: “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints” (116:15).  We shall no longer be exiles and pilgrims, for we shall have reached the Eternal City and our Destination.  But until then, we must persevere by “keep[ing] the commandments of God and [our] faith in Jesus Christ.”  Do not compromise; do not fall away.  Eternity is at stake.  The flames on earth last but a little while, but the flames of hell forever.  Our exile is but a glitch; our homecoming the joyful new normal.

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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