ASLEEP IN THE LIGHT
The Harlot Babylon the Great bears noteworthy resemblance to the spiritual ‘church’ of Israel during her period of harlotry before her exile, and remarkable resemblance (again, spiritually speaking) to the city of Ninevah before God’s unrestrained wrath was visited upon her. We often think we could not possibly be part of Babylon the Great. After all, we are not Catholics. We are good Protestants and go to the best church or fellowship ever. We cannot be idolatrous or cruel. Perhaps we even claim to have left the evil, Institutionalized Church altogether, Protestant or Catholic. We have the right doctrine, and could not possibly be apathetic enough to find ourselves in that same spirit as the Great Harlot, right?
Wrong. This is the way we think when we are thinking only in labels and doctrines, rather than in the lives we lead as Christians. We are looking at the outside of the cup, and not on the inside. Can we really tell so much by outward signs alone? If it were so easy to tell by outward indications, then why would the Lord ever say, "Come out of her, my people" to His people in regards to Babylon? (Rev. 18:4) Why would He have to? Couldn't His people (and they really are his people), keep themselves from being fooled for even a moment? Apparently not, and if we think we are so impervious, we are probably already fooled.
You see, it’s not about denominations or sectarian distinctions, or even about location (Rev. 17:15). Sure, we should depart from wickedness, even run from her. That is why God says to come out. But let us not become complacent in our illusions of safety and special status, because Christ is about Life:
We need to worry less over the future and consider our spiritual state,
NOW. But why should we if we are not dead in the first place? No, we are
alive! We are not blind or naked or poor in spirit, either. It is not us.
It is always someone else in some other Christian group or denomination.
It is not us. It is someone or some time in the future. This is a simple
mental diversion tactic we play on ourselves, and it leads to deception.
Who needs a "coming great deception," if we are already deceived?
WAKE UP AND COMPLETE THE DEEDS
So the first step is to humbly ask for the ministry of the Lord for help, as He sees fit to give it. Admitting to ourselves that the need is there is a big step, but often we are too wretched and blind even for that. Therefore, although we might be confident about our spiritual condition, it would not hurt us to ask for God's honest evaluation for us, fearless of the outcome. This could mean the painful humility of hearing from those passionate and intrusive prophets, teachers, or counselors you would rather ignore (and I am confident that you are abundantly surrounded by ‘foolish’, ‘weak’, and ‘unqualified’ people like this). Most blind people assume they should be able to just pray and listen to the Living Lord themselves and for themselves, because they are righteous enough that He would gladly answer. But sometimes our barriers of sin and deafness are too much for Him to cross. Often times He does not choose to 'speak' to us in a way we would prefer anyway, because we have run our own lives in our own wisdom long enough and things simply must be out of our control (for once!). Sometimes He is silent. This is why God must minister to us in a way we need, and not necessarily in a way we would choose. The 'righteousness' of the religious is still filthy rags before the Lord (Isa. 64:6), so it is not time to count on them for some sort of automatically deserved favor.
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