Know Who Opposes You (Part 2)
Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities (Revelation 18:4-5).
Certainly, one of the things that Revelation does for us is to remind us that things are not always as they seem. With this in mind, God’s people are to be discerning regarding those who oppose us. Yesterday we saw how opposition can come from within the visible church. Yet Revelation also shows us that opposition comes from outside the church. With graphic images of a dragon and beasts, Revelation allows the reader to see the horrific Satanic opposition that exists behind governments and institutions of this world (see chapters 12,13).
One of Satan’s most lethal tools is described as a city named Babylon in Revelation 18. This symbol captures all that “allures, tempts and seduces and draws people away from God (Hendrickson, 166).” We can fill in the blank on our own by drawing from the list of things we know well (luxuries to pamper ourselves, fame to pump our pride, drugs to deaden the pain, pornography to titillate glands, and so on).
In Revelation 18:2, we hear of Babylon being destroyed. So when we read the call in verse 4 above, we are being encouraged not to be duped by lies. For things are not always as they appear. Knowing that Babylon is striving to lure us away, God’s people are called to “come out of her.” We should not be ensnared by her allurements or buy into her lies.
This is a lesson we desperately need to learn, for we live in many ways at the very heart of the “Babylon” of our day. The very culture we live in is our nation’s greatest export. The people of the world want to wear what Americans wear, watch the movies Americans watch, and act like Americans act. So we are especially prone to buy the lies that our culture is selling. But here in Revelation, we are given sober advice: “come out.”