The Apocalypse is not meant to be decoded, as so many seem to want to do. It is written to depict the nature of the long battle between good and evil, between God and Satan. The images are not literal; they are evocative. And provocative.
By reading Revelation, Christians should understand
- the temptation to compromise with the world system is always prevalant
- God wants Christians to remain faithful and loyal to him, despite the outside pressure
- the battle is long and hard, but God assures us he is victorious
- if you trust God and are loyal to him, you will believe in his victory and remain aligned with him
- thus, we also are victorious
- so, hang in there.
Leave the decoding to people with too much time on their hands and not enough imagination. Just walk with Jesus, witness to him, remain faithful. That’s all.
The whore is a character from the end of the story whom we encounter in the middle of the story. If the church lives out of Christ’s victory, it lives in the midst of the great city and all it entails. Just what it means to say this cannot be neatly determined in advance, since history (rather inconveniently) has to be lived before it can be narrated. What the Apocalypse does is not to narrate history in advance, but to describe the pattern of suffering, tribulation, and oppression that is intrinsic to the church’s historical existence. The church, we might say, is on a pilgrimage through time, in the course of which it encounters Babylon again and again, always in different forms and guises.
Joseph L. Mangina, Revelation, Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2010), 209. On Revelation 17-18.
Our internet service is out. Five hours into it. They estimated six hours to repair, so maybe. First major outage since we went on fiber over four years ago.
Are you loyal to Jesus?
Is Jesus (and his rule) more important to you …
… than your nation?
… than your family?
… than your career?
… than your home? your car? your stuff?
Putting Jesus first is paramount. If he is not first for me, I am not a true disciple.
My prayer is that we will discover true discipleship, true loyalty to Jesus.
If you are discouraged or disgusted by the political process and situation, I suggest that you take a new approach. Follow Jesus.
You cannot understand the NT book of Revelation unless you are already steeped in the literature of the OT. Every sentence, every image, depends on the OT.
If you try to read Revelation without understanding the OT, you might come up with all kinds of fanciful ways to interpret it that do no justice to the book and its context.
Not that it would ever happen.
Ah. The CRA Fall Brawl is happening also this weekend.
With LeMans streaming and the drag racers in the air, it makes for a nice day. In fact, it sounds like there is a circuit track race going on over in Clermont.