The Church and The Girlfriend No One Likes (Rev. 12:1-6 & 17:1-6)

Posted: April 12, 2010 in Uncategorized

The Church and the Boyfriend/Girlfriend Everyone Hates (Rev. 12:1-6 and 17:1-6).

Ever had a “friend” that dated someone hot but crazy? They put up with it for obvious reasons.

What about the friend who dated someone crazy for seemingly no good reason?

In reality, it may be for simple security.

We hold on to things because we lust after them or because they make us feel safe. We think both will make us happy.

The people of the 1st century Roman Empire were no different.

Let’s look at Revelation 12:1-6

12:1 And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. 2 She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth. 3 And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems. 4 His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it. 5 She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, 6 and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days.

12:1-2, the woman represents the persecuted people of God from whom comes the Messiah.

12:3, the serpent, or Satan, is red from the blood of Christians and the seven heads and crowns are a mockery of the perfect reign of God.

12:4, the 1/3rd of the stars of heaven are the angels Satan recruited to wage his war in heaven.

12:5-6, the child is Jesus and the woman is the church.

Now let’s look at Revelation 17:1-6

17:1 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who is seated on many waters, 2 with whom the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality, and with the wine of whose sexual immorality the dwellers on earth have become drunk.” 3 And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality. 5 And on her forehead was written a name of mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations.” 6 And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.

 

While the beast is the political ruler of the empire, the woman represents the blasphemous religion that seduces the nations and the economic system that draws them into its earthly luxury.

We have a vision of a life that will make sense of everything and make us happy. It is a vision cluttered with stuff and people who define love as loving us.

It deludes us into thinking that we are living a story we can control as if we wrote the script.

Not knowing what will happen drives us crazy…BUT the book of Revelation teaches us that we never did!

Jesus taught his disciples that he could return at any time (“like a thief in the night”). The great thing about the doctrine of the second coming of Jesus is that it orients us to the present and the mission given to us by King Jesus. Why spend all of our time planning and stressing over a future that may not even exist? Instead we need to focus on what we want to be doing when Jesus returns.

One day, we will regret investing all of our time, energy and anxiety into these things as we do bad relationships.

Revelation 12 and 17 contrast two different women–one is the prostitute who dangles material goods in front of us to seduce us away from an authentic life with God and the other is the church, which exists in the desert. To live in the desert means to trust God for everything moment to moment. There are two different ways to live. Which will you choose?

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