Celebrating Early

Posted on June 19th, by Ken in Revelation 18:1-8. No Comments

Have you ever celebrated a birthday, anniversary, or other special occasion early? How about someone’s funeral? I knew a man who did just that. The funeral was his own. He was old and he knew he would die in the next few years, so he put together his own memorial service. His memorial service was a mix of all his favorite music interspersed with messages of wise counsel and his reflections on life. It took him months to select the right music, write the script, and record it so it could be played at his funeral service. He liked it so much, however, that he decided to invite everyone he knew to come to a special service held in a beautiful chapel in a Roman Catholic Church. He didn’t tell them that it was his funeral service, which delighted him to no end. The day came. Hundreds of people showed up dressed in suits and ties and gowns. There were refreshments afterword and finger-sandwiches, just like at some funerals. Only he got to pick what was served. He planned the thing right down to the printing of the programs. When it was over, he was well pleased that he pulled one over on everyone. He died a few years later. He was cremated. I did the memorial service. My job was to inform everyone that the memorial service had already taken place.

In Revelation 18:1-8, we find the funeral of Babylon the Great (Rome) announced early. Yes there are those who mourn. We will meet the cast of characters who mourn in the second half of Revelation 18. But those being persecuted by the seductive drunken whore called “Babylon the Great” will rejoice greatly. In our passage, the Church is called out of Babylon for two reasons: first, so that the saints do not get entangled in her sins; and, second, so that the people of God may escape the plagues that are coming. Babylon the Great is doomed. Her fate is sealed. She will go down with all her minions. Heaven will burst open with Hallelujahs. There will be music and words of wisdom mixed together. Will there be refreshments and finger-sandwiches? I don’t know. But what I do know is that Rome’s demise was announced early to give encouragement, hope, and courage to the Church suffering at Rome’s hands. It was like celebrating a funeral early…

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