Tuesday, July 7

Revelation: In One Hour

What is one hour? 60 minutes .....

An hour is either really long or really short based on your perspective. If you are waiting to go on vacation, each hour can feel like a day! If you are on vacation, you wonder where each day went! That is how time works.

An hour at work is one thing. An hour jet skiing is another.

An hour alive is wonderful. An hour dead and unsaved is 59 minutes, 59 seconds too long .... and never going to end.

An hour is long enough to make the impossible happen ... when God is doing things!

Read: Revelation 18
1After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. 2With a mighty voice he shouted:
"Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!
She has become a home for demons
and a haunt for every evil[a] spirit,
a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird.
3For all the nations have drunk
the maddening wine of her adulteries.
The kings of the earth committed adultery with her,
and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries."

4Then I heard another voice from heaven say:
"Come out of her, my people,
so that you will not share in her sins,
so that you will not receive any of her plagues;
5for her sins are piled up to heaven,
and God has remembered her crimes.
6Give back to her as she has given;
pay her back double for what she has done.
Mix her a double portion from her own cup.
7Give her as much torture and grief
as the glory and luxury she gave herself.
In her heart she boasts,
'I sit as queen; I am not a widow,
and I will never mourn.'
8Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her:
death, mourning and famine.
She will be consumed by fire,
for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.

9"When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her. 10Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry:
" 'Woe! Woe, O great city,
O Babylon, city of power!
In one hour your doom has come!'

11"The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes any more— 12cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble; 13cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and bodies and souls of men.

14"They will say, 'The fruit you longed for is gone from you. All your riches and splendor have vanished, never to be recovered.' 15The merchants who sold these things and gained their wealth from her will stand far off, terrified at her torment. They will weep and mourn 16and cry out:
" 'Woe! Woe, O great city,
dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet,
and glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls!
17In one hour such great wealth has been brought to ruin!'

"Every sea captain, and all who travel by ship, the sailors, and all who earn their living from the sea, will stand far off. 18When they see the smoke of her burning, they will exclaim, 'Was there ever a city like this great city?' 19They will throw dust on their heads, and with weeping and mourning cry out:
" 'Woe! Woe, O great city,
where all who had ships on the sea
became rich through her wealth!
In one hour she has been brought to ruin!
20Rejoice over her, O heaven!
Rejoice, saints and apostles and prophets!
God has judged her for the way she treated you.' "

21Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea, and said:
"With such violence
the great city of Babylon will be thrown down,
never to be found again.
22The music of harpists and musicians, flute players and trumpeters,
will never be heard in you again.
No workman of any trade
will ever be found in you again.
The sound of a millstone
will never be heard in you again.
23The light of a lamp will never shine in you again.
The voice of bridegroom and bride
will never be heard in you again.
Your merchants were the world's great men.
By your magic spell all the nations were led astray.
24In her was found the blood of prophets and of the saints,
and of all who have been killed on the earth."

This was not supposed to happen. After all, this was Babylon, the Great city of wealth and power. She was the dominant force in the world of kingdoms. Like a football dynasty (Cowboys, 49ers, etc.) that seems to never end, she enjoyed the position.

Yet they all do come to an end.

This kingdom was not supposed to end like this. In one hour, all her glory, power and wealth are destroyed. Smoke rises from her cities and castles. The kings of earth, the merchants and the sea captains mourn the loss of Babylon. They cry out in "woe" for the great loss.

In one hour. In the blink of an eye. God took the city out. The kings and merchants were doing business deals and making money. They were not concerned with the adultery and murder in the streets. As long as they were making money. They were not concerned with the murder of Christians. It wasn't their problem.

In one hour all that changed.

In the past weeks we have seen how one hour changed the lives of people. Michael Jackson is dead. Billy Mays is dead. Steve McNair is dead. A drug overdose. A heart attack. A gunshot to the head. One moment they are here enjoying life, planning concerts ... doing life. Next moment they are gone. In one hour.

Are you aware that you could be gone in any given hour? In fact, you will be gone in a given hour. You just don't know when that will be. One hour you wil be here and the next you will be gone. Are you ready? Do you know Jesus as your Savior and Lord this hour? Are you trusting Him this hour?

Are you living for money, power, position? Are you in relationship with someone that helps you make money (a partner, a boss, an organization, a customer) and yet not concerned about their well being or salvation? It is easy to get blinded by the pursuit of money and miss what is going on around us.

We do not want key people in our lives to die in any given hour and have to declare, "Woe, woe! Dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet, and glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls! Yet, in one hour such great wealth has been brought to ruin and I loved the benefits but did not share the truth of Jesus with them. Woe, Woe!"

No regrets. Someone's hour is up!

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