Hope after Hope Before Hope / Revelation 17
- We are looking for something that can actually do anything about these dark places in the world and in our lives.
- We have seen a lot of darkness and a lot of chaos in the book of Revelation. The next two chapters are like walking around in a pitch black room.
This morning we are going to look at the effect of evil in the world and it’s attempt to reign larger than Christ.
Augustine states that evil is something that is turned away from good. we take what is initially good and turn from it. That act of turning is evil itself.
Evil can never stand on it’s own. But Christ causes people to be able to stand.
we are going to see a few different ways in this chapter that evil tries to stand but can’t and how Christ is the response to each
Evil always tries to manipulate through a disordered love. Christ re orders us through eternal love
Revelation 17:4–6 ESV
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. And on her forehead was written a name of mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations.” And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.
When I saw her, I marveled greatly.
The woman in this passage is the city, the mechanism of humanity. All that humanity uses in order to get attention.
This is not saying that humans aren’t beautiful or make beautiful things, it means that we will often arrange things in such a way to manipulate or to disorder or to coerce.
We do this ultimately because of a disordered love.
Our loves are either ordered or disordered. A disordered love is bound with the fear of loss and with it an easy inroad to the privation of evil.
If my love is disordered then I will only love that which will help me get to where I want to go. And when that kind of love happens, there is only selfishness and anger.
As soon as love is disordered, everything is competition. And as soon as there is competition, we will do whatever we can to diminish someone else in order to ascend.
Christ didn’t come into the world yelling and shouting, He came into the world and died for those He loves. God Himself would rather die than abandon us. He still stands in the human condition offering life and purpose. It is not the defeat of evil on our terms but the resolution to live with it in such a way that we understand evil will surrender to Christ.
Evil can only copy, only God can create
Revelation 17:8 ESV
The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to rise from the bottomless pit and go to destruction. And the dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will marvel to see the beast, because it was and is not and is to come.
it shows itself in and through the brokenness of humanity, taking advantage of anything it can
Christ, who evil makes war upon, is the highest form of creation. In Him all things hold together
Romans 4:17 ESV
as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.
He has created all we know and understand. Life lived in God lives in a created and re created order. God takes, makes new, restores, redeems, finds, upcycles and makes.
The church is a part of that life. We live lives in Christ that are regenerative. That offer peace when there is no earthly way. That offers love to our enemy, that forgives when the world wants to crush.
Evil will always collide into anything in their way, only God makes a way
Revelation 17:14 ESV
They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.”
Because evil will always ask more from you. It collides because it will never offer of itself, it will only take
Evil is parasitic.
It needs a host. It needs something other than itself. It can never stand on it’s own.
And we see here, and will see in the rest of the book of Revelation, that the Lamb will conquer those who make war on Him. Those who stand against HIm.
Notice what the Scripture states. It says that they will make war on Him. Notice what it doesn’t say about Christ. It doesn’t say that He will make war on them. It just says He will conquer them. The lamb will.
Jesus isn’t wringing His hands over some kind of battle strategy, He isn’t worried about war and rumors of war. He has already conquered.
Revelation 5:5–7 ESV
And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”
And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne.
We are reminded that evil has tried to do everything to conquer everyone, everything to become as noticeable as possible and everything to destroy the Lamb. Christ has come to us. Not just so we would notice HIm. But that we would be found by Him and know Him. God didn’t make enough noise so we would find Him, God came to us first.