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August 16 Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 51-52
“Flee out of the midst of Babylon!”
Throughout the Word of God Babylon represents false religion. It does not matter what name the religion wears, every religion that declares salvation by the will, works, and worth of the sinner, in whole or in part, is the religion of Babylon. It is antichrist. It engulfs the whole world in darkness. God’s command to his people concerning Babylon is not, “Reform her,” “Rebuild her,” or “Restore her.” God’s command is crystal clear and forcibly repeated throughout the Scriptures (Isaiah 48:20; 52:11; Jeremiah 50:8; 51:6, 45; 1 Corinthians 6:17; Revelation 18:4). No less than seven times he says, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partaker of her sins, (her religious doctrines, ceremonies and blasphemies), and that ye receive not of her plagues.” We are to totally abandon all false religion, touching not the unclean thing, and align ourselves with Christ, his Gospel and his people.
Unity to Keep
We should always endeavor “to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Bend over backwards to get along with God’s saints. Make allowances for one another’s faults, failures, and offenses. Never be guilty of alienating a brother, or refusing to graciously embrace one who is a child of God. But this brotherly kindness is not to be extended to those who are “the enemies of the cross of Christ.” — “Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord?” (2 Chronicles 19:2; Psalm 139:21-22; Galatians 1:6-9).
Separation to Make
With regard to all false religion, the commandment of God is as plain as the nose on your face. Our Lord Jesus says to all who are in apostate, Babylonian, free-will, works religion, — “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”
Let me be crystal clear. All free will, works religion, Arminianism in any and every form, under any denominational name, is false religion. It may call itself Christian. But it is not Christian at all. Such religion is utter paganism! It is a total denial of God’s free and sovereign grace in Jesus Christ (Galatians 5:2, 4). Any mixture of works with grace is a total denial of grace (Romans 11:6). To assert that salvation is by the will of man is to deny that “Salvation is of the Lord” (Jonah 2:9; Romans 9:16).
The Triune Jehovah calls for all who worship him to clearly separate themselves from every form of idolatry and false religion (2 Corinthians 6:14; Revelation 18:4). Yes, that means we are not to attend, support, or promote those synagogues of Satan where “will worshippers” meet.
We must never forsake the assembly of the saints (Hebrews 10:25). But we are specifically commanded to forsake the religious assemblies of those who do not worship our God and “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness.”
God never once says, “Stay in Babylon, try to reform her, teach in her Sunday School, and maybe you can do a little good.” Compromise will never benefit the souls of men. The only thing to do with Babylon is to “Come out of her, that ye be not partakers of her sins (her religious activities), and that ye receive not of her plagues.” — “Go ye out of the midst of her and deliver ye every man his soul” (Jeremiah 51:45).
Some who read these lines are still clinging to Babylon. You are trying to walk on both sides of the fence. You claim to believe the Gospel of God’s free and sovereign grace in Christ; but you attend synagogues of Satan and support false prophets with your money, your presence, and your influence. If you do, you are as guilty of crimes against God and the souls of men as the false prophet you support. You are taking everyone under your influence by the hand (husbands, wives, children, neighbors, everyone under your influence), and leading them to hell. And you are as lost as they are. This is what the Master says; and he says it specifically to you, — “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”
This separation from Babylon, this abandonment of all attempts to make yourself righteous by your own works, this abandonment of all free will, works religion is one essential aspect of faith in Christ. You cannot trust yourself and trust Christ. You cannot trust your works and trust Christ. You cannot try to make yourself holy and trust Christ. We must forever abandon Babylon, the works of our hands, for Christ. This is what God the Holy Ghost calls “perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1).