This devotional is one day of a 365 days devotional book entitled Living Hope for the End of Days that explores Revelation, the final book of God's Word; and is available at http://www.dtbm.org/
As the end of days approaches, you can find hope as you feel the compassion of Jesus!
TUESDAY: Jesus Offers Purity in the Sea of Filth
They sang … a new song before the throne ….These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb,
—Revelation 14:3a, 4, emphasis added
In the verse above, John further explains who the servants are that sing that new song. At this time the world is intoxicated with fornication, the wine of passion (14:8), for the earth dwellers did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts (9:21). So in the midst of such wickedness all over the planet, this group of servants stands out in their purity.
What does “not defiled with women” mean in verse 4? This phrase has been erroneously used to found all kinds of celibate cults throughout the years. It certainly means no fornication, uncleanness, or any other sexual immorality. It can also mean that they are literally like Jesus—unmarried and kept for God’s glory alone, and as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7, “undistracted” by marriage. However, this is a spiritual scene: For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2). Does this mean that none of Paul’s converts were married? No. Paul has gone from the physical realm of adultery, fornication, and immorality to the realm of spiritual adultery, fornication, and immorality—just as John does in verse 4.
When we become Christians, we are engaged to Jesus Christ, so we should keep ourselves from other suitors. Who are those suitors? We find the answer in James 4:4-5: Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously?” You and I can commit sin by loving the world.
The world is the earth-dwelling system in which a person only lives for the moment (the pleasure, the thrill, the stuff, the toys, and the entertainment) instead of being a pilgrim and stranger on the earth and looking for heaven. Since you are engaged to Jesus, and He is preparing a home for you to dwell in forever with Him, if another suitor comes to you and says, “He is gone, so spend some time with me,” you must firmly say NO. That is what the Christian life is like. Spiritual fornication is loving something that distracts us from our love for Christ. If you are attracted to the world more than to Christ, you are lusting after the world.
Our world is getting so vile: … It is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret (Ephesians 5:12). I cannot tell you how many times I have been in the car listening to the news and had to turn it off to keep from hearing about the filth going on in our culture in the highest places of society. In our world there is a constant redefinition of sin. Sodomy has become “gay”; fornication and adultery have become “an affair.” But God says fornication is any mental or physical sexual contact with someone who is not your husband or wife. He would thus consider sexual pictures, sensual phone conversations, and fantasy thoughts as adultery and fornication.
Those things destroy spiritual sensitivity, so God tells us clearly: Do not love the world [all the lust, immorality, godlessness] or the things in the world [toys, trinkets, and distractions]. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh [desires and pleasure], the lust of the eyes [chasing after stuff we see], and the pride of life [status and power]—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever (1 John 2:15-17).
I meet people all the time who want to know the will of God, and I tell them to stay pure. You will not know the will of God if you are living in impurity. You will not know the will of God if you are not a holy, chaste bride seeking out Christ alone. If you love the world and the stuff in the world you will not know the will of God because it is enmity with God to do so. What is the world? It is the whole system that draws us away from a holy walk with God. Television is a classic example: TV has conditioned us to act superficially. The end result is that many of God’s children have become only “hearers of the Word” rather than “doers of the Word” (James 1:22-25). This, in turn, causes desensitization to the compassion of Christ. The world’s system promotes our pride, assertiveness, and aggressiveness. And our busyness prevents us from having time for people.
In contrast, those who do not defile themselves, who stay pure with Jesus Christ and seek Him, These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes (Revelation 14:4). The Scriptures say that compassion is a universal language that does not require translation. People saw Christ’s compassion in His eyes and His life; He did not have to declare it. A true servant of the Lamb will have His spiritual sensitivity; they can follow the Lamb and do His will because they will be pure. So then, if you want to know God’s will, stay pure. Deny sin!
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