Over the years, students of Bible prophecy have been following world events with great interest, particularly as they seem to relate to the end time. Think, for instance, about the role of the United States. As far back as 1851 some Adventists were identifying America as the second beast power (Rev. 13:11-15), which was a very remarkable identification given the status of the United States then.
In the mid-1800s, the big powers were still the Old World ones: Prussia, France, Austria-Hungary, and England. At that time America had a peace-time army of about twenty thousand men, about one-tenth the number of combatants at the Battle of Waterloo (1815) alone. In 1814, just forty years earlier, the British invaded and burned Washington, D.C. In 1867, Sitting Bull’s braves wiped out General Custer’s Seventh U.S. Cavalry regiment. Thus, even after some commentators identified the United States as the power that would one day enforce the “mark of the beast” on the world, the nation was still fighting native Americans on its own soil, and not always winning either!
No question, world events are following as we have believed they would. But still more things need to unfold before we reach the end. That’s why, for instance, in talking about the “mark of the beast”, it’s very important to emphasize that right now no one has it, regardless of whether or not they are keeping the fourth commandment.
Besides, more needs to unfold.
Read Revelation 18:1-4. What is happening here, and why is this important for us to remember now? What do these verses teach us about our mission to the world?
These verses paint a bleak picture of the world politically, morally, and spiritually. They show the malevolent influence of false religious teaching in the world. At the same time, though, they offer great hope, because another angel from heaven lights the world with his glory. Further, God’s faithful people, the ones who haven’t learned yet what they need to know, are called out of Babylon. This means, then, that right up to the end, God’s people who are already out of Babylon have a work to do for those who are still in it.
|What should it mean to us that the Lord calls some of those still in Babylon “My people”? Why is this an important point for us to remember as we relate to others?|
Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons