Appearance is important… People spend a lot of time and money on their appearance. And like it or not it communicates a lot about a person!
In Revelation in the Bible two women are presented in stark contrast to each other, and their appearance says a lot about their character!
The first, a prostitute described as “a woman sitting on a scarlet beast…arrayed inn purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality.” (a picture of an evil age under the grip of Satanic influence). She is seductive, sexy, sinful, even Satanic! (Revelation 17:1-6)
The second, a “bride, who has made herself ready… clothed in fine linen, bright and pure (the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints)… she is prepared “for the marriage of the ‘Lamb’).” (Revelation 19:6-9) The “bride” is pure, virtuous, chaste and righteous – she has devoted herself to present herself as a “pure virgin” for her Heavenly groom – the “Lamb” – Jesus Christ (II Corinthians 11:2).
The first is labeled “Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations.” She is “drunk with the blood of saints and the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.” When she experiences God’s judgment and is destroyed “in a single hour of a single day,” world rulers, business leaders, and economic centers weep and mourn! She has enriched them and granted them power!
But Heaven rejoices! “After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: ‘Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for true and just are His judgments. He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants!’” (Revelation 19:1–2 NIV)
What a contrast though for the “bride!” “Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: ‘Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready!’” (Revelation 19:6–8 NIV)
As we face the new year, I know which of the two “women” I want to align myself with! The “bride of Christ” – definitely not “the prostitute!” In fact, the challenge to God’s people is… “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues, for her sins are heaped as high as heaven, and God has remember her iniquities!” Believe me, I want to be on the right side of this issue!