About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
predicted that the Jewish captivity in Babylon
would last 70 years (Jeremiah 25:11, 29:10).
fell to the Medes and Persians there were about a million Jews living in Babylon. They were all permitted to
return home to rebuild Jerusalem
and the temple. Sadly, only
about 42,300 Jews took the trip home.
Less than 5% of the Jewish population caught the vision to restore
their cultural distinctiveness among the nations.
The rest felt comfortable, not stranded, in Babylon.
the Jews of old, Christians live in a cultural landscape that is not our
own. The lyrics of the old
song that Larry Norman borrowed in his song entitled "Readers
Digest" (Only Visiting This Planet - 1972) put it this way.
"This world is not my home.
I'm just passing through."
As Christians we live in a cultural environment that's not our own.
We stand as a separate and distinct culture unto ourselves.
In terms that Canadians would understand, we are a "distinct
called His disciples out of the world (John 15:19, 17:6) and warned His
eleven apostles that the world would hate them (John 15:19) to the extent
that they would be killed by those thinking they were doing God a favour
(John 16:2). The world Jesus spoke of
is the world systems, not the geographical world. I think that
would have made Peter feel stranded in his version of Babylon. That's probably why he
warned his audience to save themselves from their corrupt generation (Acts
2:40). That's probably why the
Apostle John advised his readers not to love the world in which they lived
(1 John 2:15). We are indeed a
separate and distinct people, or, a kingdom of priest as Revelation 1:6
Biblical terms, each nation throughout history is symbolized as a
humanistic, satanically inspired, Babylon
that opposes God on all fronts. For
this reason all nations will be utterly destroyed by the hand of God at
the end of this age (Revelation 17 and 18).
the 70 year Jewish exile the vast majority of Jews grew comfortable living
in the pagan culture of Babylon. Only 42,300 felt
sufficiently stranded in Babylon
to be motivated to catch the vision to be God's distinct and separate
nation in the land He had given them.
of old, our neo-Babylon western world is falling fast.
Larry Norman was right. We
are stranded strangers in Babylon
that's not our home.