Revelation 17:1–6 (ESV)
The Great Prostitute and the Beast
17 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who is seated on many waters, 2 with whom the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality, and with
the wine of whose sexual immorality the dwellers on earth have become drunk.” 3 And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns.
4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality. 5 And on her forehead was written a name of mystery: “Babylon
the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations.” 6 And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.
When I saw her, I marveled greatly.
The picture I chose, I chose on purpose. Read on! It’s funny how some scenes are burned or etched in our minds. I remember when I was about eight years old, I came out of a restaurant with my family
and it was dark outside. There was a circle drive with a big fountain in the center. As we were walking to the car, there was a very beautiful lady who was drunk and she was dancing in the fountain. The fountain was pouring water over her
as she danced and proceeded to take her clothes off. Forty two years later, I still remember this. I remember it not because of her beauty or that she was taking off her clothes. It actually scared me. This is not how ladies are supposed
to act. While I couldn’t take my eyes off her, I just wanted to get out of there. When I read this passage, this woman at the fountain always pops up in my mind and I still feel the fear. There was no lust, I knew she was trouble.
In today’s reading, who is the Great Prostitute? She represents false Christianity, or false Religion. False Christianity looks and feels like Christianity, but it is slightly twisted and is based on human
achievement or self righteousness. I sometimes hear pastors preaching a message of don’t smoke, drink, dance, chew, cheat, etc... or you will go to hell. They may not realize what they are doing, but they are saying is that you get to heaven
by living a good life. This is a lie. This means you don’t need Jesus. You earn your way to heaven. This is right the opposite of what is true. We are saved by grace. I can’t live a life worthy of redeeming myself.
I simply fall short. My salvation must come from outside of myself. Ephesians 2:8-10 nails it down: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that
no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Any religion that bases salvation on human achievement is not Christian. Yet
there are so many proclaiming this false message. This is the Great Prostitute. She looks good, feels good, but she is evil to the core. She has the world drunk on her false message and her message leads to death. I pray: Lord,
help me to not be led away from you by the Great Prostitute. I must not cling to what looks good or feels good, but I must cling to your Word and promises which are true and not a lie. Help me through my journey in life and protect me from all