A Scriptural Look At SinWritten by Stephen Kingery
To Christian, subject of sin should be one of interest - not for benefits or pleasures of it, but rather what it can do to hinder Christian walk. Every church "worth its salt" should be preaching against sin and teaching its members to avoid pitfalls that result in one wallowing in mire created by sin. But is it enough to just be taught to avoid sin? I don't think so! We, as Christians, must also understand sin and what it can do to us. So, what is sin? I have heard it preached that sin is "missing mark." In other words, "the mark" being that kind of behavior which we might describe as perfection. Therefore, when we fail to reach perfection, we have sinned. If that is case then we sin a multitude of times each day. The analogy used here is one of a marksman (perhaps with a bow & arrow) aiming for bulls eye or "the mark." When he shoots and does not hit bulls eye he misses "the mark." So therefore (the analogy), when one does not hit what he aims at (perfection), he is sinning. I think that assumption made here is that all Christians aim for perfection. I personally do not like above analogy of sin being simply "missing mark." There is some truth to analogy however, if we are really aiming for perfection - as we should be. But I also feel that analogy fails to take into consideration that most "sin" is far from merely "missing mark." Sin is terrible and we must continuously strive to avoid it. So, again, what is sin? Well, first of all, sin is breaking of God's law. "Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness." (1 John 3:4) Anytime we do not abide by law of God or commands of Christ we are sinning. Please don't get confused by teaching that we (Christians) do not come under law. The "law" (or our obeying of it) will not be used to determine state of our salvation. Christ died for our sins, and as such we have been given forgiveness for them. However, we are still expected to obey laws and commands which are applicable under New Testament. When we fail to obey laws and commands, we sin. These failures can be intentional or unintentional, but nonetheless they are sin. Sin is also a failure to do good that we know we should. "Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin." (James 4:17) Is there a single one of us who have devoted our lives to following Christ that could not find "good" to be done all around us? How about supporting those in missions field? How about feeding hungry and clothing needy? How about reaching out to multitude of lost in our communities? How about reaching out a loving hand to a brother or sister in Christ who is having a problem or tragedy in their life? The list goes on and on. There is much good that can be done and we should be about our Father's business and doing it. Sin is attitude of desiring to do evil and inclination or intention of carrying it out. "He who plots to do evil will be called a schemer. The devising of foolishness is sin, and scoffer is an abomination to men." (Proverbs 24:8,9) In our society today we hear about various people who are extremely evil in their nature, serial killer for example. This is evil to very bone. Is this sin? Yes! I know that no person who claims Jesus as their Lord and Savior would be guilty of plotting such lawlessness. However, when we talk about sin, this too fits definition. Rather than plotting to do evil, Christians may be more likely to fall into trap of inappropriate attitudes. Being arrogant, selfrighteous, proud and so forth is also a sin. "Haughty eyes, and a proud heart, lamp of wicked, are sin!" (Proverbs 21:4 NIV) These kinds of attitudes are also sin. It may indeed be true that someone may really not want to have these attitudes and may be striving to overcome them. If this is so, then when they fall back into those attitudes occasionally, they could be said to have "missed mark." However, if we are a person who has these attitudes and don't take steps to correct our behavior, then we are intentionally sinning; not just merely "missing mark." To sum it all up in our short discussion of what sin is, we can just say that anytime we do not do right thing for all concerned, it is sin. "All unrighteousness is sin. . ." (1 John 5:17) Who is there among us - either Christian or non-Christian - that has not sinned? We all know answer to that question. No one! I have known many dear people in my life that seem to be good Christian people and I have admired them for their faith in Christ. However, if we were to take most righteous person we know, that person has sinned! Just look at what Bible has to say concerning those of us who have sinned: "For all have sinned and fall short of glory of God," (Romans 3:23); "There is none righteous, no, not one" (Romans 3:10); "But Scripture has confirmed all under sin" (Galatians 3:22); "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and truth is not in us." (1 John 1:8).
The Rise And Fall Of BabylonWritten by Michael Bradley
According to Book of Revelations, city of Babylon has to be rebuilt once again. This is another key event for everyone to really keep an eye on. Prophecy scholars are divided in their opinion as to whether or not city of Babylon will literally be rebuilt again. After studying verses mentioned below - I believe that Bible is using literal interpretation and it is meaning exactly what it is saying. If this is correct - then city of Babylon will once more be rebuilt so God can literally wipe this unholy city off face of this earth!
The city of Babylon is in country of Iraq. Back in early 70's, Saddam Hussein started to try to rebuild city once again. He probably got about half of it rebuilt before we took him out in our war with Iraq. It remains to be seen if Iraq will continue to rebuild this city once a new government has been put into place and things start to settle down.
God Father has a SERIOUS PROBLEM with city of Babylon. I personally feel that He is going to allow it to be rebuilt once again so that He can personally DESTROY IT HIMSELF. Here are reasons why.
Back in Old Testament in book of Genesis, city of Babylon was first city where man began to worship himself in organized rebellion against God Himself. It was where Satan officially set up his initial "headquarters." The first official world ruler was Nimrod and he ruled from city of Babylon.
Most, if not all of false religions of this world, can be traced back to city of Babylon. As you will see in following verses, Babylon is called a harlot - because from out of her came all other false religions that have set themselves up against one and only true God of Bible.
From these other false religions have come massive persecution of God's people throughout ages. Satan and his demons have obviously been behind all of these other false religions such as Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Islam, Hinduism, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, etc.
It is a well known fact that many Muslims hate Christians, and there is horrible persecution going on even right now with Muslims slaughtering Christians in Sudan and parts of Indonesia. Satan and his demons rule behind these other false religions and he is one causing all of this hatred toward Christians.
As we get into 7 year Tribulation, God arranges for this city to be rebuilt again, and then He will "arrange" for city to be destroyed by Antichrist and his 10 nation confederacy in one day! The Antichrist will have no idea that he is being used as a "pawn" by God Father when he sets out to destroy this city.
I have a feeling Satan may be able to read what I believe will be a very heavy sign from God as to why this city is being raised up again - just so God can personally destroy it Himself. I believe God is saying with destruction of Babylon, that He is in process of getting ready to "clean up earth", and that all false religions of this world are going to be taken out when Jesus returns back to our earth to set up His Millennium Kingdom.
God will first destroy city of Babylon and everything that it stands for and represents. And then He will eventually come after Satan, Antichrist, False Prophet, all of Satan's demons and all other unsaved people of this earth when Jesus comes back for His second coming.
When Millennium Kingdom is set up for 1000 years, all bad and unsaved people and Satan and all of his demons will be totally taken out so that we can have true peace on this earth during 1000 years that Jesus will rule for.
As you will see in following verses, Babylon is once again going to be rebuilt, and it appears to become a major governmental and commercial place in world. The Bible says that "harlot" will initially rule in tandem with Antichrist. When city is destroyed, Bible says that a lot of merchants, traders and seamen will mourn because they are no longer going to be able to trade and make money with her. The Bible says kings of earth were living luxuriously with her when she is destroyed, and they are all mourning because of loss of wealth that will occur to them as a result of her destruction.
The Scripture Verses
1. This first verse tells us that beast, who is Antichrist, and his 10 nation confederacy will be ones who will destroy this city. However, this verse then goes on to tell us that God Himself is one who will "put it into hearts" of beast and his 10 nation confederacy to destroy Babylon. Here is verse:
"And ten horns which you saw on beast, they will hate harlot, make her desolate and burn her with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give kingdom to beast, until words of God are fulfilled. And woman whom you saw is that GREAT CITY which reigns over kings of earth." (Revelations 17:16-18) 2. This next verse goes further into actual destruction of Babylon. Apparently city is literally destroyed in one hour! Here is verse that wraps up what God has to say about destroying this unholy place.
"After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and earth was illuminated with his glory. And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, "Babylon great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a habitation of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird.'
For all nations have drunk of wine of wrath of her fornication, kings of earth have committed fornication with her, and merchants of earth have become rich through abundance of her luxury ... In measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart,' I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow'.