Center for Biblical Theology and Eschatology
Come Out of Her My People
The Believer's Responsibility to Separate from False Religion
by Don Fortner
- "And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues."
In this chapter John describes the certain judgment of God upon all false religion, symbolized by Babylon, the great whore. And in the text before us, we have command from the lips of the Lord Jesus Christ himself. This is the command our Lord gives to his elect in every age. "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plaques."Proposition:
It is the responsibility of God's people in every age to thoroughly and distinctly separate themselves from false, apostate, religion.
As God commanded Lot to come out of Sodom, he commands us to come out of Babylon. But, like Bro. Lot, we are all reluctant to do so. Our flesh is opposed to distinct separation. The religion of Babylon is so appealing and gratifying to our flesh that we will not leave it, unless God lays hold of our hearts by the hand of his almighty grace and brings us out, even as the angel laid hold of Lot and brought him out of his beloved and cherished Sodom. May God be pleased to lay hold of some heart tonight and bring you out of Babylon.
Babylon is God's name for all false religion. It is any religion and all religions which declare that salvation is ultimately dependent upon, decided by, or determined by man. Babylon is the religion of man. Babylon is the religion of the world. From Babylon, we must come out, "and deliver every man his soul."Divisions:
Our text naturally divides into three points. I will take these three points for the outline of my message tonight.
1. "Come out of her, my people."
2. "That ye be not partakers of her sins."
3. "That ye receive not of her plagues."
I. "Come out of her, my people" HERE OUR LORD CALLS HIS PEOPLE TO MAKE A CLEAN BREAK FROM THE IDOLATROUS RELIGON OF BABYLON.
This call is not a invitation. It is a command. And it is a command which all of God's elect obey. Here the Good Shepherd "calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out…and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice."A. The Lord Issues This Command To His People.
His concern is always for his people. He does not pray for the world. He did not redeem the world. And he does not call the world. He says, "My People!" Are you one of the Lord's people.
1. His people are An Elect People, loved of God and chosen by grace before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:3-6).
2. His people are A Redeemed People bought out from under the curse of the law by the precious blood of Christ (I Pet. 1:18-20).
3. His people are A Called People, regenerated, born again, and called to faith in Christ by the almighty, effectual, irresistible grace of God the Holy Spirit (John 1:11-13).
We know our eternal election and our blood redemption by our calling. (I Thess. 1:4-5). If we have been called to life and faith in Christ by the Spirit of God, we are chosen of God and redeemed by Christ. And all who are called rejoice in God's electing grace and Christ's redeeming blood.
B. OUR LORD HERE COMMANDS US TO SEPARATE OURSELVES FROM BABYLON, THE GREAT WHORE.
Again, I stress the fact that Babylon is not a literal city. And it certainly is not a literal woman. Babylon is all false religion in this world. It is the mother of all idolatry and abominable doctrine of the earth. Babylon is the religion of antichrist in every age. Babylon is called by many names, but the most appropriate is found in Mt. 24.
1. Our Lord describes Babylon as a dead carcass around which the vultures of hell swarm (Matt. 24:23-28).
It is the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird." That is a suitable description for the religion of this world. True it has a form of godliness; signs, wonders, miracles and emotionalism. But it denies the very power of God. It is such a deceiving form of religion that, were it possible, the very elect of God would be deceived by it. But God's elect are not deceived.
a. Babylon proclaims "Jesus" But it is another Jesus. The Jesus of Babylon is a poor, frustrated, defeated Jesus. He tries to redeem. But his blood is shed in vain for many. He prays for everyone, loves everyone, and wants to save everyone. But his prayers, his love and his desires are frustrated by the will of man and the works of satan.
b. Babylon offers men and women a god But is a useless god, little more than a good-luck charm. He has a purpose. But he cannot carry it out, because men won't let him. He has a will. But it is subject to the great "free-will" of man. He is gracious. But his grace is nothing but a helpless, frustrated desire to save men and women, who will not let poor god save them.
c. Babylon preaches much about the spirit But it is another spirit, not the Spirit of Christ. The spirit of Babylon has signs and wonders, speaks in tongues, heals hangnails, and most especially bank accounts. This spirit stirs men and women to great heights of emotionalism, and causes them to greatly glory in themselves.
- The spirit of Babylon causes men to hate the sins of others. The Spirit of Christ causes men to hate their own sin.
- The Spirit of Babylon causes men to do good works by which to make themselves righteous. The Spirit of Christ causes helpless sinners to seek the righteousness of Christ.
- The spirit of Babylon causes people to stand up and shout. The Spirit of Christ causes sinners to fall in the dust of repentance and mourn over sin.
- The spirit of Babylon tries his best to get sinners to come to Jesus. The Spirit of Christ effectually draws sinners to their Savior.
d. Babylon preaches a gospel But it is another gospel. The gospel of Babylon is a man-centered, free-will, good works gospel that is full of fables. (II Tim. 4:4).
e. Babylon is the religion of man According to Babylon, everything ultimately depends upon man. It is my intention to be perfectly clear. Any religion that proclaims salvation conditioned upon the will of the sinner, something a sinner does, or does not do, is Babylonian, anti-God, anti-Christ, and damning to the souls of men. No one ever has been saved in Babylon. No one can be saved in Babylon. Babylon is damned. And all who cling to Babylon shall be damned with her. 2. The Lord Jesus commands us to come out of Babylon.
(1.) God loves everybody and wants everybody to be saved.
(2.) Christ died for everybody, prays for everybody and gives everybody a chance to be saved.
(3.) The Holy Spirit calls everybody, strives with everybody and tries to save everybody.
Will you, or will you not obey the Lord's command? The command is clear. "Come out of her, my people!" If we come out of Babylon, there will be a price to pay. Like Abraham, we will have to leave our idolatrous kinsmen and friends behind. But if we come out, God will be a Father unto us (See II Cor. 6:14 - 7:1). If we do not forsake Babylon, we cannot be saved. You cannot turn to the true and living God without forsaking your idols - (I Thess. 1:9).
a. The Son of God calls upon all who hear his voice to come out of Babylon, false religion to himself.
It will do no good to simply forsake religion. You must forsake religion for Christ. As Moses forsook Egypt, "choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt" (Heb. 11:25-26), we must come out of Babylon for Christ and unto Christ. "Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp bearing his reproach" (Heb. 13:13).
(1.) Give up your "free-will" and bow to his sovereign will.
(2.) Give up your "good works" and trust his finished work.
(3.) Give up your experiences and trust his intercession.
(4.) Give up your rituals and trust his righteousness.
(5.) Give up your ceremonies and trust his cleansing blood.
b. We must come out of Babylon spiritually just as our Lord commanded the Jews to come out of Babylon literally. (Jer. 51:6-11).
To come out of Babylon is to publicly forsake her doctrines and practices, renounce and repudiate them by publicly confessing Christ in baptism, identifying with Christ, his Church and the gospel of his grace.
Illus: Jewish Converts
(1.) Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness.
(2.) Refuse to own as your brothers and sisters in the kingdom of God, those who deny the vital truths of the gospel.
- Divine Sovereignty.
- Total Depravity.
- Accomplished Redemption. } Ps. 139:21-22; Gal. 1:6-8; Phil. 3:18
- Efficacious Grace.
- Perseverance of the Saints.
II. "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins." HERE IS THE REASON WHY WE MUST COME OUT OF BABYLON: THOSE WHO HOLD TO, SUPPORT AND REMAIN A PART OF BABYLON ARE GUILTY OF BABYLON'S SINS.
This is not guilt by association. It is association by guilt. I know that many try to justify their union with those who deny the gospel in the names of "love", "brotherhood", and "unity". These are pretty sounding words. But the love of Babylon is enmity against God. Brotherhood with Babylon is brotherhood with devils. And unity with Babylon is unity with antichrist. The Word of God is very plain. If we embrace as our brethren, support, and encourage those who deny the gospel of God's free and sovereign grace in Christ, we are partakers of the guilt of these men, even though we profess to believe the gospel. (II John 10-11).What is it that Babylon is guilty of doing?
A. Babylon Is Guilty of The Blood of God's Prophets and Saints, Who Have Been Persecuted And Slain For The Testimony of Christ (Rev. 18:24; Lk. 11:47-52).
B. Babylon Has On Her Hands The Blood of Immortal Souls, Damned Forever Under The Wrath of God, Being Deluded With The False Hopes Of Freewill, Works Religion (Ezek. 33:7-9).
C. Babylon Cried Against The Son of God, "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!" And The Blood of God's Dear Son Shall Be Upon The Heads of Her Children Forever!
Pilate delivered Jesus to the will of the people. And men and women, by their free-will, in the name of God, crucified the Lord of glory! They crucified him because he plainly declared salvation by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone.
1. Free-will hung the Lord of glory on the gruesome cross!
2. Self-righteous, works religionists spit in his face!
3. And legal sabbatarians made sure he was dead and buried before their holy day began!
D. Babylon Is Guilty Of Attempting To Rob The Triune God of His Glory In His Most Glorious Work.
1. Babylon would take God off his throne and seat man upon it.
2. Babylon would sacrifice the will of God to protect the "free-will" of man.
3. Babylon would rob God of the glory of electing grace.
4. Babylon would rob Christ of the glory of redemption.
5. Babylon would rob the Holy Spirit of the glory of the new birth.
6. Babylon would rob disannul and invalidate the covenant of grace.
7. Babylon would rob the triune God of his glory in heaven and make the glory of heaven itself a matter of debt, earned by the polluted hands of men.
III. "Come out of her, my people,…that ye receive not of her plagues." HERE OUR LORD PLAINLY DECLARES THAT ALL WHO REFUSE TO COME OUT OF BABYLON SHALL PERISH WITH BABYLON.
If you refuse to give up, renounce, and forsake the self-righteous, free-will, works religion of Babylon, you will perish with Babylon. This is what I am saying…
- Give up your old profession.
- Give up Babylon's basis of righteousness.
- Give up family and friend (Duet. 13:1-11).
- If you refuse to give up Babylon, it is because you love Babylon, and you shall perish with Babylon.
I repeat what I have said before: To remain a part of any church, denomination, or religious organization that denies the gospel of God's free and sovereign grace in Christ is to line up with the Lord's enemies and court eternal damnation. You cannot heal Babylon. She must be forsaken!Application:
Hear and obey the command of Christ "Come out of her, my people!" "Who is on the Lord's side?" Let him now come out of Babylon!
"Come out of her, my people!"
1. If your profession does not glorify God, give it up.
2. If your doctrine does not glorify God, renounce it.
3. If your religion does not glorify God, forsake it.
4. If your church does not glorify God, leave it.
Don S. Fortner is a leading proponent in the sovereign grace movement, a widely published author and conference speaker, and the pastor of Grace Baptist Church of Danville, Kentucky where he has ministered since 1980. He has written a number of outstanding books, including the Daily Devotional "Grace for Today."