Flee from Babylon! Run for your lives! Do not be destroyed because of her sins. It is time for the Lord's vengeance; he will repay her what she deserves. Jeremiah 51:6, NIV
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. Revelation 18:4, KJV
Wow! Such great topics for sermons. We can really use these! Think of the imagery that could be applied to the church. Trouble is, these references are not about "Babylonish" systems, but a real country and a real city.
"But Revelation says 'my people'. Surely that means the church."
Big surprise for some preachers and their ignorant congregations--God has other people than the church.
The first reference was about a time before there was a church, and the second will be after the church is safe in heaven as the Bride.
But what about the literal city? Today there is no Babylon. In fact, famous writers like to say that Babylon, the literal city, is cursed in scripture, never to be inhabited again. They have scriptures they say proves it.
What a mess people make when they refuse to take the Bible literally, and even if they do, they mistake the TIME when things are fulfilled. Much prophecy has yet to be fulfilled. It is future, as in Revelation, once we read past the letters to the seven churches in the first three chapters. So please let me state my case.
Jeremiah spoke of a literal Babylon, and about Israel. John,in Revelation, wrote of a literal Babylon, yet to be built (Zech. 5:5) and God's people who will live on the earth after the the rapture of the church (Rev. 3:5). Babylon will be a literal seaport city, a center of world trade.
"You mean New York City, don't you?"
Not unless New York City is moved between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers of Iraq. The city is future and so are its plagues.
Old Bibles used to contain maps, way back when people interpreted literally. Today, the only thing literal is your money offering. That should not be symbolic.