What's in your Cup?

Ikki Soma

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I could see that she was drunk—drunk with the blood of God’s holy people who were witnesses for Jesus. I stared at her in complete amazement. Revelation 17:6 NLT

In the book of Revelation chapter 17, the Apostle John describes a group of worshipers in the last days. This religious body meets in ornate buildings. Men and women serve as spiritual leaders. Their gatherings have dynamic worship bands that move worshipers to raise their hands, close their eyes, and cry. To an outsider they appear to be a Christian church. But there is a difference. This religious body has jumped into bed with the government for the sake of gaining power and wealth. “With her the kings of the earth committed adultery.” Revelation 17:2 and “because of her desires for extravagant luxury, the merchants of the world have grown rich” Revelation 18:3. They were unfaithful to God. This was not the Bride of Christ, but a prostitute. The Bride is faithful to Jesus Christ; the prostitute is faithful to the highest bidder.

In both the Old and New Testaments, prostitution and adultery are used as a poignant picture of unfaithful worship (Exodus 34:15-16, Ezekiel 16 and 23, Hosea 1-3, and James 4:4).

Revelation 17 teaches us the cost and consequence of unfaithful worship. The false church has a cup similar to the true church’s communion cup, but the false church’s cup is filled not with the blood of Jesus, but with obscenities and impurities. Because of her lack of faith, the false church’s cup holds the blood of true worshipers. The false church gets drunk on that blood. When a spiritual body jumps into bed with a government for the sake of gaining power and wealth, true worshipers are sacrificed. When John saw this sacrifice, he was stunned.

In the church in America today we see some true worshipers being sacrificed. As the American church has jumped into bed with the Republican Party, faithful non-Republicans in the church are turned away and sacrificed. As the American church focuses on accumulating wealth, the faithful poor in the church are turned away and sacrificed. As the American church identifies with leaders accused of rape, molestation, and harassment, faithful Christian women who have been raped, molested, and harassed are turned away and sacrificed. As the American church has united with American patriotism, faithful non-Americans have been turned away and sacrificed. Unfaithful worship always leads to the sacrifice of faithful worship and faithful worshipers. Is the cup of the American church filled with the sin-cleansing blood of Jesus Christ? Or with the blood of true worshipers?