“These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins.” – Revelation 14:4
Do the celibate have a higher standing in the eyes of God? If I am married, or have fallen into sexual sin, can I join the 144,000?
The character described in Rev. 14 is the character in Christ of the redeemed. They are redeemed, not perfect. The description of purity is best understood as a picture of the church as she faces the temptation of Babylon to participate in its worldliness (14:8). This means that though believers once fought on the wrong side, they fight on that side no longer and this now impacts the way they live. They are kept pure by actively fighting sin, living for Christ, and resisting the temptation of Babylon. Through daily grace they follow Jesus wherever He goes.
God’s word reminds us that, in the end times, holiness matters. Fighting sin matters. While we will still commit sin until glory, God’s call on our lives is that we may not sin. But the emphasis here is not only on holiness, it is also on joy.
Following Christ wherever He goes means the redeemed are worshipping Him in Zion even while battling on earth. We sing songs of redemption while still in the fight, while still experiencing daily victories and defeats. We thus see that the Christian life is neither casual with sin, austere in holiness, or having self-righteousness. It is a joy-filled, redemption-secured, Christ-pursuing life that, by grace, lays hold of victory.
Suggestions for prayer
Lord, help me to have the joy of Christ as I fight daily sin.
Pastor Greg Bylsma is a graduate of Mid-America Reformed Seminary, and he is currently serving at the Living Water Reformed Church in Brantford, Ontario. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.