What prompted me to want to talk about this was reading this morning Revelation 19:3 (talking about the distruction of Babylon)
"A second time they said:
Her smoke ascends forever and ever!"
Wow, right? I've heard things like this quoted before and didn't believe they were in the Bible. This is a multitude in Heaven (vs. 1).
But then what struck me earlier on in my reading was Revelation 17: 8b
" Those who live on the earth whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will be astounded when they see the beast that was, and is not, and will be present again."
So these are people who have not given themselves to God, and they will be astounded when they see the beast. And these are the people whose perspective I was interested in when reading this; someone who (hypothetically--for those who don't believe in this God) goes through life here, with all it's goods and all it's evils, whose experiences and knowledges lead them to see God as evil, partially because of verses like the first one quoted. To me, especially a few years ago, this is shocking. That one group of people would sing hallelujah! because another group of people's smoke is rising forever and ever. So to see that verse and think God is evil, I guess I don't think that's off base. But according to the Bible, this same group of people will be astounded when they see the beast, and since those chapters where talking about Babylon it will be the context of the evil "structure" that has been built with the omission of God.
So, what does that say of God? To the Christian, and to the non believer?