There is a contrast in Revelation between the wicked city called Babylon and the heavenly city, the New Jerusalem. And we have a choice as to which city we will build in life. The first city is about self. The second city is centered on the glory of God. In his message on Revelation 18, Tim Keller compares this first city to the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11…
The men of what would become Babylon got together, and they said, “Let’s form a city.” Do you remember why? This is Genesis 11:4, “… let us make a name for ourselves …” “Let’s build a tower so high no one can see the top. Let’s build a great city.” Now this is the reason most people come to New York. It’s the spirit of Babylon. “… let us make a name for ourselves …” That’s why many of you are here. That’s why many of you came originally. It’s the only way to really make it in this field or make it in this field. “I’m going to make a name for myself.”
You have talents. You’re a lawyer. You’re a dancer. You’re a person in finance. You can either use those abilities to make a name for yourself or to honor God. A city can either be a city forming a culture that glorifies humanity, that glorifies the self, that maximizes your bank account, that maximizes your ego, or you can build a culture that honors God. As a dancer, as an artist, as a businessman or businesswoman, you can use your culture-forming ability to build a civilization that either maximizes the human ego and maximizes your own name, or one that honors God. That’s what God is saying.
Keller, T. J. (2013). The Timothy Keller Sermon Archive. New York City: Redeemer Presbyterian Church.
It’s a choice that each of us must make – who will we live for? Ultimately, will we seek to glorify ourselves…or God? If we choose to live for selfish glory, we should realize that any glory we achieve will surely pass away. We will be working for the short term, for this life alone. But if we choose to live for the glory of God, we will in some way be contributing to the brightness of His glory that will never fade, and we will be truly living for eternity, and for the Eternal One.