“Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, because the time is near. Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy.” Revelation 22:10-11
Why is God telling those who do wrong to continue to do wrong? Shouldn’t He tell them to repent? He’s not writing to those who are in the world in this book, but to “His servants” (Revelation 1:1) who are living in a culture of compromise and will be tempted to backslide.
The message of this passage could be paraphrased like this: “Don’t plan on the people around you changing – they might not. Instead, make sure you don’t change and give in to the culture of compromise around you. Be separate in your desire and make sure the pursuit of your life is different from the worldly people around you.”
This text is from the last chapter of the New Testament and is amazingly close to another passage in the last book of the Old Testament. “‘They will be mine’, says the Lord Almighty, ‘on the day when I make up My treasure possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him. And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who don’t.’” (Malachi 3:17-18)
Whatever else you do, choose to live holy before the God who saved you and before the generation around you. Make sure you don’t just believe differently, but actually live differently. Anything less is deception.