The Evil Effect of Degeneracy: the Fallen Star
Revelation 9:1-6
And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven to the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.…

Homiletic expositions aim to avoid as tar as possible the topics of controversy. Yet must they be definite in their view of the interpretation of the words of Holy Scripture. Their own sphere is the moral and practical. They speak with no authority in the department of exposition. The view taken of this figure does not confine its reference to any individual person; although some individuals have gained a special notoriety. Many who have occupied the place of "stars," which are "the angels of the Churches," have fallen from their place and ceased to be illuminating powers, and their degeneracy has been the occasion of a temporary triumph of evil in one form or other. These have let loose the spawn of hell. Here the sad picture is presented of the ill effects of such degeneracy. It may be moral or intellectual descent; although the alliance with evil would seem rather to confine it to a departure from goodness and righteousness. A mere mental aberration not equally destructive. The great power of evil is found in that unfaithfulness to truth which issues in degeneracy of manners and life. The evil of such degeneracy is -

I. WIDESPREAD. From the position and influence of him who has been as a leader and guide of others. His life known, his influence great, his example contagious. Men follow leaders; and the welfare of the world is now advanced, now retarded, by the fidelity or unfaithfulness of them who are charged with high trust and responsibility.

II. DESTRUCTIVELY INJURIOUS. In proportion to the influence which any one wields is his power for good or evil. If one falls from a high position, he drags down others. The angel of light, become an agent of evil, opens the bottomless pit. He brings the utmost evil upon men such "as have not the seal of God upon their foreheads."

III. BITTERLY AFFLICTIVE. The injury caused is great in the social degeneracy, in the weakening of moral principle. A pillar of the house trembles, all becomes less secure. But the painfulness is great:

1. To him who falls.

2. To them whom he drags down with him.

3. To them whose sympathies being only with goodness are afflicted by anything that tends to degeneracy of manners, to feebleness of faith, or to the lowering of the tone and felicity of human life.

4. To the widespread, outlying multitudes, amongst whom the spread of goodness is retarded by every act of unfaithfulness and every instance of degeneracy and defection. - R.G.

Parallel Verses
KJV: And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.

WEB: The fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star from the sky which had fallen to the earth. The key to the pit of the abyss was given to him.

Moral Evil in the Universe
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