The Final Fall of Babylon (Revelation Sermon 32 of 49)
January 21, 2018 | Andrew Davis
Babylon’s Judgment Throughout the Ages
My goal is to work through each chapter that the Lord has laid on my heart to teach. I preach so that you would have a strong faith in Christ formed in you. The Lord has given me an insight into the nature of faith, that it is the eyesight of the soul. By faith, we are able to see past, present and future invisible spiritual realities that we could not otherwise see. By the Word of God, written for our faith, including the Book of Revelation, such hidden past, present and future realities are unveiled for us. Apart from Christ, we were spiritually blind to these things, but through the ministry of the Holy Spirit based on the Word of God, scales fall from our eyes.
We see the past in Revelation 12, with the activity of the dragon, of Satan and his demons throughout redemptive history. He is a wicked adversary who has created a world system that is called Babylon in Revelation 17 and 18. Babylon has a long past history. We are also able by faith to see the present threat of Babylon to our souls. There is a present spiritual reality of Babylon that is assaulting our souls every day. Revelation 18:4-5 is a command from Christ to come out, to be separate from it, to touch no unclean thing, to be pure and holy from this defiling world system that Satan has set up. That will take every strength and grace that God will give to fight that good fight, to finish that race and to keep the faith. There is also a future form of Babylon that is yet to come with the system under the final world ruler, the Antichrist. There is a predictive element to this as well.
Babylon: Symbol of Human Defiance and Self-Worship
In many ancient cultures, there is a myth of a radiantly colored bird called the Phoenix. Sometimes it is depicted as a large bird which looks similar to a peacock, with purple and red flowing feathers. It could live for a very long time, even as long as five centuries. As the time of its end draws near, it makes an elaborate nest of kindling wood before being consumed in a raging ball of fire. From the ashes, the bird’s progeny rises and begins its own prodigiously long life. This cycle of fiery death and rising from the ashes is a tale often told in the ancient world, and has yielded the expression “like a Phoenix rising from the ashes”.
To some degree, the Phoenix is a picture of Babylon as a lasting spiritual reality in human history. The history of the city-state of Babylon has been woven together with overt rebellion against the God of Heaven and against His chosen people. Babylon was an actual city in Mesopotamia, built by a mighty and godless hunter named Nimrod, just years after the flood of Noah. It was built in the fertile region of Mesopotamia, right on the Euphrates River, less than 75 miles from the Tigris River in modern Iraq, only about 50 miles south of modern Baghdad.
It was well situated in the area called the Fertile Crescent between the Tigris and Euphrates River, which connected the Persian Gulf with the Mediterranean Sea. It prospered both from the fertile soil and from traffic along the major trade route on which it was located. Thus, it began as a nation of merchants. Ezekiel 16:29 calls it the Land of Merchants. It was also a land of warriors like their mighty founder, Nimrod, the hunter. From Babylon and these other city centers, the concept of the city-state emerged — a region controlled by a city.
In the course of time, the inhabitants of the city-state of Babylon said in Genesis 11:4, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, [listen to their motives:] so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” That is the essence of the Babylonian spirit, the defiant spirit of human potentiality and capability, using technology and intelligence to make a name for oneself.
The mighty Babylonian empire rose in time. It was a vassal state under the Assyrian empire, dominated by the Assyrians until at last, under Nebuchadnezzar’s father Nabopolassar, they threw off the Assyrian yoke. When Nabopolassar died, Nebuchadnezzar became the mighty king of Babylon.
The Babylonian empire was awesome: irresistible in military power, complex in culture, exquisite in architecture, shrewd in politics. Its army came back up the Fertile Crescent to topple what was left of the dying Assyrian Empire, then swept down through Palestine, conquering what was left of the Jews in that land— the kingdom of Judah. The remnant of Jews that were left in Judah and Jerusalem were deported to Babylon, thus ending Jewish reign in Palestine over the Promised Land. The exile to Babylon was a line of demarcation in the history of the Jews.
Prophecies Against Babylon
Prior to that, however, God raised up prophets among the Jews to predict the fall of Babylon. He did this through Isaiah and Jeremiah and other prophets. Isaiah 13:19-22 “Babylon, the jewel of kingdoms, the glory of the Babylonians’ pride, will be overthrown by God like Sodom and Gomorrah. She will never be inhabited or lived in through all generations; no Arab will pitch his tent there, no shepherd will rest his flocks there. But desert creatures will lie there, jackals will fill her houses; there the owls will dwell, and there the wild goats will leap about. Hyenas will howl in her strongholds, jackals in her luxurious palaces.” That was written a century and a half before the Babylonian empire came to be.
Jeremiah, who was among the remnant deported in the Babylonian exile, also predicted the destruction of Babylon. In Jeremiah 25:12, speaking of the 70-year exile of the Jews to Babylon, it says, “‘But when the seventy years are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation, the land of the Babylonians, for their guilt,’ declares the LORD, ‘and will make it desolate forever.’”
Sudden Fall and Gradual Demise of Babylon
The beginning of the end for Babylon is written in Daniel 5. During Belshazzar’s feast, the writing appeared on the wall, predicting the immediate end of the Babylonian empire. The Babylonians were arrogant, thinking that their mighty, lofty, thick walls would protect them from the invading Medo-Persian army.
Belshazzar hosted a drunken feast that night, neglecting to guard the walls. The Medo-Persian invading army took advantage of this by diverting the Euphrates River from under the walls and crawling through the portcullis, unlocking the city gate, and slaughtering the Babylonians while they lay in drunken stupor. This is the very thing Jeremiah had predicted 70 years before. Jeremiah 51:39: “‘But while they are aroused, I will set out a feast for them and make them drunk, so that they shout with laughter — then sleep forever and not awake,’ declares the LORD.”
The destruction and desolation of the literal city of Babylon in Mesopotamia did not happen overnight, but gradually fulfilled the words of the prophets. Cyrus the Great of Persia ruled Babylon but destroyed its immense walls so the citizens could not revolt. Alexander the Great wanted to make it the capital of his empire, but he died there before realizing his dream. In 309 BC, a Greek successor of Alexander the Great leveled Babylon. In 275 BC, Antiochus the First deported the remaining civilian population to other cities. Pausanias, a Greek writer and geographer of the Roman period, said there was nothing left within the walls of Babylon by his time. In the last century before Christ, ancient geographer Strabo wrote, the great city had become a wilderness, thus fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy. Roman emperor Trajan, eager to visit, was disappointed in the wasted, unidentifiable pile of rubble.
In the modern age, as recently as a century ago, its ruins were discovered by archaeologists. Saddam Hussein had plans to rebuild Babylon, but was thwarted by his toppling in the Gulf War. Some Iraqi leaders want to turn it into a theme park centered around archeological artifacts, but Allied troops that have been there have taken many of the artifacts and ruined the site, which is uninhabited except by wild animals and birds, as Isaiah said it would be.
The Spirit of Babylon
The literal city of Babylon slowly sank down into the dust of history, but the spirit of Babylon has risen like a Phoenix from the ashes and moved from place to place ever since, a demonic spirit of the world. 1 Peter 5:13 is the key passage to understand the transfer of the spirit of Babylon from the literal city to another city: “She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark.”
Tradition places Peter in Rome when he wrote that, meaning Babylon was code language for Rome. The spirit of Babylon rose from the ashes to infuse the Roman empire of Peter’s day. Babylon itself was a howling, empty wasteland, but “she who is in Babylon, chosen together with you” indicated the bride of Christ, which was locally the church at Rome.
Thus, the spirit of Babylon has moved around according to the dominating empire — Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome; the Vandals, the Huns, the Vikings, the Mongols, the Spanish, the French under Napoleon, the English under Victoria, the Germans under Hitler, and so on. Through the ages, two common aspects have characterized the spirit of Babylon: military power and economic power. In Babylon, neither power is wielded for the glory of God or the advancement of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, but for self glory alone. “Come, let us ‘…make a name for ourselves.’” [Genesis 11:4]
The Final Phase of Babylon
The final phase of Babylon is yet to come. Antichrist will come as predicted in Revelation 13. He will set up a world-dominating kingdom. Babylon has one final phase, which Revelation 17 and 18 cover. Revelation is not only a prediction of the final seven years of human history, as some take it, but it is also relevant in every generation of church history. Every generation must read and take to heart the warnings therein. Every generation of Christians need to hear Revelation 18: 4-5: “And when you hear the voice of your Savior crying out to you, saying, ‘Come out from her, all my people and be separate.’” We cannot do something exegetically or hermeneutically if we say it is a future book that has nothing to do with us, if we deny the threat that Babylon is to us.
Babylon and its essential nature is a wicked world system in defiance of God. We will see its judgment through plagues, and we will hear the voice of God, of Christ, commanding, calling, pleading with us to come out from Babylon and be separate.
Babylon’s Judgment Pronounced
An Angelic Messenger Proclaims God’s Decree
In Revelation 18:1-3, Babylon’s judgment is pronounced: “After this, I saw another angel coming down from Heaven. He had great authority and the Earth was illuminated by his splendor. And with a mighty voice, he shouted, ‘Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great. She has become a home for demons, a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird. For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries, the kings of the Earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the Earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.’” The proclamation of Babylon’s final fall is entrusted to this heavenly messenger, but the decree and power behind the fall of Babylon originates from Almighty God. It is not the angel’s doing, but the angel is the messenger.
The angel is described in words that are hard to fathom. He has great authority. Not all angels are equally authoritative. Some angels are called archangels, literally meaning ruler angels. In addition, he has great glory. An overwhelmingly brilliant light surrounds this angelic messenger, like the light of the glory of Heaven that shone around the angel that bore the message that Jesus was born on the hills around Bethlehem, which terrified the shepherds. This angel has the same illuminating glory that shines radiantly, and the light is shining in this dark age. If the earth is still plunged into a thick darkness from the fifth bowl, so deep that it could be felt, there is a general darkness, spiritually and maybe physically at that point at the end.
This angel has great authority and glory, and he speaks the decree from God with a voice like thunder, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, for every unclean and detestable bird.” God will cast her down. The final fall of Babylon, or the final phase of Babylon being cast down, is yet in the future, but this proclamation is given with repetition in the prophetic past tense, as though it has already happened, giving a sense of prophetic certainty, urgency and finality to the announcement.
Babylon has become a home for demons, a haunt for evil spirits. This borrows the language we already saw in Isaiah 13, where nothing but wild animals and birds settle down in the ruins of Babylon. disgusting carrion birds. Often when we see dead deer and other animals along the side of the road, we also see those nasty black carrion birds, which really are doing us all a service. There is that same sense of decay and death here in Babylon.
Jesus said in the Little Apocalypse in Matthew 24:28, “Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.” Remember that demons billowed from the guts of the earth in Revelation 9 with the fifth trumpet, and these especially vicious and evil demons perhaps will haunt the final form of Babylon.
Babylon’s Wickedness Exposed
The wickedness of Babylon is exposed in Revelation 18:3: “For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.” As with Revelation 17 which presented the great whore of Babylon, the prostitute, there is a sense of the allure and enticement of the world toward evil and sin and immorality, especially sexual immorality. 1 John 2 speaks of the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the boastful pride of life. Being the essence of the world, the enticing allure of lusts, Babylon is a system of worldwide corruption, making all the nations drunk.
Babylon’s Excessive Luxury
The phrase “…the merchants of the earth” indicates the issue of merchandise, commerce, trade, possessions that can be purchased in exchange for money. Verses 3, 7 and 9 mention Babylon’s excessive luxury. “…the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries. … Give her as much torture and grief as the glory and luxury she gave herself. …the earth who committed adultery [the kings of the earth committed adultery] with her and shared her luxury.”
Once when I was visiting at the home of a wealthy man, I skimmed through a magazine he had called Connoisseur which contained articles about the best of the best in various categories. One was about the best carving knives, valued for pure craftsmanship, made by craftsmen who have descended from the Samurai in Japan, with photos of really sharp knives going through tomatoes with no effort, and then again and again and again until it was microscopically thin. One paring knife cost $6000. Another article was about bespoke suits, tailor-made from Saville Row in London: $30,000 for a man’s suit and $40,000 for a pair of Italian shoes.
A number of you are wealthy and very generous with your wealth. But it is wrong for us to read Revelation 18, wealthy as we are, and think that the word “luxury” has nothing to do with us. We admire craftsmen and artists who spend a year on a painting or a sculpture, like Michelangelo who worked for years on the Sistine Chapel. We admire that level of skill and go museums to see their work. Is that an evil and wicked thing to sell and purchase such a luxury?
This morning I was praying about the topic of luxury and started to see the future of luxury in the new Heaven. We will make things in Heaven with exquisite skill, but the things we make will not become idols. They will be done overtly for the glory of God. That is the future of fine craftsmanship in the New Heaven and New Earth — no idols and no sinful luxuries. In the present, such things are a threat to our souls; there is a warning against excessive luxury. If we take this before God and ask Him to deliver us from sinful luxury, that is the safest we can be. James 5:5, speaking of wicked oppressors, says, “You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter.” I pray that would not be true of any member of First Baptist Church. Do not excuse yourself from looking in the mirror, from asking God, “Is this true of me? I do not want to fatten myself in the day of slaughter.”
Babylon’s Judgment Escaped
Warning: Flee the Corruptions of Babylon Now
There is a category of people who escaped Babylon, whom God delivered. We see the future doom, but this invitation — truly, this command — is given in Revelation 18:4-5: “Then I heard another voice from heaven say: ‘Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes.’” This is the application from Revelation 17 and 18, God’s command to His people to come out of her and be separate. There is a warning, a negative motivation — “Flee the wrath to come” — but with a positive implication that “Jesus is better.”
That is why we flee, because Jesus is better than anything this world has to offer. He is better than “the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life.” [1 John 2:16] Lord, Make my heart believe that. I want to know and believe that Jesus is better than the lusts and the pleasures of the flesh.
The Test of the People of God in Every Generation
Paul picks up on the command to flee in 2 Corinthians 6:17: “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing and I will receive you.” This is the test of God’s people in every generation. We cannot excuse ourselves and say we are not in the final seven years, so therefore Babylon is not a present reality so we do not need to worry about the warnings. Do not do that. In every generation to Christians, The world will continue to offer benefits and pleasures and possessions and powers if we will only in some way deny Christ.
We must stand firm in our faith and be holy. The smoke from Babylon’s future fire can be smelled right now only by faith. The heat from Babylon’s future flames can be felt right now only by faith. The cries of Babylon’s future torment can be heard right now only by faith. We must look at our lives and see the way the luxuries of Babylon have worked themselves into our souls, and we must flee.
Babylon’s Judgment Justified
God Justifies Babylon’s Judgement
In verses 6-8, we see Babylon’s judgment justified: “Give back to her as she has given; pay her back double for what she has done. Mix her a double portion from her own cup. Give her as much torture and grief as the glory and luxury she gave herself. In her heart she boasts, ‘I sit as queen; I am not a widow, and I will never mourn.’ Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.”
God explains Babylon’s judgment to us. He is the just and right in casting down this city; it is payback time now for all the torment that Babylon has caused His people. She will drink torture and grief from the cup in her hand — she has mixed out a huge cup of luxury for herself and she has been drinking from that cup. God will pay her back the same measure she weighed to herself.
Her over-confidence is exposed here. This is the same language we see in the book of Isaiah, that Babylon boasts that nothing bad will ever happen to her. She sits like a queen surrounded by her own; she cannot be touched or threatened, so she believes she will never mourn. Widowhood will never come on her nor the loss of children; she is safe. But she is forgetting about the power and the holiness of God. The judgments listed include death, mourning, and famine.
The Source of the Judgment
The source of the judgment is listed as well: “…for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.” Isaiah 14 says about the fall of Babylon and of Assyria, “This is the plan determined for the whole world. This is the hand stretched out over all nations, for the Lord Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart Him, His hand is stretched out and who is able to turn it back?”
Babylon’s Judgment Lamented
Her Citizens and Merchants Grieve
In Revelation 18:9-19, Babylon’s citizens and merchants will lament and grieve her fall through her judgment. This the end of everything they have loved, everything they have lived for, everything they have built their lives on. Idolaters do not give up their idols easily. The sadness that they feel at the fall of this wicked world system shows the wickedness of their own hearts too. They are sad at the fall of Babylon because they loved her.
The kings of the Earth will lament her. Revelation 18:9-10: “When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her. Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry: ‘Woe! Woe, O great city, O Babylon, city of power! In one hour your doom has come!’”
The merchants of the earth, those who traded with her, will also grieve. Revelation 18:11-17: “The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes any more-- cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble; cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and bodies and souls of men. They will say, ‘The fruit you longed for is gone from you. All your riches and splendor have vanished, never to be recovered.’ The merchants who sold these things and gained their wealth from her will stand far off, terrified at her torment. They will weep and mourn 16 and cry out: ‘Woe! Woe, O great city, dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet, and glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls! In one hour such great wealth has been brought to ruin!’”
Even the ships’ captains who delivered the cargo to Babylon will lament her. Revelation 18:17-19:“Every sea captain, and all who travel by ship, the sailors, and all who earn their living from the sea, will stand far off. When they see the smoke of her burning, they will exclaim, ‘Was there ever a city like this great city?’ They will throw dust on their heads, and with weeping and mourning cry out: ‘Woe! Woe, O great city, where all who had ships on the sea became rich through her wealth! In one hour she has been brought to ruin!’”
The days of luxury and ease sinful self-indulgence will end forever, but not everyone will be grieving.
Babylon’s Judgment Celebrated
Remember the Blood of the Saints
Not everyone will be sad about the fall of Babylon — it will be a source of energetic praise and joyful celebration among the servants of the Lord. Revelation 18:20: “Rejoice over her, O heaven! Rejoice, saints and apostles and prophets! God has judged her for the way she treated you.” Babylon the Great, in Revelation 17:6, was “drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus.”
Worldly people do not understand why Christians do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation. 1 Peter 4:4 says, “They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you.”
All of Heaven will Celebrate!
When Babylon the Great is finally thrown down, all of Heaven will celebrate. We will hear the sounds of the the fourfold Hallelujah. We will be so done with Babylon when we get to Heaven, we will be healed from it forever.
Babylon’s Judgment Completed
The End of Babylon’s Glory
Babylon’s judgment will be completed and symbolized by the casting down of a large boulder. Revelation 18:21-24: “Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea, and said: ‘With such violence the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, never to be found again. [The overthrow of Babylon will be a violent thing; God will do it. Violence has been a part of the seven trumpets and the seven bowls, and then the Second Coming of Christ.] The music of harpists and musicians, flute players and trumpeters, will never be heard in you again. No workman of any trade will ever be found in you again. The sound of a millstone will never be heard in you again. The light of a lamp will never shine in you again. The voice of bridegroom and bride will never be heard in you again. Your merchants were the world's great men. By your magic spell all the nations were led astray. In her was found the blood of prophets and of the saints, and of all who have been killed on the earth.’” We can imagine the action of hurling a boulder the size of a millstone, a massive stone used for grinding wheat into flour, into a pond or a lake — the splash would be huge. It is a symbol of Babylon’s violent fall.
With the fall of Babylon comes the end of Babylon’s music. What a payback! Think about the Jews in exile and how they sat by the waters of Babylon, mocked by their tormenting captors, in Psalm 137:1-4: “By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion. There on the poplars we hung our harps, for there our captors asked us for songs, our tormentors demanded songs of joy; they said, ‘Sing us one of the songs of Zion!’ How can we sing the songs of the LORD while in a foreign land?” This is a reversal of that. The songs of Babylon will never be sung again. Instead, we will hear a new song, the song of Heaven, the song of Zion, and we will sing and play that song forever. What payback for that mockery that they did to the Jews in exile!
It is the end of all of Babylon’s work. All the skilled craftsmen who spent all their time on creating the luxuries will cease their labors. No one will buy them; their time has ended. As I pointed out earlier, skilled craftsmanship will continue in the New Heaven and New Earth forever. I look forward to seeing what we will all create. We will craft things for the glory and the radiant display of God and use our resurrection hands to make things far more skillfully than anything we find here on earth. But these Babylonian craftsmen are finished; no one will buy their luxuries ever again.
It is the end of all light. The light of the lamp will not be seen in Babylon again. It will become a place of utter darkness.
It is the end of all human relationships. People will be marrying and giving in marriage right up until the day of the Second Coming. At that point, the sound of bride and bridegroom will be heard no more.
The Reason for Judgment
Revelation 18:23-24 tells the reason: “By your magic spell all the nations were led astray. In her was found the blood of prophets and of the saints, and of all who have been killed on the earth.” Those who have been killed on the earth extend “from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. … all these things [this blood] will come upon this generation.” (Matthew 23:35-36).
None of the blood shed will be forgotten. Cain asked rhetorically, “Am I my brother's keeper?” to which God replied, “The blood of your brother cries out from the ground for vengeance.” All the blood that has been shed wickedly on earth will be avenged by the fall of Babylon.
In the Greek, the word for “magic spell” or “sorcery” is pharmakeia, from which we get the word pharmacy or pharmaceutical. It relates to drugs and perhaps also to a cultic secret religion. There is an alluring smell of sorcery or magic that Babylon has a hold of the minds and hearts of its subjects. We are only now, in our sanctification and our progressive growth, gradually coming out of the haze and stupor of Babylon’s influence. It is still in our minds and hearts. We are still allured and tempted by some of Babylon’s pharmakeia, but there will come a day when it will have no influence on us at all.
See the World with EYES OF FAITH
Feed your faith with the Word of God. Read Romans, Colossians, Ephesians; saturate your mind with the Gospels; read the prophecies in Isaiah and Jeremiah. You do not need to focus only on Babylon. Fill your mind and heart with the Word of God and your eyes of faith will get sharper. You will be able to see what is really happening. You will be able to see the surrounding world for what it really is — the world that John writes about in 1 John 2 — as a deadly threat to your soul.
Let it motivate you with a healthy fear, not of man, but of the temptations of the world. We should say, “Lord, lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” We should be afraid of what the world can do. Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, but also the conviction of things not seen. By that we are convicted of sin, and there is a holy fear that comes over us. Hebrews 11:7 says, “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family.”
There is a fear that should grip us of Babylon. We do not build an ark, but we walk in Christ and we protect ourselves from the world. Concerning Babylon in America, do we suppose that the most dominant military nation and the most dominant economy is immune from the spirit of Babylon that rises from the ashes of every old empire and takes over? We have godly public servants that are elected to office like Daniel who are counselors to the rulers, able to give good advice, but the system itself is still Babylon. So come out and be separate. There is repulsion and attraction, so be disgusted and repulsed by the things of Babylon that we described here. She is a haunt of every unclean burden, every demonic spirit. Be disgusted by it and be attracted to the theme of the song that Jesus is better. I would rather follow Christ today than binge on Netflix. I would rather have Jesus than sin sexually by the Internet. I would rather have Jesus than do shopping therapy online or at the mall. Jesus is better than those things. I do not need any of those things to feel better in this life.
What About Luxury?
To any who are wealthy, which is all of us — and if you do not think so, go to Haiti, India, Pakistan, any country in the third world — take heed of Paul’s words to the pastor Timothy. Paul said in 1 Timothy 6:17-19, “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” Let 1 Timothy 6 command you to be generous and live for the future world. You alone know how generous God wants you to be with the wealth He has given you. Do not make assumptions. Ask, “God, what do You want me to do with all this wealth that You have given me?”
Today is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. See abortion as part of the Babylonian system. Some day abortion will be obsolete, praise God. Let’s keep praying and serving and working toward that end. Find ways to help crisis pregnancy centers or women in crisis pregnancies. If you yourself have had an abortion in the past and you are broken and shattered by it, understand the grace of God and the mercy He gives at the cross. If you are sexually tempted with another person, stand firm and do not give in to sexual immorality, which is the root of so many abortions.
Come to Christ!
My final word has to be to you who are outside of Christ, or perhaps were before you came in here today. Come to Christ. “Come out of her and be separate" is Jesus saying, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Come to Christ. He can disentangle your heart and your soul from Babylon and save your soul.
Close with me in prayer. Father, we thank You for the things that we learn continually from Your Word. We know that the Word is wise, it is powerful, it is able to save our souls through faith in Christ Jesus. Christ the Savior is better. Lord I pray that you call lost people out of darkness into light. Help them to turn away from worldly wealth and power and pleasure, and the things that do not matter, to turn to Christ and find forgiveness in Him. And help us to share that message. We are a wealthy nation; help us to be willing to talk about Babylon the great and its future fall and to warn people, and to urge people to find in Christ a beautiful Savior. In His name we pray. Amen.