Be Different / Revelation 18:1-8

Posted on April 25, 2016

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This is the Forty-fifth in a series of verse-by-verse expositions of the book of Revelation. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on April 17, 2016. This message looks at the need for Christians to separate themselves from worldly ideals. This post contains an audio recording of my message, along with my sermon notes. Please note that the sermon notes are not necessarily a full transcript.
SERMON AUDIO:

Rev 18:1-8

SERMON NOTES:

V.1:
The fifth bowl will have plunged the world into darkness.

  • Revelation 16:10

It must be quite a striking scene, when that darkness is pierced by the brilliant illumination of an angel. This will certainly be an attention getter.

V.2:
Notice the certainty of judgment. It is said as if it has already happened. However, this is referring to the seventh bowl, which is yet to come at this point. That doesn’t really matter though, because God has said it will happen. Because God has decreed it, it is as good as done. When the devastation comes, the only thing that Babylon will be fit for, is demons.

V.3:
Babylon will have lured the world into a spiritual stupor of unashamed idolatry, materialism, and all forms of wickedness. All who have participated in Babylon’s sinful ways, are guilty. No one can use the excuse that they were tricked or deceived. There is no “the devil made me do it”!

V.4:
Through all of this, there will be some believers on earth. This is God’s call for His elect to separate themselves from this evil system. This is their chance to abandon the system before it falls to judgment.

  • 2 Corinthians 6:17
  • 1 John 2:15

This is really no different from the message of Isaiah and Jeremiah for their people to leave Babylon.

  • Isaiah 48:20
  • Jeremiah 51:6

However, if they don’t heed God’s call, they cannot escape the plagues that will befall them. Had Noah and his family not gotten on the ark, they would’ve been destroyed by the flood. If Lott and his family had not fled Sodom, they would have been destroyed with the city. If God’s people don’t remove themselves from Babylon, they will share in her judgment. Becoming entangled in sin always has consequences, and if Christians don’t repent and get out of it, they will suffer those consequences.

V.5:
We may think that we or others are getting away with something, but God never forgets. However, God will forget the iniquities of the repentant.

  • Jeremiah 31:34

But for the unrepentant, there can only be judgment.

Vv.6-7:
This call for God to repay according to her deeds mirrors OT law.

  • Exodus 21:23-25

The call to repay double carries the sense of repaying in full. In short, the punishment will fit the crime. . . All according to God’s perfect law.

  • Jeremiah 16:18

Indeed, the cup of wickedness that she has drunk, will be replayed with the cup of wrath.

  • Revelation 16:19

for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.’” – This is simply a prideful and delusional boast. The same claim was made by historical Babylon.

  • Isaiah 47:8

She thinks she’s a queen, but she has no power before God. To say she is no widow, is to boast of self sufficiency. We would all do well to remember the words of Scripture.

  • 1 Corinthians 10:12
  • Proverbs 16:18

V.8:
The judgments will be very severe and very quick. The plagues will come in one day. The parallels between this tribulation Babylon and historical Babylon are uncanny. Scripture tells us that Historical Babylon also fell in one day.

  • Daniel 5:30

Death, mourning, famine, burned with fire. God is strong, and none can stand in the face of His judgments. People will grow rich by exploiting the sinful desires of society. The people of Babylon had lived in luxury and pleasure at the expense of sin, while the city boasted. Businesses and governments often do the same thing today. The powerful, wealthy people of this world are susceptible to this same attitude. Many people are tempted to take advantage of an evil system in order to enrich themselves. A person who is financially comfortable often feels invulnerable, secure, and in control, feeling no need for God or anyone else. This kind of attitude defies God, and his judgment against it is harsh. Christians; however, are warned to stay free from the lure of greed and notoriety. We are to live according to the values of Christ: service, giving, self-sacrifice, obedience, and truth. We are told to avoid Babylon’s sins. If you are financially secure, don’t become complacent and deluded by the myth of self-sufficiency. Use your resources to help others and advance God’s Kingdom.

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Posted in: Eschatology, Sermons