The Tale of Two Cities
Bible Passage: Revelation 18, James 4:4, John 2:15-17, Revelation 21:3-4
Summary of Revelation 18
Revelation 18 announces the fall of Babylon. It makes you question if Babylon is a literal or symbolic city. Revelation 18 continues by announcing a glorious angel who describes the scene. This chapter is a call to God’s people to separate from Babylon and a call to those who carry out Babylon’s judgment. The is a lament for commercial Babylon; its kings, merchants, and sea-captains. There is a call to the heavens and the people of God to rejoice! As the commercial Babylon’s death bell tolls there is an angel graphically showing its fall as it is left desolate and powerless. The ultimate reason for commercial Babylon’s judgment is that she has killed the prophets and saints.
- Don’t get caught up in the philosophy of this world and find ourselves loving this world more than we love God.
- There is a day set on the calendar that God knows about when His hand of grace will be withdrawn (this is a good thing).
- These end days have been delayed to give us time and a chance to take citizenship in Heaven through the death of Jesus.
- God gives us this warning so that we won’t have to mourn for the loss of these times.
- God has judged this world for the way it has treated His people.
- As the symbol of a sinful mankind, Babylon must be completely destroyed. All of this will take place because she deceived others and used worldly riches to entice them to join in her sinful affairs as she abused the people of God and put many to death.
- Do not place all your faith in the ways of the world. It may seem very inviting but, in the end of times, God’s people will be vindicated and those who profited by their physical and emotional losses will receive their just punishment. The people of God will then be free from the presence of sin.
- In the end of times, God’s people will be vindicated and those who profited by their physical and emotional losses will receive their due punishment if there is no repentance. The people of God will then be free from the presence of sin. Babylon and King Nebuchadnezzar figure prominently in the Old Testament, as it invaded Judah, destroyed Jerusalem and the temple, and carried off many Jews to Babylon as exiles. Because of the awful destruction caused by the Babylonians, Babylon became a symbol for the stereotypical enemies of God and His people. Babylon figures prominently in the book of Revelation as the ultimate enemy of God and persecutor of His people.
Taken in part from Got Questions.org
One Couldn’t Help But Ask…
- How did this service and chapter move you in a way that you have not
thought of before? In other words, what did you hear or learn about
God’s wrath that was new to you?
- What does Babylon represent and why must it be destroyed?
- We read about all those that grew rich from providing Babylon with things that supported their false religion. But they stand far off as Babylon is destroyed. Why do they distance themselves from their source of life? What should we assume happens to them? Are they saved from destruction?
- Based on your answer to question #3, should we assume then that sinful people can bail themselves out of eternal damnation at the last minute by separating themselves from their life long pursuit of earthly treasure?
- What is the good news in this part of John’s vision?