Archive for March 7th, 2018

Revelation 18

Revelation 18 continues John’s revealing of Babylon.  In chapter 17, John describes Babylon as a religious city, while in chapter 18, the view is of Babylon as a commercial city.  “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place for demons, a haunt for every unclean spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detestable beast. For all nations have drunk the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxurious living”.

Guzik writes about the city this way.  ‘There are definite similarities between Babylon as described in Revelation 17 and Revelation 18.  Both are under the rule of Antichrist, and have ruling queens; both are filled with blasphemy; both hate the saints, and shed their blood; both are associates with kings in fornication; and both are under judgment and destroyed.  However, there are also some significant differences:

Religious Babylon (Rev. 17) Commercial Babylon (Rev. 18)
1. Mystery Babylon 1. Great Babylon; Babylon the Great
2. Symbol: a harlot woman 2. Symbol: a great city
3. Identified with Rome (inland) 3. Identified with a port city
4. Woman, whore, and mother 4. Habitation, great city, market place
5. Guilty: religious abominations 5. Guilty: greed, self-indulgence
6. Destroyed by a political power
that previously supported her
6. Destroyed by a sudden act of God

The counsel is clear – we need to get away from bad influences in our lives.  “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities”.  The guidance is clear – we need to flee anything that causes us to be drawn into sin.  That applies to us right here, right now too.  We need to pay attention carefully to the people we hang out with.  We need to recognize the influence of the church we are part of (or aren’t).  We need to surround ourselves with godly influence and run from any influence that will drag us away from God and being a Christ Follower walking in obedience to Him.

Sin always carries a huge price.  Babylon, whether a great literal city, or merely a rhetorical place, will pay a stiff penalty for its sin.  “For in a single hour your judgment has come…. For in a single hour all this wealth has been laid waste….For in a single hour she has been laid waste”.  It goes from boom to bust in an instant when God calls it to account and passes judgment upon it for the way it.  What is the price of sin?  It costs us everything.  It brings God’s judgment and will separate us from Him for eternity.  It’s why Jesus came to earth – to give us an opportunity to overcome the penalty of sin through His shed blood on the cross.  God has made a way.  We merely need to confess, repent and receive His gift of grace through Jesus!

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