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The Fall of Babylon

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The fall of Babylon

Text:  Revelation 18-19

Big Idea:  Christ will take the throne, by surrender or by force.

Purpose:  To encourage people to let go of the desires that keep them in Babylon.


            Thomas smelled the smoke outside.

            Looked out the window of his parent’s house – his car was smoking

                        -smoke, and little sparks – from under the hood of the car.

            Thomas started to run outside – to try to stop the fire

                        -called father for help

            No avail, it became apparent the engine fire would not be overcome

                        -Thomas started to reach for the back door, apparently to climb in

            Father shouted, stop, what are you doing?

            Thomas replied – I have to get my CD’s out of the back seat.

            Father said – don’t go near the car

            Thomas said, why not? 

                        -the fire is in the front, the CD’s are in the back

                        -if the fire starts to spread, I’ll get out

            Dad replied – if the fire starts to spread, you won’t have time to get out

                        -it’s best to stay out now, then to burn with your CD’s

            Tom’s dad – spoke a truth that is reflected in the story of Revelation 18-19

                        -don’t get burned holding on to something that is doomed

Story Retold

            -Christ has returned to claim His creation

            -plagues have started to declare His just judgments

            -before this process is complete – Babylon is destroyed

            -in the middle of this text: voice calls out to those marked by God, Come Out

                        -verse 4 – God calls His people out before the destruction begins

That is the voice we want to listen to today

            -the call to let go of Babylon

            -the things that allure, draw us away from God

            -because it is all about to be wiped away

Sermon Body:

Movement 1:  *Babylon will fall.

Babylon represents:

1.  The nation that took Israel into captivity

2.  Rome - the contemporary kingdom of 100 ad

3.  The Kingdom of the Devil - pulls people away from God's reign

4.  The Great Prostitute - allures people away from the way of faithfulness

            -perhaps good things, but perverted by unwarranted desires

Question:  What is your Babylon?  Write it down, draws you away from God.

            -It is something you truly enjoy, like, pursue

            -You might even be able to justify it with Christian friends

                        -a pleasure, a single allowance

                        -but it draws you away from Christ’s Kingdom

            Maybe knowingly – you are rebelling

            Maybe unknowingly – you are ignorant of the spiritual effect it has on you

                        -Your heart’s delight, without God’s presence (acknowledgement)

            Maybe you are aware of the power to tempt you – and you abstain (Praise God)

-this will be abolished.

v. 2 – Babylon becomes a prison for unclean spirits

            -the allures of the world become a trap

            -true for alcohol, pornography, love of money, power, popularity

                        -when they take the place of God in our lives

                        -when the fall occurs, we are trapped

Movement 2: *The illusion of prosperity does not last.

-when that prosperity is based on opposing God's Kingdom

-Illustration of Enron - phony scheme of selling energy

-produced nothing - brokered, advertisements, stock prices, but fell flat

Examples of illusions in our lives.

-success at work, getting the next goal satisfied, affording one more luxury

Babylon falls

            God calls His people out of her, in order to spare them

            Because He knows that her allures will be a trap

            When Babylon falls, where will you be?

            If you look at the text:  see the fall is not directly described

                        -instead, you see it through eyes of people who loved it

                        -Kings, Merchants, Sailors – all wanted it, mourned its loss

                                    -all lived well in this city, but lost all they had

                                    -they did not invest in something that will last

                                                -they invested in Babylon

Vs. 10, 14, 19 – shows that when it falls, it falls fast

            -the illusion of doing well will be inescapable

            -when something turns bad, there is no time to get out

                        Illustration:  Stock Market Crash

                        Application – I will repent later is a shaky hope

                                    -you might not have time

                                    -God has called you out, you have been warned

            Kings, Merchants, and Sailors mourned, because their kingdom had been destroyed

                        Where is your Kingdom – Your Babylon – will it crash?

Movement 3: *The reign of Christ brings great joy.

Reasons for joy at Babylon's fall - is that God will reign, His reign is just

-not just a matter of choosing a leader

-political elections (what is the difference)

-Star Wars - Dark side of the force doesn't seem so bad

-He is the best:

                        -His treasures are not subject to fire

                        -his judgments are just, rather than arbitrary

                        -His love is selfless, rather than selfish

                        -he is not trying to con you into a trap

                                    -but beckoning you to join Him in His eternal Kingdom

*Reasons for praising:

1. His reign is just.

2.  He defeated Babylon and its corruption.

3.  Vengeance for all of Babylon's sin

-those who have been hurt long for justice

-either pay for it yourself, or Christ pays it for you.

The Destruction of Babylon precedes Christ's enduring presence

-talk of wedding feast

-the rider on the white horse enters (victory in battle)

-the blood reminds us that the battle cost Him

But you don’t get to come to this wedding feast

            -if you were consumed in the destruction of Babylon 

Action Steps:

            Get out of Babylon!

                        -you have the opportunity to voluntarily give it up now

                        -but the destruction could come at any time

            If you hold on to Babylon

                        Two possibilities:

                                    1.  You could let go in time

                                                -but you will feel an emptiness

                                                -out of place in Christ’s Kingdom

                                                            -because you have set your heart elsewhere

                                                            -show up at a wedding – in dirty clothes

                                                                        -there, but not quite comfortable

                                    2.  You could make the mistake of clinging

                                                -and face the destruction

            Hold on to the eternal treasures

                        -because a better option is available

                        -this is not just a warning

                        -it is a reason to be hopeful

                        You have a seat in the Kingdom of God

                                    -and it is a Kingdom that will last


            What is your Babylon?

                        -draws you away from God

                        -threatens to trap you indestruction

            Identify, let go

            Cling to Christ’s ways – obey His word

                        -and you will be prepared to enjoy the great feast

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