Faithlife Sermons

Babylon Is Fallen Part 4

The Book of Revelation  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 2 views
Notes
Transcript
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →
Introduction:
The fact is that God never judges without cause.
God is not arbitrary, meaning that He does not act without cause.
When God brings judgment, it is because there is a reason for the judgment.
There are two aspects of God’s knowledge.
There is His Natural Knowledge, that is, His self-conscience knowledge of Himself.
Free Knowledge, that is, the knowledge of those things that He sovereignly decrees, and how He is manifested by all things outside of Himself.
In other words, All of God’s actions are said to not be arbitrary because of God’s decisions are based first of all in who He is, in His knowledge of Himself.
As a result of that natural knowledge, He makes decrees.
So if someone ever accuses God of being arbitrary, then they are in essence saying that God’s nature is arbitrary since every decree He makes is as a result of who He is, by His natural knowledge of Himself.
I. Judgment Pronounced (vs. 1-2)
Let me see if I can illustrate this.
Is death a proper judgment for sin?
When God told the nation of Israel to completely destroy the Canaanites or the Amalakites, was that a proper judgment for their crimes?
When God sends the rejecting sinner to Hell, is that a proper judgment for the crimes committed?
Or is God just pronouncing and executing judgment because He is God and He can?
That would be the definition of Arbitrary; God is just doing this for no other reason but that He has the power to do it.
But since every decision that God makes is first based upon the knowledge of Himself then no decision that He makes, whether to be gracious or not to be gracious, can be said to be arbitrary because He first decrees based on the perfection of who He is.
The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way 2. Systematic Theology: Theories of the Atonement

Death is not an arbitrary punishment that God deems suitable for making a point, but the legal sanction that God incorporated into the covenant of creation.

God clearly announced this penalty from the beginning, and His nature demands that it be executed.
Ezekiel 18:4 AV
Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.
Romans 6:23 AV
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way 2. Systematic Theology: Theories of the Atonement

Objective injustice entails objective guilt and requires objective satisfaction.

In other words, when someone outside of God (therefore the word Objective) breaks the covenant, then that person outside of God brings objective (outside of God) guilt; therefore that person outside of God must satisfy the injustice.
The reason that this understanding is important is because of all the horrific judgment that we have seen in the book of Revelation, we must understand that these judgments are not arbitrary, but are proper responses to objective guilt.
God, through the natural knowledge that He has of Himself, judges the objective guilt because His natural knowledge of Himself demands of His subjective (inside of Him) holiness be satisfied.
So when God pours out these destructive judgments on Babylon, He does so because He is acting in proper judgment for crimes and not arbitrarily.
In the verse that we will discuss this evening, the angel describes the why to the judgment and it is laid out in the ruin developed.
I. Judgment Pronounced (vs. 1-2)
II. Judgment Avoided (vs. 3.5)
III. Judgment Defined (vs. 6-8)
The Request Directed (vs. 6a)
The Recompense Detail (vs. 6b)
The Ruin Developed (vs. 7)
Three sins call for Babylon’s judgment
Her Pride
Revelation 18:7 AV
How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.
The angel begins with the word “how much” or “as”
God is not arbitrary, meaning that He does not act without cause.
Now, that may seem like a small word but it reveals to us what exactly the angel is asking God to do.
When God bring judgment, it is because there is a reason for the judgment.
There are two aspects of God’s knowledge.
It is the word “ὅσος” and literally means “to the same degree”.
The angel is calling on God that He would match the punishment to fit the crime.
There is His Natural Knowledge, that is, His self-conscience knowledge of Himself.
Free Knowledge, that is, the knowledge of those things that He sovereignly decrees, and how He is manifested by all things outside of Himself.
To the same degree that something is done, match the punishment to that crime; that is the idea.
And the first thing that the angel speaks about is the fact that Babylon will judged because she was proud.
In other words, All of God’s actions are said to not be arbitrary because all of God’s decisions are based first of all in who He is, in His knowledge of Himself.
God had this to say about His glory and pride.
As a result of that natural knowledge, He makes decrees.
So if someone ever accuses God of being arbitrary, then they are in essence saying that God’s nature is arbitrary since every decree He makes is as a result of who He is, by His natural knowledge of Himself.
Isaiah 42:8 AV
I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.
God hates Pride
Let me see if I can illustrate this.
Proverbs 6:16-17
Proverbs 6:16–17 AV
These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
Is death a proper judgment for sin?
James 4:6 AV
But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
When God told the nation of Israel to completely destroy the Canaanites or the Amalakites, was that a proper judgment for their crimes?
When God sends the rejecting sinner to Hell, is that a proper judgment for the crimes committed?
Proverbs 3:34 AV
Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.
Or is God just pronouncing and executing judgment because He is God and He can?
Thomas Carlyle quote on Pride
Proverbs 16:18–19 AV
Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.
Proverbs 16:18-19
Jeremiah 9:23–24 AV
Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.
Matthew 23:12 AV
And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
Romans 12:16 AV
Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

Basketball coach Pat Riley in his book The Winner Within tells about the 1980 World Championship Los Angeles Lakers. They won the NBA Championship that year, and they were recognized as the best basketball team in the world. They began their 1980–1981 season considered likely to win back-to-back championships. But within weeks of the season opener, Magic Johnson tore a cartilage in his knee, and he needed a three-month recuperation period. The team and the fans rallied, and the remaining players played their hearts out. They determined to make it through that period without losing their rankings. They were winning seventy percent of their games when the time began to draw near for Magic Johnson to return to action.

As his return grew closer, the publicity surrounding him increased. During time-outs at the games, the public address announcer would always say, “And don’t forget to mark your calendars for February 27th. Magic Johnson returns to the lineup of your World Champion Los Angeles Lakers!” During that announcement, the other players would look up and curse. They’d say, “We’re winning now. What’s so great about February 27th?” As the day approached, fewer and fewer things were written or said about the players who were putting out so much effort. All the media attention was focused on the one player who hadn’t been doing a thing. Finally the 27th came, and as they clicked through the turnstiles every one of the 17,500 ticket holders was handed a button that said, “The Magic Is Back!” At least fifty press photographers crowded onto the floor while the players were introduced. Normally only the starters were introduced, and Magic Johnson was going to be on the bench when the game began. But he was nevertheless included in the introductions. At the mention of his name, the arena rocked with a standing ovation. Flashbulbs went off like popcorn. Magic Johnson was like a returning god to the crowd that night.

Meanwhile the other players who had carried the team for three months and who were totally ignored, were seething with jealousy, resentment, anger, and envy. They were so resentful that they barely won the game that night against a bottom-of-the-bucket team, and eventually the morale of the entire team collapsed. The players turned on each other. The coach was fired. And they eventually lost their opening game of the play-offs, having one of the most disastrous records ever.

Riley said, “Because of greed, pettiness, and resentment, we executed one of the fastest falls from grace in NBA history. It was the Disease of Me.”

Basically, pride refuses to depend on God and be subject to Him.
It attributes to self the honor that is due to Him.
From the very beginning in heaven, Lucifer was attempting to steal the glory that belonged to the Lord and take it to himself.
Then he convinced our first parents that they could be like God.
Genesis 3:5 AV
For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
And as a result, man’s entire nature was infected by pride.
ii. Her Passion (vs. 7b)
Revelation 18:7 AV
How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.
The word “deliciously” is “στρηνιάω” and means to live in luxury or sensuality.
Not only is Satan’s system attempting to take from God the glory that only belongs to Him, but everything that Satan’s system does is to feed its own glutton desires.
It is old idea of man doing what is right in his own eyes.
Whatever is the pleasure, that is what we will do.
But the system that attempts bring temporary pleasures, will but bring to itself and to all that follow, eternal punishment.
The system lives to glorify self and for the material things that it may obtain, both of which will be judged by God.
The angel says to give her torment and sorrow that will be a proper judgment for her attitude of self sufficiency wantonness.
iii. Her Presumption (vs. 7c)
This echoes the attitude of ancient Babylon
Isaiah 47:7–8 AV
And thou saidst, I shall be a lady for ever: so that thou didst not lay these things to thy heart, neither didst remember the latter end of it. Therefore hear now this, thou that art given to pleasures, that dwellest carelessly, that sayest in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me; I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children:
It is the attitude that says, “no one can touch me, I am impenetrable”.
The system of Satan will have attitude that they cannot be conquered.
But God told ancient Babylon:
Isaiah 47:9 AV
But these two things shall come to thee in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood: they shall come upon thee in their perfection for the multitude of thy sorceries, and for the great abundance of thine enchantments.
And it will be for the exact same attitude that God will judge the Babylonian system in Satan’s final empire.
d. The Reprobation Done (vs. 8a)
Revelation 18:8 AV
Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.

Then the angel notes that for this reason, the sins catalogued above, in one day her plagues will come. Babylon’s destruction will not be progressive. The wicked city will be instantly destroyed (cf. vv. 10, 17, 19). Daniel 5 records the similar fate that befell ancient Babylon; the city fell the very night that God wrote its doom on the wall of the king’s palace (cf. Dan. 5:30). As noted above, the plagues that will destroy Babylon are specific judgments on that city, possibly in connection with the seventh bowl. Three plagues will result in Babylon’s complete devastation: pestilence and mourning and famine—heaven’s fitting answer to her proud boast in verse 7. After those three plagues have run their course, Babylon will be burned up with fire.

e. The Regency Dedicated (vs. 8b)
No one can frustrate God’s plan or keep Him from doing what He has determined to do.
Proverbs 19:21 AV
There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.
Isaiah 14:27 AV
For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?
Daniel 4:35 AV
And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?
Isaiah 43:13 AV
Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?
Isaiah 46:10 AV
Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

All the power of wicked men and demons will not be enough to deliver Babylon from God’s judgment.

Our God is powerful and will give judgment to the wicked plans of the final empire of Satan.
That would be the definition of Arbitrary; God is just doing this for no other reason but that He has the power to do it.
But since every decision that God makes is first based upon the knowledge of Himself then no decision that He makes, whether to be gracious or not to be gracious, can be said to be arbitrary because He first decrees based on the perfection of who He is.
The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way 2. Systematic Theology: Theories of the Atonement

Death is not an arbitrary punishment that God deems suitable for making a point, but the legal sanction that God incorporated into the covenant of creation.

God clearly announced this penalty from the beginning, and His nature demands that it be executed.
Ezekiel 18:4 AV
Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.
Romans 6:23 AV
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way 2. Systematic Theology: Theories of the Atonement

Objective injustice entails objective guilt and requires objective satisfaction.

In other words, when someone outside of God (therefore the word Objective) breaks the covenant, then that person outside of God brings objective (outside of God) guilt; therefore that person outside of God must satisfy the injustice.
The reason that this understanding is important is because of all the horrific judgment that we have seen in the book of Revelation, we must understand that these judgments are not arbitrary, but are proper responses to objective guilt.
God, through the natural knowledge that He has of Himself, judges the objective guilt because His natural knowledge of Himself demands of His subjective (inside of Him) holiness be satisfied.
Related Media
Related Sermons