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Revelation 18-19v10

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Claim - Babylon (the world) will fall into eternal torment, to the glory and praise of God by His Saints made righteous by the Lamb.
Function -
Focus - Flee the world and glorify God for His justice and salvation, remembering that Jesus’ love for the church far outstrips any pain we know now.
Function - To glorify God for His justice and to know the love of Jesus.
I remember sitting in a maths lesson at secondary school next to a friend of mine -
He wasn’t a Christian, he knew I was,
but without any immediate context in this maths lesson he turned to me and said:
but without any immediate context in this maths lesson he turned to me and said:
“i don’t want to go to hell’
“Well,” I said, “Personally I don’t think the lesson will get quite that bad”
Well actually I withheld my usual wit on this occasion - and said something like
“you don’t have too, you can repent”.
I don’t recall the discussion later, I certainly don’t think, that i was a very faithful evangelist at school, and as far as I know, he’s still not a Christian.
But clearly, in a conversation prior to that maths lesson, we had talked about hell.
It’s a challenging topic!
It’s one you don’t just hear and are unaffected by.
It’s a topic you don’t want to get wrong.
It’s painful and pastoral to think or talk about
- perhaps ironically even more so for Christians,
becasue we actually - or at least we should - really believe it is a place reserved for those who do not repent and believe in the Lord Jesus for salvation.
I s
And of course, our minds instantly and rightly go to those we love humanly on this earth who don’t believe.
a child,
a sibling,
a close friend.
and into 19 tell us a few hard realities about God’s final judgement - about hell.
And so I want to be faithful to God by not avoiding the topic.
But, After the service, I wont go to the door and chat to people as ususal,
But if we are Christians, then i trust to some extent we have thought about this before.
And so as we think about it from this passage,
perhaps, while i don;t think it will dull the pain,
it will perhaps give us some understanding.
After the service I wont go to the door and chat to people as ususal, I will go to the staff room, and if you’d like to pray with me, I’ll be in there ready to pray with those who want to pray for loved ones who don’t yet know Jesus.
The bible’s teaching on hell has to be one of the most challenging topics to think about and teach on.
I will go to the staff room, (Bob and Dorothy, our Pastoral Care Workers will also join me) and if you’d like to pray with us,
We’ll be in there to pray with you for your loved ones who don’t yet know Jesus.
Or for you if you struggle with this issue
For it’s always a painful and pastoral issue.
Not becasue I think God is worng, or harsh on the matter - for as we will see, he is ever so just.
Becasue, humanly, we will, and I trust are supposed, to feel the pain of this on our lives.
And if you’re not a follower of Jesus, then please also come, so we may pray together so that you may be saved as well.
Our first point then is:

1 - Judgement is Justified

We met, if you were here last week, from rev 17, a woman riding a beast.
She has adorned herself to be attractive and tempting to all who see her,
but she is filthy on the inside.
Revelation 17:4 NIV - Anglicised
The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries.
rev 17
She carries the name ‘Babylon the great’ and we saw how she represents all the attractions of the world that draw humanity away from God.
Ideologies, philosophies, empires, leaders, wealth, materialism, power and pride.
She is a temptress that millions have fallen for, in exchange for the God of holiness.
She leads people straight into bed with the devil - and sadly most are oblivious to how filthy she is.
And here, now,
chapter 18, we continue our vision with John as he sees the future, the final day,
when the woman - and all who have followed her face judgement by God.
Revelation 18:2–3 NIV - Anglicised
With a mighty voice he shouted: “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird. For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.”
Just as Babylon the great of the ancient world fell,
so will all who have drunk of the same type of God rejecting wine.
All those who have pursued wealth, not God,
Power, not God,
Self, not God,
Even apparent ‘goodness’ if it’s not for God,
it’s for the woman who leads us to Satan the devil.
We had that warning last week didn’t we,
That if we do belong to the Lord Jesus -the Lamb who was slain in our place.
in other words , If we desire to Love God not the world,
Then we must flee from the world’s lies.
If we find ourselves loving things, or power, or pride before God,
we are falling for the woman, not God!
The same repeated warning is given to us again in v4 of this chapter 18.
Revelation 18:4 NIV - Anglicised
Then I heard another voice from heaven say: “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues;
This warning chapter recalls much of the OT book of - when the actual Babylon of Old was ruling the world.
Three times in God calls his people out of Babylon before the nation is destroyed:
"Flee from the midst of Babylon, and each of you save his life!" (51:6);
"Forsake her and let us each go to his own country" (51:9)
"Come forth from her midst, My people, and each of you save yourselves from the fierce anger of the LORD" (51: 45)
What’s the message - God wont be mocked!
You can’t have it both ways - claim verbal allegiance to God,
but in practice stay with the enemy.
It’s the same today.
You cannot verbally claim the title of Christian,
even come to GC on Sundays,
even pray occasionally and think that’s enough,
if your life decisions and actions the rest of the time is all about yourself,
then you are
believing the lies and promises of the world.
No, faith in the salvation of Jesus, makes you a Christian,
And a christian will live for God in joyful responce.
God, his ways, his commands
If you have no desire, or intention, or motivation to live for God with your whole life,
Then you need to question if we have received his free gift of salvation in Jesus at all.
We ought instead, to flee Babylon, the world’s lies about what life is all about.
For the lies of the woman, the world, Babylon, and all those who follow her are appalling before God.
And so, His Judgement ISJustified.
read and emphasies the compasirsons between her actions and God’s responce

5 for her sins are piled up to heaven,

and God has remembered her crimes.

6 Give back to her as she has given;

pay her back double for what she has done.

Mix her a double portion from her own cup.

7 Give her as much torture and grief

as the glory and luxury she gave herself.

In her heart she boasts,

‘I sit as queen; I am not a widow,

and I will never mourn.’

8 Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her:

death, mourning and famine.

She will be consumed by fire,

for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.

As we mourn compassionately for our loved ones who don’t know Jesus as saviour,
. Dalliance with Babylon's sins will bring affliction with her plagues, for God's justice cannot be mocked.
We must also be careful not to limit or diminish both the holiness of God or the repulsiveness of their rejection of Him.
God is just in his judgement.
He is giving the world what they have asked for.
Of course we may not see it,
Perhaps your Auntie Ethel is nothing but smiles and sweetness,
but what we cannot see
is her attitude toward the loving, creator, holy God,
that leaves her with sin piled up to heaven.
It leaves her with a heart that refuses to humble herself before the Almighty One who desires nothing more than bring her to repentance and save her,
and God’s holiness demands a judgement, and her sin justifies that judgement.
You may have heard the idea of horizontal and vertical relationships.
We can see the horizontal - relationships between each other and actions in the world.
We cannot see the depth of betrayal and broken pain and relationship between our loved ones and God on high.
God’s judgement is justified.
In fact the delay in God’s judgement until Jesus returns shows not only that God is justified but that he is incredible patient.
We’ve used this verse repeatedly in our preaching through Revelation in reference to final judgemnt;
2 Peter 3:9 NIV - Anglicised
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
But as we are seeing here - final judgemnt not only will come
-but has to come for God to maintain his justice and holiness.
And when it does finally come
, it will be terrible and eternal.
Revelation 18:21 NIV - Anglicised
Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea, and said: “With such violence the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, never to be found again.
The mill stone being throne into the sea showing the finality of judgement. A mill stone cannot be recovered from the bottom of the sea.
It’s too heavy!
And in a hell that is described as being as physical as this world
these next verses unpack the sadness and tourment of it all.
Revelation 18:22 NIV - Anglicised
The music of harpists and musicians, flute players and trumpeters, will never be heard in you again. No workman of any trade will ever be found in you again. The sound of a millstone will never be heard in you again.
No entertainment, no beauty in the arts or music in hell.
No skilled people to call when things go wrong - no homes being built, furniture to rest upon, roofs to shelter under, plumbers to bring clean water to wash in or drink,
No mills to grind grain, even the most basic foods will be scares
22
Revelation 18:23 NIV - Anglicised
The light of a lamp will never shine in you again. The voice of bridegroom and bride will never be heard in you again. Your merchants were the world’s great men. By your magic spell all the nations were led astray.
These descriptions remeber find their origion in Jeremiah about the fall of the origional Babylon,
How dark it will be,
Some also see these descriptions find their origion in Jeremiah againas about the fall of the origional Babylon, this probably too refelcts the end of intelectual thought and conversation - somehting Babylon was fames for in it’s day.
Night will be night, n.
No marriage, no close relationships of love,
In short - all the apparent joys of this world, and all the actual blessings of God that we enjoy today - even those that reject him,
and all the actual blessings of God that we enjoy today - even those that reject him,
All will be gone.
God’s Judgement is justified and is eternal and terrible.
But it is also Justified.
In preparing this sermon I resolved to try and speak to my boy’s squash coach on Thursday about Jesus.
He normally comes up to the balcony for the last 10 mins and we have had the odd chat about church, but nothing profound or very helpful.
But thinking through this passage reminded me how absolutely crucial the Gospel is.
I’m normally working on my sermon while they have a lesson, so I was going to say that I was preaching on Hell on Sunday and that I really do believe in Hell.
And as such I would love him to think seriously about Christianity.
As it turned out he didn’t come up to chat this week and went straight to his next lesson.
And I was relieved!
Isn’t that terrible!
That I was more relieved about my own embarrassment than warning someone about the realities of hell and the amazing grace of free forgiveness in Jesus!
That in itself is the lies of the world attracting me away from Jesus isn’t it.
People don’t really need to hear about Jesus.
There’s still time,
Don’t risk a relationship over religion!
There are 2 fairly clear response to this chapter so far I think:
1 - Is flee from the world and love God alone.
We spoke about this already and particular last week so I wont say much more.
Ephesians 5:11 NIV - Anglicised
Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
2 Corinthians 6:17 NIV - Anglicised
“Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”
2 cor
2 - we need to Warn those still ‘in the world’ with compassion, with urgency, with conviction that they need salvation - just like us.
We saw this as the purpose of the church in chapter 11 - to witness to the world.
The realities of hell focuses our evangelistic intentions doesn’t it?
In preparing this sermon I resolved to try and speak to my boy’s squash coach on Thursday about Jesus.
He normally comes up to the balcony for the last 10 mins and we have had the odd chat about church, but nothing profound or very helpful.
As it turned out he didn’t come up to chat this week and went straight to his next lesson.
As it turned out he didn’t come up to chat this week and went straight to his next lesson.
But hell focuses and reminds us we have a wonderful, eternity changing gospel!
Isn’t that terrible!
That I was more relieved about my own embarrassment than warning someone about the realities of hell and the amazing grace of free forgiveness in Jesus!
More important than anything else!
We have wonderful, eternity changing news!
People don’t really need to hear about Jesus.
Let’s not be embarrassed, but let’s create, pray for and take every oppertunity.
Let’s deliberately develop relationships that give us the oppertunity and respect to speak of Jesus.
There’s still time,
That’s something we can be praying for after the service for our loved ones.
For there is hope that they will find salvation.
Don’t risk a relationship over religion!
And our 3rd responce is to know that gloirify God.
So that’s our first point,
Judgement is Justified.
What happens next in the vision is also very hard though.
God is glorified for his judgement.

2 - God is Glorified

Revelation 19:1–3 NIV - Anglicised
After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for true and just are his judgments. He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants.” And again they shouted: “Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever.”
Revelation 19:1–2 NIV - Anglicised
After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for true and just are his judgments. He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”
But we also see now that he is glorified in his judgement as well.
As we consider God’s judgement
- it’s hard to understand how on that final day of judgement
we will glorify God as we observe judgement taking place.
But that is what we are told will be the case.
But we also see the scriptures show us that on that final day of judgement,
Of course we will be thankful for salvation - but thankful for judgement seems unlikely!
Clearly in some way, on that final day,
The glory of God will be far more precious and significant to us than anything else.
And I think the key to this reality, is that on that day,
Our loved ones - our family - will not be who we understand them to be right now.
And I think the key to this reality, is in how
Jesus defines who family is very differently to us.
So, in the middle of Jesus teaching about his coming kingdom in ,
- we get a really random event recorded.
Matthew 12:46–50 NIV - Anglicised
While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.” He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
46-50
Jesus is not saying that our earthly families are unimportant.
Not at all - in fact the bible places a high calling on honouring our parents and providing for our family,
Indeed, before Jesus was put to death on the cross he asked his disciple John to care for his mother Mary when he was gone.
But here is Jesus’ point when he states that his diciples are his true family.
They are his spiritual family that he belongs to eternally.
They are the ones who he loves ‘most’.
We perhaps wont ‘feel as close to our brothers and sisters around us here at church’
as we do to our earthly family,
but the reality is our bond as Christians is far greater and eternal than any realtionship you have on earth.
For Jesus is our DNA, our glue.
Infact look at v7 of 19.
Where we finally get a glorious glimpse of where we are heading in the book of Revelation!
The great culimnation of all we’ve been looking at will crescendo to a glorious wedding between,
well have a look
Revelation 19:7 NIV - Anglicised
Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.
WHo is the bride? US - The church of true believers, who have repented before the Lord.
Who have been spared the just judgement of God.
Who have been freed form a life of fear of hell
and given a life of love towards the bridegroom of the church - Jesus the Lamb!
Look around you is the message.
This is your true family. who you will unite with eternally under the glory of Jesus!
Nothing can or will ever ha
Absolutely we must love and mourne and plead with our earthly families who don’t believe.
We must cry for them, pray for them, lift them to the Lord in prayer.
We must have faith that God can save them, for he is merciful and gracious.
But we can also remember that on that final day,
we will feel and experience and know a love like we have never known on this earth.
A love that far outstrips the love we’ve had for a spouse, for a parent or for a child,
We will find pure, unadultareted, unfiltered love from the the Lamb of God.
His light, his glory, his compassion, his perfectly uniting presence,
We will look around at our brothers and sisters in him - we will see Jesus’s perfection in each of us.
The pain of loss and devastation on this earth will be no more.
Infact we will understand his just judgement like we presently cannot, and God will be glorified.
The glory of the Lord, the love of the lamb, our bridegroom,
the fellowship of our church brothers and sisters across the world and across time will causes us to be overjoyed.
We will sing, v1 of 19

“Hallelujah!

Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,

2 for true and just are his judgments.

v6

“Hallelujah!

For our Lord God Almighty reigns.

7 Let us rejoice and be glad

and give him glory!

For the wedding of the Lamb has come,

and his bride has made herself ready.

Revelation 19:1–3 NIV - Anglicised
After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for true and just are his judgments. He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants.” And again they shouted: “Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever.”
rev 19 1-
Revelation 19:4–7 NIV - Anglicised
The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshipped God, who was seated on the throne. And they cried: “Amen, Hallelujah!” Then a voice came from the throne, saying: “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both small and great!” Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.
It may not make sense, or seem fair today,
rev 19
but one day we will understand - and give God the glory he is due.
Pause
I’ve said a couple of time already, that ‘anyone’ can be saved by Jesus.
There is hope for your loved ones,
And v8 is the reason we can have confidence in that.
For we do not attend our wedding with Jesus
by being a certain type of person.
Or by doing certain things,
or getting enough right,
For we are given the clothing we need for our wedding by God almighty.
Revelation 19:8 NIV - Anglicised
Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)
Saints, that’s Christain’s, are given, freely all that they need!

3 - Saints are Sanitised

We made utterly clean and right before God, by God.
Our righteous acts - the things we need to do - to be right with God - is a gift put upon us by God himself!
Of course we have heard the call in Revelation to love God, not the world,
To obey his command, not our own,
And a saint will strive to do that.
Sometimes we will get it right and sometimes we will get it wrong,
But it’s the heart of who we are living for that counts, not the achievement of our acts.
For look how wonderful our wedding outfits are:
They are fine linen - which are our righteous acts!
We are given the righteous acts by God.
All we have done and tried to do in this life are covered over , clothed, by utter perfection,
Fine linen - a free gift of God - In other words - our Righteous acts are not of ourselves - they are his, and so we glorify Him!
Three times in the doom oracle against Babylon in God calls his people out: "Flee from the midst of Babylon, and each of you save his life!" (51:6); "Forsake her and let us each go to his own country" try" (51:9); and, "Come forth from her midst, My people, and each of you save yourselves from the fierce anger of the LORD" (51: 45). Dalliance with Babylon's sins will bring affliction with her plagues, for God's justice cannot be mocked.
Dennis E. Johnson. Triumph of the Lamb: A Commentary on Revelation (Kindle Locations 2785-2787). Kindle Edition.
In other words, there is hope for the worst of sinners,
Hope for the hardest of hearts,
hope for our loved ones.
Dennis E. Johnson. Triumph of the Lamb: A Commentary on Revelation (Kindle Locations 2823-2827). Kindle Edition.
For it is the work of Jesus to save -
our job: is to introduce them to him.
And to pray that Jesus would invite them to the wedding banquet.
As I’ve said, please come and pray with us later if you want to call on Jesus to invite your loved ones to the wedding.
Judgement is Justified
Let’s pray now.
God is Glorified
Saints are Sanitised
Both a warning, a challenge and hope held out by our God,
So we ought to be on our knees in prayer, so that he might do his work.
Please join
Come to him,
"Hallelujah"-Praise the Lord! This Hebrew imperative appears in each of the Halle] Psalms () and elsewhere in the Psalter (note especially ), but in the New Testament it occurs in Greek transliteration only in its fourfold use in this text (, , , ). The reason for the multitude's praises to God is the establishment of his justice in the overthrow of the harlot, for now "He has avenged the blood of his bond-servants on her" (). No longer must the souls of those slain for the word of God cry out, "How long, O Lord, ... will you refrain from avenging our blood?" (6: 1 O)."
Revelation 19:9 NIV - Anglicised
Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”
THE SAINTS ARE YOU TRUE FAMILIY _ WHOM YOU WILL LOVE FAR MORE THAN ANY EARTHLY REALTIONSHIP - AND YEST FAR LESS THAN THE LORD JESUS!
rev 19
Dennis E. Johnson. Triumph of the Lamb: A Commentary on Revelation (Kindle Locations 2859-2860). Kindle Edition.
END
John's vision of the bride will not occur until ; but, as the harlot was first mentioned in 14:8 and then revealed in 17:1, so the bride is announced nounced before her entrance.
Dennis E. Johnson. Triumph of the Lamb: A Commentary on Revelation (Kindle Locations 2877-2878). Kindle Edition.
Feloowshipping with our true and eternal and now perfect brotehrs and sisters,
Dennis E. Johnson. Triumph of the Lamb: A Commentary on Revelation (Kindle Locations 2878-2882). Kindle Edition.
It will be the famiiy reunion we all wish we could enjoy in this life.
IMPORTANT
We will gorify the Lord LAmighty.
Hallelujah.
Such "righteous acts," if referring to the believers' obedient actions and pursuit of spiritual purity," are not our personal achievement. This fine linen wedding garment is given to the bride by her Groom, as the background in Isaiah iah 01:10 makes clear:
Isaiah 61:10 NIV - Anglicised
I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
Through the prophets God promised another wedding day in which he would clasp his bride to himself with joy and passion, despite Israel's past infidelities fidelities (). Weddings and feasting belong together (), and the blessed guests who are invited to the Lanib's wedding ding feast are themselves included in the bride who is so honored by her Husband's love.
Dennis E. Johnson. Triumph of the Lamb: A Commentary on Revelation (Kindle Locations 2887-2889). Kindle Edition.
Dennis E. Johnson. Triumph of the Lamb: A Commentary on Revelation (Kindle Location 2883). Kindle Edition.
Dennis E. Johnson. Triumph of the Lamb: A Commentary on Revelation (Kindle Locations 2882-2883). Kindle Edition.
Don’t worship the messenger - 19v10
Worship the true prophesy Jesus who is God. 19v10

A parallel instance of a symbolic use of the prophetic “summons to flight” is found in 2 Cor 6:17, where Paul exhorts the Corinthians “to come out from them and be separate” (an allusion to Isa 52:11–12, which contains a literal prophetic “summons to flight”), i.e., to abstain from the idolatrous practices of pagan society (though no impending catastrophe is in view).

Ephesians 5:11 NIV - Anglicised
Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
2 Corinthians 6:17 NIV - Anglicised
“Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”
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