Text: Revelation 18
Proposition: We need to be attentive to our lives to make sure that we are being faithful to Jesus in a secular world. Alternate: Are we being faithful to Jesus in the midst of a secular world?
I. Introduction. As in the previous two sermons (see previous posts), I talk about how relevant the book of Revelation is to our current world and our lives in it. I reintroduce the idea of the Unholy Trinity (Dragon, Beast, False Prophet) vs. the Holy Trinity (Father, Jesus the Lamb, the Holy Spirit).
II. Background from Revelation
A. Revelation 17:1-5. Who is the Harlot? She is the city of the Beast, where he reveals his power. She is in direct contrast to the New Jerusalem (the city of the Holy Trinity). She is the city of the other kingdom, the kingdom of the Beast and the Dragon. She entices the people of the world to follow in her sinful ways.
B. Revelation 17:8-10. She and the Beast have a long history that includes anti-God cities of the Old Testament, like Babylon, Nineveh, Tyre, Samaria, and even Jerusalem (during the days of her unfaithfulness to God). The Beast exercises his rule in the past and present through various rulers, like Pharaoh (Exodus), Nebuchadnezzar (Babylon), and the little horn of Daniel 7, who are faithful to the Beast’s kingdom rather than to God’s.
C. Revelation 13:17 (authority over buying and selling). One aspect of the Beast’s kingdom is the use of wealth to entice people to worship him. People are often drawn in to following the Beast due to a desire for wealth, power, and worldly pleasures.
III. Revelation 18
A. Read the whole chapter (if you have time, if not read Rev 18:11-17). Focus attention upon her wealth and the mourners. Who are they? Why are they mourning?
B. Significance. What can we learn from this? Revelation 18:4. Come out of her. How? This is something that we need to do now. It is not an exhortation for the end times. By then, it will be too late to come out of her. John is exhorting us to come out of Babylon now, by forsaking the sins that Babylon is enticing us to commit.
1. Avoid participating in the sins of Babylon. See Revelation 9:20-21.
2. Relate Revelation 18 to Matthew 6:19-21, 24 (treasures in heaven and 2 masters). What are we pursuing with our lives?
3. Is it always easy to come out of Babylon, that is, to see and avoid the sins that she wants to entice us to commit? Connect to the seven letters to the seven churches. Talk about the road of compromise that is evident in 5 of the 7 letters. The Laodicea letter is especially relevant in relation to the Harlot and temptations related to wealth and worldliness.
C. Examples to help us apply this sermon:
1. What we can see in others. It can often be easier to see how other people, including other Christians, are compromising with the world and the Devil.
2. What we can see in ourselves. Examples: I provide a few examples of areas of temptation in my life and conclude by talking about the good example of faithfulness that I witnessed in a good friend and colleague. We all need good examples and we all need to be, and become, solid examples of faithfulness.
Closing: He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
How well are you guarding yourself against Babylon and her influence upon your life?