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The Fall of Babylon February 26, 2016

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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Here are my thoughts on Revelation 18.

Summary: In this passage, John observes a mighty angel declaring the downfall of Babylon the Great – since she has:

  • committed adultery with other nations
  • indulged in excessive luxury.

Believers are exhorted to separate themselves from her – since God will judge her for her sins. Her abrupt downfall is mourned by many unbelievers, including:

  • the kings of the earth
  • the merchants of the earth
  • seafarers.

Believers are also exhorted to rejoice over her downfall – since she has persecuted them and even executed many of them. A mighty angel then describes the totality of her downfall.

Thoughts: Verses 12 and 13 demonstrate the economic power of ancient Rome. She enjoyed the finest luxuries and ruled over a vast empire – yet God called believers to “come out of her…so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues.” These verses should challenge those of us who live in First World countries. For example, if our nation belongs to the Group of Eight, then one could argue that it possesses the economic strength of ancient Rome. In that case, what aspects of life in a prosperous nation compete with our call to worship God alone? Is God calling us to “come out of” our nation and avoid “her sins?” Do we need to emigrate to less prosperous nations? As God’s holy people, we must wrestle with these questions as we seek to maintain our spiritual purity.

In verses 10, 17 and 19 we see that the downfall of ancient Rome occurred “in one hour.” This highlights the rapidity of her demise; as a history buff, I believe that these verses should greatly encourage modern-day believers – especially those who live in Third World countries. Great leaders have built vast empires over the course of human history – yet we have seen that all empires eventually decline and fall. This stands in sharp contrast to the permanence of God’s power and His sovereignty over human history. In light of this, we should strive to worship our eternal, sovereign God. Indeed, history has repeatedly demonstrated that God is more worthy of worship than any empire or world leader.

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Comments»

1. PrayThroughHistory - February 26, 2016

Who knows how literal that is? A bad decision could domino the world’s economy at this point.

flashbuzzer - February 27, 2016

I’m confused here; which part of my post are you referencing?

PrayThroughHistory - February 27, 2016

Things changing in an actual hour of time. For example, Wall street legend says that US Govt leaders were actually present at the NYSE on the day the bubble burst. For them, I’m sure it felt as if the world had come to end in an hour.

flashbuzzer - February 28, 2016

Thank you for your clarification (I’ve never heard that “Wall street legend,” though it sounds quite intriguing).

On a somewhat-related note, I see that “youngearth” has also commented on this post. Hopefully you also read that blog, since the author has blogged on Revelation and has a different (and valuable) perspective on certain points.

2. youngearth - February 27, 2016

One thought after reflecting on your post is that the downfall of Babylon is necessary as a prelude to the reign of Jesus Christ on this earth and that reason by itself should cause Christians to rejoice.

I don’t think non-missionaries need to emigrate before God’s wrath falls on Babylon because when God calls for his church “ ‘Come out of her, my people,’” we know that he has already provided a way for ultimate deliverance (see Revelation 7). Also imprisoned Christians would not have the opportunity to emigrate. Who are those who might be imprisoned? Well it would be those who refuse to take the mark of the beast on their hand or forehead.

John the Apostle wrote previously: “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.” (1 John 2:15).

Here are my reflections on Rev 18 from three years ago:
https://truthlife.wordpress.com/2013/12/28/is-the-u-s-a-babylon-the-great/

flashbuzzer - February 28, 2016

Thank you for your detailed thoughts.

I skimmed through your old blog post on Revelation 18. I think that based on our earlier discussion, we have some agreements and disagreements (especially in terms of how modern-day believers should apply Revelation). I’m willing to live with those disagreements since it’s good to hear alternate viewpoints on these important issues (i.e. how should a modern-day Christian in a First World country offer genuine worship to God Himself).

On a somewhat-related note, I see that “PrayThroughHistory” has also commented on this post. Not sure if you’re a history buff, but if so, perhaps you’ll benefit from the author’s thoughts on the intersection between God and history.


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