Revelation 18 Commercial Babylon

by | May 10, 2023 | New Testament, Revelation

I. Commercial Babylon

A. Two Aspects Of Babylon To Consider

1. Vs. 1, 2 Speaks of Babylon as already having fallen; it is speaking of something yet future, but that is a certainty.

2. Chapter 17 spoke of the religious nature of what is called Babylon.

a. An apostate religious system that will gather in the unbelievers of the world.

b. Religious Babylon will fall to Antichrist when he proclaims himself to be God.

3. Chapter 18 speaks of the commercial aspect of what is called Babylon.

a. It refers more to a geographical location than to an entity; Babylon is probably both.

b. Firstly, an apostate religious entity that is first overthrown by Antichrist

c. Secondly, a commercially successful city that continues until God destroys it.

4. Religious and commercial Babylon seem to be intertwined, and yet have some distinctions between them.

a. It is not unreasonable to think that an apostate religious system will be involved in the commercialization of religion and in making money in conjunction with religion.

5. In Chapter 17, we guessed that the headquarters for religious Babylon would be Rome.

a. The commercial aspect of Babylon may also be there, or at another location.

b. Presently, Babylon as a city doesn’t exist, but could be rebuilt.

B. Commercial Babylon’s Sins-Excessive Self-Indulgence

1. V. 3 In Chapter 17 we read that the spiritual idolatry that Babylon practiced was called fornication. The Old Testament describes Israel’s unfaithfulness to God in terms of a wife being unfaithful to her husband.

a. A prostitute makes money by luring people into fornication.

b. The spiritual fornication of religious Babylon somehow will be connected to commercial success and luxury.

c. Whatever financial profit Religious Babylon acquires, it will go towards selfish opulence and commercial trade worldwide.

d. It is not unreasonable to think that a worldwide religious system will have worldwide commercial success and commerce.

2. Vs. 4, 5 Chronologically, the destruction of religious and commercial Babylon may take place midway through the Great Tribulation, 3 ½ years after the Church is raptured.

a. Spiritually speaking, that is about the time that Antichrist proclaims himself to be God and wipes out religious Babylon.

b. Remember that Antichrist will insist that all people take a mark on their right hand or forehead in order to buy or sell.

c. This may all take place before the destruction of commercial Babylon.

d. In verse 4, some of God’s people are in Commercial Babylon, and are being called out.

e. It makes sense that they have not yet taken the mark, for if that law was in force, they could do business there anyway.

3. Three things are clear…

a. Some of God’s people will be doing business in a system where they don’t belong.

b. God is mercifully warning them to depart before He judges that system.

c. God will absolutely judge that wicked religious/commercial system.

4. Application- We sometimes justify making spiritual compromises for financial reasons.

a. We justify those compromises claiming that we need to care for our families, put our kids through college, or save for retirement.

b. We may not realize that we are making spiritual compromises for temporal gains.

c. 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.” 17 Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.” 18 “I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty.”

II. The Judgement Of Commercial Babylon

A. Her Sins

1. V. 6 This is not a call for vengeance, but for measured and appropriate judgment.

2. V. 7 Here we see the sins of commercial Babylon:

a. Self-glorification and excessive luxury.

b. Self-coronation and a vain confidence of invincibility.

B. Her Judgment

1. Vs. 8, 10 The judgment of commercial Babylon will come suddenly and will be complete.

C. Those Who Mourn For Her

1. V. 9 Luxuriously- KJV– deliciously. Wantonly, unjustifiably, extravagant, excessive. 1 Timothy 6:6-10 6Now godliness with contentment is great gain. 7For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. 9But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

2. The kings of the earth- Their sins were both spiritual excessive self-gratification.

3. These world rulers weep for Babylon, but their sorrow is completely self-centered.

a. NOTE- There is no relief effort made to help Commercial Babylon.

4. V. 11 Here we see the true reason for their sorrow: Not lost lives, but loss of revenue.

5. Vs. 12, 13 Bodies and souls of men- This is the worst part of it: some kind of slavery, perhaps sex trafficking. Excessive self-gratification over the value of human life.

6. V. 14 All the excesses which could be purchased in Babylon will be gone in a day.

7. Vs. 15-19 The suddenness of destruction will be remarkable.

a. Stood at a distance- Some have suggested that a nuclear blast may be involved. God using wicked men to judge other wicked men.

b. Commercial Babylon may be a port city. Rome is 18 miles from coastal waters.

c. ‘What is like this great city- possibly greater than any city that exists or existed.

d. Leon Morris-“The great city has brought profit to many but affection to none”.

D. The Rightness Of Her Judgment

1. V. 20 This is not a rejoicing coming from vengeance, jealousy, or dislike, but over appropriate justice that has been long withheld.

2. Vs. 21-24 Once again we are reminded of the spiritual wickedness that was joined to excessive and unjustifiable luxury.

a. Excessive luxury by exists apart from concern for those in need.

b. The taking and using of human lives is wickedness before God.

c. Babylon’s judgment will be just.

d. God’s judgment upon unregenerate and unrepentant man will be just.