November 18, 2020

You Can't Take It With You

Revelation 18

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The Fall of Babylon

After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was made bright with his glory. And he called out with a mighty voice,

  “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great!
    She has become a dwelling place for demons,
  a haunt for every unclean spirit,
    a haunt for every unclean bird,
    a haunt for every unclean and detestable beast.
  For all nations have drunk1
    the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality,
  and the kings of the earth have committed immorality with her,
    and the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxurious living.”

Then I heard another voice from heaven saying,

  “Come out of her, my people,
    lest you take part in her sins,
  lest you share in her plagues;
  for her sins are heaped high as heaven,
    and God has remembered her iniquities.
  Pay her back as she herself has paid back others,
    and repay her double for her deeds;
    mix a double portion for her in the cup she mixed.
  As she glorified herself and lived in luxury,
    so give her a like measure of torment and mourning,
  since in her heart she says,
    ‘I sit as a queen,
  I am no widow,
    and mourning I shall never see.’
  For this reason her plagues will come in a single day,
    death and mourning and famine,
  and she will be burned up with fire;
    for mighty is the Lord God who has judged her.”

And the kings of the earth, who committed sexual immorality and lived in luxury with her, will weep and wail over her when they see the smoke of her burning. 10 They will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say,

  “Alas! Alas! You great city,
    you mighty city, Babylon!
  For in a single hour your judgment has come.”

11 And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, since no one buys their cargo anymore, 12 cargo of gold, silver, jewels, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, scarlet cloth, all kinds of scented wood, all kinds of articles of ivory, all kinds of articles of costly wood, bronze, iron and marble, 13 cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and slaves, that is, human souls.2

14   “The fruit for which your soul longed
    has gone from you,
  and all your delicacies and your splendors
    are lost to you,
    never to be found again!”

15 The merchants of these wares, who gained wealth from her, will stand far off, in fear of her torment, weeping and mourning aloud,

16   “Alas, alas, for the great city
    that was clothed in fine linen,
      in purple and scarlet,
    adorned with gold,
      with jewels, and with pearls!
17   For in a single hour all this wealth has been laid waste.”

And all shipmasters and seafaring men, sailors and all whose trade is on the sea, stood far off 18 and cried out as they saw the smoke of her burning,

  “What city was like the great city?”

19 And they threw dust on their heads as they wept and mourned, crying out,

  “Alas, alas, for the great city
    where all who had ships at sea
    grew rich by her wealth!
  For in a single hour she has been laid waste.
20   Rejoice over her, O heaven,
    and you saints and apostles and prophets,
  for God has given judgment for you against her!”

21 Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying,

  “So will Babylon the great city be thrown down with violence,
    and will be found no more;
22   and the sound of harpists and musicians, of flute players and trumpeters,
    will be heard in you no more,
  and a craftsman of any craft
    will be found in you no more,
  and the sound of the mill
    will be heard in you no more,
23   and the light of a lamp
    will shine in you no more,
  and the voice of bridegroom and bride
    will be heard in you no more,
  for your merchants were the great ones of the earth,
    and all nations were deceived by your sorcery.
24   And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints,
    and of all who have been slain on earth.”

Footnotes

[1] 18:3 Some manuscripts fallen by
[2] 18:13 Or and slaves, and human lives

You Can't Take It With You



Key Verse | Revelation 18:4

Then I heard another voice from heaven saying,

"Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins,
lest you share in her plagues."

Bio | Lisa Parker

Hello! My name is Lisa, and I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. I am married to Steve, a wonderful, amazing, God-fearing man. God has been chasing after me my whole life, but for a while, I did not listen and made a mess of my life. It was not until 2013 (at age 49) that God converted my heart and mind. I was a dried sponge and started volunteering for everything at church. I even went back to school and got a degree in Biblical Studies from Colorado Christian University.

Central Truth

If money is your master, it will not go well for you. God can destroy everything in a moment, especially if it is not used to glorify Him.

Devotional | Revelation 18

I struggled for years worrying about money, and that is the reason I found Watermark Community Church in 2013. I was about to lose my job, which I had worked at for 30 years. I was so afraid that I would lose...

I struggled for years worrying about money, and that is the reason I found Watermark Community Church in 2013. I was about to lose my job, which I had worked at for 30 years. I was so afraid that I would lose everything, and then where would I be? I need to make money, right? I know I am not alone in that feeling, but what I needed to do was to quit asking myself what I needed or wanted and to ask what God desired for my life.

Revelation tells us of a thriving city that had grown wealthy because of its location, ports, mariners, merchants, and kings. It is destroyed by God in one day or even one hour. This city is full of people devastated from this destruction because it is their life. This city is probably a real city like Rome or Babylon, but for us today, it can remind us of what we put our value in (our job, the stock market, etc.).

There are many verses in the Bible that warn us against how we view money and riches, such as, for example, Proverbs 23:4-5, 28:20; James 5:1-6; and Ecclesiastes 5:10. These things are not bad in themselves; it depends on the value we put on them. God provides us with all that we need, and we are to use His resources for His glory. But we can fall away from the security that God provides and believe that money can provide for us instead of trusting God.

In Matthew 19:16-22, Jesus encounters a very wealthy man who was seeking eternal life and who had obeyed the commandments. Jesus told him that he needed to sell all his possessions and follow Him, but the man could not do it. God knows money and riches will trip us up.

The good news in Revelation 18 is that a voice calls all of God's people out of the city before He destroys it. God cares so much about us (John 3:16). He will protect us; and when it is our time, He will call us home to be with Him.

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Discussion Questions

1. Where would your heart be if you lost your home and your job in the next hour? Does knowing that you are a child of God if you have trusted in Jesus Christ and that He promises to provide for your needs bring you peace?

2. Do you ever feel that you put too much into doing your job, being on time, and/or doing everything you need to in order to be recognized and worthy of a bonus or a promotion? Do you ever think about how important you are to God (John 3:16) and that His bonus of heaven is better than any bonus you can get at your job today?

3. Find a friend or group of friends and open your heart about things you give high importance to but that may pull you away from making God and the eternal life He offers the most important things in your life. Is it your job, success, a possession, or even your kids? How can you make God the priority in your daily life?

4 Comments available

Michael Scaman 16 days ago

God’s people fleeing Babylon and Babylon’s judgement cover more of Isaiah and Jerimiah than I would have guessed. Isaiah 16, 17 and 18 talk about it and Jerimiah chapters 50 and 51.

In Revelation there is a one two punch. Plagues come upon her in a single day in Rev 18:8 and she falls in one hour in Rev 18:9, moving quickly from only one day, to only one hour.

Hope Harris 17 days ago

GM JTJ

I am taking a trip down memory lane this morning. Upon my first reading of revelation via JTJ, when I came to chapters 18 and 19 I came to the realization that there was not only a heaven but also a hell.

In addition I have come to understand that that judgement is what makes God not only just but also fair and loving.

Back todays reading my heart weighs heavy for those who do not know Him or rejected Him.

Feeling the need to pull out my prayer lists and pray for those lost in the trapping of sexual and gender identity issues.

Sue Bohlin 17 days ago

Lisa, great devo jumping off of Revelation 18. Same to you, Hugh. #superapplicable

What struck me in this very unhappy chapter was God’s vengeance: He ordered that Babylon be recompensed double for her sins and egregious offenses. Which, when it happens, will feel literally unimaginable to those living through it, I think. This teaches me why it is wise to submit to scripture that says not to take our own vengeance on those who hurt us, but trust the Lord to do it (Romans 12:19)–because He has waaaaay more power in the justice department than we do!

Hugh Stephenson 18 days ago

In Prodigal we disciple participants who have an idol (Babylon) problem. We know how to do this because it’s our problem too.

Often the idol is the behavior of a wayward family member; a minor, adult, spouse, parents, sibling etc.

They key is that the participant is placing an unhealthy amount of their sense of well-being in the behavior of their “prodigal”.

When I first came in February 2013 it did not take me long to see that I had some serious idol issues. I was not at risk of losing my job or my money. What I did not want to lose was my, (perceived), control. That was my Babylon.

A recent message noted that saying I “struggle with control” was like saying I “struggle with X-Ray vision”.

I have neither.

Freedom came when my heart accepted the truth and surrendered to the One who really does have control.

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