Summary: Babylon is an economic system with deep evil spiritual undertones, and the elements of Babylon are all around us in the forms of idolatry and excessive delicacies. We, as God's people, are called to come out of this rebellious system, obeying God.
Read Revelation 18 together
Revelation 18 4 Then I heard another voice from heaven say:
“Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins"
I’ve heard the preachers and read the commentaries that say Babylon is New York City, or the United States, or the European Union, or even Iraq with the city named Babylon and its expansive oil reserves. But why do we look for Babylon on the other side of the sea, when there is plenty of Babylon all around us?
We can see the elements of Babylon now in Bangalore:
1. This economic system has deep spiritual overtones & undertones . . . as soon as the city is destroyed its true nature is revealed-the people have fled, but “She has become a dwelling for demons and a haunt for every impure spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detestable animal.” And Babylon was a persecutor of the Church.
a. These creatures are at home in Babylon even when everyone else has fled. It seems likely they were at home in Babylon before, but could be seen clearly now that everyone else had left.
b. In India there is still excessive idolatry. In the Bible this is referred to as spiritual adultery. In some of the sects of India there is no question as to why this might be the case (show video which shows two to four-year-old girls sold as temple prostitutes in Northern Karnataka). You can read in major media sources accounts of abuses of those who practice witchcraft-killing animals as part of their ritual and, in some cases, even killing people (http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-11-04/india/43657545_1_human-sacrifice-police-officer-two-men) . You can also read of abuses against those accused of being witches, where communities take the situation into their own hands and even kill those they accuse of witchcraft. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/india/10120682/India-villagers-kill-two-for-witchcraft.html
2. This is, clearly, an economic powerhouse-the list of Babylon’s “excessive delicacies” is long and impressive. It sounds like this:
a. Your cargoes of Bhima Jewlery: gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; Your fine linen, silk sarees, and multi-colored cloth; every sort of teak wood, and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, granite and marble; 13 cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, cardamom and curry, of Kingfisher beer, wine and coconut oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; cars, airplanes and rockets to Mars; and human beings sold as slaves. 14 “They will say, ‘The fruit you longed for is gone from you. All your luxury and splendor have vanished, never to be recovered.’
These are things we all pursue, yet we find we have nothing more when we have gained such things, and we have lost nothing when we have none of these things. This is why Paul said,
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:12-13
3. COME OUT OF HER! Standing afar off: . . .
Three times this chapter talks of merchants and sailors and rulers “standing far off” for fear of her torment. Is the city/system destroyed by a nuclear bomb? Is it destroyed by chemical or biological weapons? Who can say? But this sounds like 20th & 21st century war systems. Whatever the source of Babylon’s destruction, thinking, good people want nothing to do with it.
We must come out of the idolatry of our day. We must come out of the excesses of our generation and live simply-not coveting silver or gold or homes or properties or luxury items, Avoiding debt, living within the means God has provided.
a. God called Lot out of Sodom & Gomorrah before He destroyed the twin cities.
b. Jesus warned His followers to flee Jerusalem when they saw it was surrounded by armies (Luke 21:20).
c. He now warns us, in the Last Days, to come out of the filth and excesses of our age, and to live lives of simplicity and peace.
We are to set ourselves apart-Jesus said
I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. John 17:14-19