Summary: Jesus Christ is coming back to earth. He is coming to bring righteousness to this earth. But before He can come and establish righteousness in the earth, a few things have to be done.
Jesus Christ is coming back to earth. He is coming to bring righteousness to this earth. But before He can come and establish righteousness in the earth, a few things have to be done.
1. All the evil armies of this earth have to be destroyed. We just saw that in chapter 16.
2. All the religion in this world has to be destroyed. That is what we will be talking about tonight.
3. All the godless politics and governments of this world have to be destroyed. This we will see in the next chapter.
When these three things are done, then the ungodly and evil of this earth will be removed and Jesus Christ can come to earth and set up His kingdom of righteousness.
We have seen the armies destroyed in the previous chapter. Now God shows us how the false religion and the godless governments of this world will be destroyed. We need to know that false religion and godless government have always been on the earth, and they will be until the end time. In the end time, the antichrist and the false prophet will institute a one-world religion.
The subject of chapter 17 is the judgment of godless government and false religion, of what the Scripture calls political and religious Babylon. False religion has done more to doom people than any other single thing by its deception.
False religion promises life, salvation, peace, security, and hope in some kind of life hereafter. But it’s all a lie. And it will doom people for eternity. This is the reason this particular chapter is given in Revelation: to warn us about false religion and to warn us of religious Babylon, the false religion that is going to sweep the earth in the end time. PRAYER.
READ 1. An angel approaches John. He has just been shown the great devastation of the last war, Armageddon. John is standing there in shock when one of the seven angels comes over to him. He tells John to come and he will show him the future judgment of false religion in the earth. So John walks over and sees one of the most amazing sights a person could ever witness: the description and judgment of false religion in the world.
Religious Babylon is a great prostitute. In the Bible, prostitution stands for false gods, false worship, false religion, and false devotion. It stands for idolatry. It stands for worshipping something other than God Himself.
This religious Babylon sits on many waters. This is symbolic language that stands for people or nations. How do we know that? Because it is explained to us in verse 15. (Read verse 15) The picture is that religious Babylon will fill the earth. Many people and nations of all races will be caught up in the worship of the false religion.
Think about today. Think about how many millions of people are following a false religion and worshipping idols around the world. But even worse, think about how many profess Christ and yet don’t believe or teach Christ and the World of God.
READ 2. The governments of the world in the end time will encourage the worship of religious Babylon. Religious Babylon will seduce the world with the wine of her false teaching. She will entice the peoples of the earth to worship the antichrist and his government.
Remember that there are going to be a lot of devastating things happening during the great tribulation. There will be natural disasters. Sores, scorching heat, intense darkness, waters turned to blood red, a great earthquake, and on and on. The people are going to be looking for relief. They will be looking for answers.
The antichrist and his government will have the answers. At least for a while. The people will rely on the antichrist and they will be loyal to him and his government because he has the help they need. The government will become the god and man will become its servant. This is the whole principal behind communism or any other socialist or dictatorial state that is totally focused upon the government.
The point is, in the end time, there will be a worldwide religion, a religion of the state. This is where religious Babylon comes in. It will be the false religion that will try to seduce all the people of the earth into its control. It will have the support of the kings and leaders of the world.
READ 3. Let’s look at three things in this verse.
1. Religious Babylon sits upon a scarlet beast. The term sitting means that the false religion is supported and dependent upon the state.
2. The scarlet beast is the antichrist. TI is he who is covered with names that blaspheme God. This means that all the heads or governments under his authority blaspheme and revel against God. It really won’t be a religion at all. It will be the worship of the state itself.