Summary: We will begin today with a bird’s eye view of our text and then we will look at part of James chapter four to see how we can avoid the tragedy of greed.
Purpose: To show how God will devastate the world’s economy.
Aim: I want the listener to turn their affection away from material things.
INTRODUCTION: Last time we saw that commercial Babylon, the center of the world’s wealth in last days before Jesus comes back to earth, will be utterly and completely destroyed in a single day.
The last half of chapter 18 describes the results of the downfall of this center of commerce. Our text today not only tells us what God is going to do to Babylon in the future, it also shows us the dangers of the materialism that we all face today.
We will begin today with a bird’s eye view of our text and then we will look at part of James chapter four to see how we can avoid the tragedy of greed.
1:1-20 I. John’s Vision of the Past "the things which you have seen"
2:1-5:14 II. Christ’s Vision of the Present "the things which are"
Ch.6-22 III. John’s Vision of the Future "things which will take places"
6-7; 12-14 A. Satan’s war against God’s creation: the first six seals
8-11; 13:11-18; 15-18 B. The wrath of God: the seventh seal
1. The preparation for God’s wrath
2. The desolation through God’s wrath
13:11-18 3. The object of God’s wrath: the False Prophet
10, 11a, 17-18 4. The victory of God’s wrath
10:1-11 a. God’s declares victory
11:1-13 b. Temporary defeat for Jewish messengers
17:1-18 c. Permanent defeat for religious Babylon
18:1-24 d. The destruction of material Babylon
Vs.1-3 (1) God’s view of materialism
Vs.4-6 (2) God’s call to forsake materialism
Vs.7 (3) The sins that lead to materialism
Vs.8 (4) God’s judgment on materialism
Vs.9-19 (5) The world’s sorrow
Vs.9-10 "’Weep’ means ’to sob openly.’ ’Lament’ translates the same Gr. word used to express the despair of the unbelieving world at the return of Christ." (1:7). Revelation 1:7 Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen. (NAU)
Vs.11-13a 2 "The articles divide themselves into seven categories: (1) precious wares (gold, silver, precious stones, pearls); (2) materials of rich attire (fine linen, purple, silk, scarlet); (3) materials for costly furniture (all thyine wood, every vessel of ivory, of most precious wood, brass, iron, marble); (4) precious spices (cinnamon, spice, incense, ointment, frankincense); (5) articles of food (wine, oil, fine flour, wheat); (6) merchandise for agricultural and domestic uses (cattle, sheep, horses, chariots); (7) traffic in men (bodies, the souls of men) (Lee). John drew the list from items known in his day, not from the future time depicted in the prophecy (Alford)." 
Vs.13b "slaves and human lives" indicates that slaves are being bought and sold. By the way, slavery is alive and well on planet earth today. Boys and girls are being kidnapped everyday and sold as sex slaves. This helps explain why among a description of ungodly people like homosexuals, liars, and murders, Paul also included "kidnappers" in 1 Timothy 1:9-10.
"The international traffic in forced prostitution, both of men and women, is a tragic but financially lucrative business of modern times and will undoubtedly become even bigger in the evil days ahead. These vice barons are particularly venomous "great men" of the earth, not only amassing great wealth for themselves, but destroying both the "bodies and souls" of the hapless girls and boys who come under their control." 
Vs.14 "There is a rare triple negative in the last clause. ["no longer find them"] For all eternity these enemies of God and mankind shall find nothing to enjoy or control. The flames of gehenna await them." Psalm 1:5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. (NAU)
This is why John tells us that it is SO important that we live to please God rather than ourselves. 1 John 2:15-17 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever. (NAU)
Vs.15-19 Three times God says that the wicked that are left alive stay a great distance away from Babylon (Vs. 10, 15, 17). This seems to point to a nuclear or biological destruction.
In verse 9 it says the wicked will, "weep and lament." In verse 11 it says they will "weep and mourn." In verse 15 it says they will be "weeping and mourning." In verse 18 it says they were, "crying." In verse 19 it says that they were, "crying out, weeping and mourning."