Summary: In chapter 17 we saw the destruction of religious Babylon. In chapter 18 we will see the destruction of commercial Babylon. Over and over John refers to Babylon as a city, so he may be referring to a specific city that will be the center of the world’s ec
Purpose: To show how God will devastate the world’s economy.
Aim: I want the listener to see materialism as idolatry.
INTRODUCTION: In chapter 17 we saw the destruction of religious Babylon. In chapter 18 we will see the destruction of commercial Babylon. Over and over John refers to Babylon as a city, so he may be referring to a specific city that will be the center of the world’s economy. If that is true then this commercial Babylon may be the same place as religious Babylon.
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 materialism
The world’s economy, called Babylon, is like the story told about Rose Greenhow. She was a Confederate spy during the Civil War. When she was trying to avoid being captured she didn’t want to lose her fortune so she sewed her gold into the seams of her dress. The ship she boarded sank and the weight of the gold made it impossible for the life preserver to hold her up. She sank to the bottom with all of her gold. Death did to her what it does to all of us. We can’t take our possessions with us when we die, but they can destroy us.
Vs.1-3 (1) God’s view of materialism
Vs.1 An angel comes that is so bright that the earth is lit up. The glamour of this world is nothing in comparison to the glory of even an angel that comes out of the presence of God.
Vs.2 This glorious angel speaks so that everyone can hear and condemns the center of the world’s wealth. This city of wealth has become a hotbed of demon activity.
In the parable of the Sower and the Seeds, Jesus used birds as a picture of Satan’s attempts to oppose the truth of God’s Word.
John MacArthur comments: "If man creates an environment with unlimited commodities, man will destroy himself. This is a basic truth about man that must be recognized: he is ultimately and totally selfish. Selfishness related to productivity translates into one word -- greed. When the sinful heart of man is egged on by selfishness and attaches itself to products, it becomes greed, and self-destruction is the ultimate end. For example, in Revelation 18 the entire world economic system ends in total collapse. Man is on track to total self-destruction. When man continues to proliferate the potential to make money and proliferate products, he is given that which feeds the worst thing about him -- his selfishness and greed." 
God judged the original Tower of Babel because, left to themselves, they would gain too much power. Genesis 11:6-9 The Lord said, "Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them. "Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech." So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth. (NAU)
Today we are very close again to having one universal language: English.
So, we see here in Revelation 18 what happens when man is allowed to have whatever he wants. Greed breeds great wickedness.
Vs.4-6 (2) God’s call to forsake materialism
Vs.4a One of our weaknesses is that we would rather identify with the world than identify with the Lord. Paul warns us: 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, "I will dwell in them and walk among them; And I will be their God, and they shall be My people. "Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate," says the Lord. "And do not touch what is unclean; And I will welcome you. "And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me," Says the Lord Almighty.(NAU)