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#43 The Destruction of Those Who Love Evil

September 4, 2008

 

We are continuing our journey through the ugliness of mankind and the judgment that falls upon them for their evil deeds and I want to mention something this morning that is not just a glimpse but an overt demonstration of the wickedness of man. Jerry Falwell died on Tuesday of this past week. He was the founder of Liberty College and Thomas Road Baptist Church, both in Lynchburg Virginia. He is also the founder of a political group known as “The Moral Majority.” This man stood for something! You may disagree with his theology but you cannot deny his zeal.

 

He saw sin running rampant and wanted to do something to effect change for the better, a return to the biblical standards that were the foundation stone of this country, He saw the ugly head of sin reigning unhindered in the media and politics and the public square in general. He saw a great need for restraint and took a stand for truth! He took a stand against sin and sinners and called them by name.   

 

Now we have spoken many times of the restraining hand that keeps this world from going completely under. I don’t think it is a stretch to say that part of that restraining hand isn’t made up of godly men and women who have been sent by God to stand in the gap and shout out the truth! I know that God is the first cause of all things and I also know that He uses second and third causes. I believe that Jerry Falwell was one of those second or third causes. I believe he was a tool in the hand of God for good.

 

But what I want to bring to your attention is the fact that people, and this is unbelievable, people are celebrating the death of Jerry Falwell. They are calling him a hate monger and a homophobe among other things. All because he stood for the truth and spoke the words of God concerning sin in its many forms.  He was a light bearer and men love darkness. As sinful man sees it, Mr. Falwell’s light has been snuffed out and now they can enjoy life again without some “preacher” revealing them for what they really are, sinners. And I am reminded of something we saw in (Re 11:7) concerning the treatment of those who stand for Jesus! “When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them. 8 And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified.

9 Those from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb. 10 And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and celebrate; and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.  

 

Wicked men celebrate the death of the righteous. And so we see that Mr. Falwell has quite a testimony! He finished his testimony of truth before this world and God took him home, and in doing so lifted, I believe, a bit more of the restraining influence from this evil world. And now sinful men and women are rejoicing and celebrating his death because He tormented them while he was alive. And he did so merely by speaking the word of God to a sick and twisted world; by telling the truth, by pointing out their need of a Savior. 

 

The reaction of the wicked in this case gives us a clear picture of the spirit of antichrist. Just as light cannot have fellowship with darkness, so the religion of this world does not mix with the truth found in Jesus! They are at opposite ends of the earth. And their destinations are also separated.

 

The world feels wronged by those who would condemn them for their wickedness, who would speak the truth and say boldly that there are absolutes, that there is only one truth and that truth is found in Jesus Christ! according to the theology of the world, there are many paths to truth, many paths to heaven, if there is such a place. Of people like Jerry Falwell they gnash their teeth much as the crowd did at the preaching of Paul. We read in (Ac 22:22)  “And they gave him audience unto this word, that is, the preaching of Jesus, and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live.”

 

Today they celebrate but on the last day, they will cry to the rocks and mountains to fall on them and hide them from the face of Jesus. They will see that they were wrong, and the words of faithful witnesses like Jerry Falwell will burn in their hearts like the worm that doesn’t die and like the fire that is not quenched. They will long for another chance to believe it will be too late. They will bow before the God of the Universe and His Son Jesus whom they spent their lives hating and denying. The King of kings will render His verdict of guilty and will pronounce His righteous sentence upon sinners. And they will go away into everlasting fire.

Yes, the religious zealots of homosexuality, abortion, drug abuse and vice of every kind may be celebrating now but soon their laughter will be turned into mourning and wails of torment as they are flung into the chasm of hell.

 

For the present, evil reigns in its restrained form. But one day God will let loose completely and then there will literally be hell on earth for a time. The kingdom of Babylon will reign supreme for a short time. Notice what is written in (Rev 17:18) “The woman whom you saw, who represents the false religions of the world is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth.Sinful rebellious man worships at her feet even now. He grovels in the dust and will go to any length to please her! Soon the floodgates of unrestrained wickedness will be opened.

 

Even now there is a trickle, there are holes in the dike. Consider the countless babies that are sacrificed at the altar of abortion. Consider the wickedness that reigns in high places; men who make policies and mold the nations of the world into their concept of reality. They are boasters, proud, insolent, haters of good and lovers of evil. But the day is coming: it is known as the Day of the LORD, in which judgment will be rendered.

 

Sometimes I’m sure we feel like those saints under the altar. Look at (Re 6:10) “They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?”  I’m sure we too cry out to God and ask, How long oh Lord, Holy and True will you allow such evil to continue, how long till you step in and put an end to wickedness? How long before you issue the edict in (Isa 45:8)  “Drip down, O heavens, from above, And let the clouds pour down righteousness; Let the earth open up and salvation bear fruit, And righteousness spring up with it. I, the LORD, have created it. 

 

Through Amos the Prophet (Am 5:24) God declares that such a day is coming when He will proclaim; “But let justice roll down like waters And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. As we have been going through our study of Revelation we have seen just that. And indeed today we will see all that mankind loves go down the drain.

 

Look at our text (Rev 18:1-24) and notice what it says, “After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illumined with his glory. How often have I stated the fact that this is a very dark world?

Jesus spoke of this in (Joh 3:19) saying, This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.”

 

But now unavoidable light comes down and the earth is illuminated by the glory of God. 2 And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! Babylon has been judged guilty of leading men and women astray and her punishment is set from long ago, from eternity past. We read in (2Pe2:3:4,9) By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber. 4  For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; 9  then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, 

 

Babylon will become a place of desolation like the Dead Sea! The angel proclaims that “She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird. She will become a place no one wants to visit. In fact, though this was written nearly 2000 years ago, notice that it is written in the past tense. She has become. Her judgment is decreed. In the same way in which we are told that we are already seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, which means that it is already done, so too is the destruction of Babylon fixed.

 

And her judgment is just, the Judge of all the earth can only do right. From the beginning Babylon has been the means of confusion, of temptation. Her motto could be the words that the devil used to tempt Eve: “Hath God said?”

 

She has been the cause of the fall of many…3 “For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality.” This is the testimony of evil, of sin. The world seeks gain at whatever cost. They don’t care who they hurt. Think of the price of gas. The price of a barrel of oil is down, yet ‘problems with refineries have caused our rising prices.’ Yet no one is seeking to repair the refineries as men of greed are lining their pockets with billions of dollars, to the hurt of many. This is the modus operandis of the world. Their motto is ‘do unto others first!’

This next verse causes me to think of the sons of Korah, Dathan and Abiram. Moses warned everyone to get as far away as they could from these men so that they wouldn’t be harmed by the judgment that was about to fall. Verse 4 I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues; God, speaking through His Holy Apostle Paul says in (2Co 6:17) “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 from (Jer 51:6) we hear the warning of our God to “Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the LORD’S vengeance; he will render unto her a recompence.”

 

God doesn’t punish for no reason. The wages of sin is death and God is merely paying Babylon what she is due 5 for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. They should have regarded the patience of the Lord as Salvation. They should have recognized the mercy of the Lord and repented. But instead these rebels have raised their fists to God.

 

And so the verdict is handed down, 6 “Pay her back even as she has paid, and give back to her double according to her deeds; in the cup which she has mixed, mix twice as much for her. 7 “To the degree that she glorified herself and lived sensuously, to the same degree give her torment and mourning; for like the church of Laodecia which couldn’t see their need for a Savior, she says in her heart, ‘I SIT as A QUEEN AND I AM NOT A WIDOW, and will never see mourning.’

 

But (1Th 5:3) “While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape.” (Rev 18:8) “For this reason in one day her plagues will come, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for the Lord God who judges her is strong. 

 

And men will mourn because all they trusted in will be gone. 9 “And the kings of the earth, who committed acts of immorality and lived sensuously with her, will weep and lament over her when they see the smoke of her burning, 10 standing at a distance because of the fear of her torment, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come.’

11 “And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their cargoes any more— 12 cargoes of gold and silver and precious stones and pearls and fine linen and purple and silk and scarlet, and every kind of citron wood and every article of ivory and every article made from very costly wood and bronze and iron and marble, 13 and cinnamon and spice and incense and perfume and frankincense and wine and olive oil and fine flour and wheat and cattle and sheep, and cargoes of horses and chariots and slaves and human lives. 14 “The fruit you long for has gone from you, and all things that were luxurious and splendid have passed away from you and men will no longer find them. 15 “The merchants of these things, who became rich from her, will stand at a distance because of the fear of her torment, weeping and mourning, 16 saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, she who was clothed in fine linen and purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls; 17 for in one hour such great wealth has been laid waste!’ And every shipmaster and every passenger and sailor, and as many as make their living by the sea, stood at a distance, 18 and were crying out as they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, ‘What city is like the great city?’ 19 “And they threw dust on their heads and were crying out, weeping and mourning, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, in which all who had ships at sea became rich by her wealth, for in one hour she has been laid waste!’

 

For some reason I thought of the great stock market crash of 1928 when men jumped out of windows and killed themselves because everything they loved, worshiped, rejoiced in trusted was suddenly gone! Notice in verses 10, 15, and 18 it speaks of the smoke of her burning or her torment. Many bible teachers say that this is a nuclear attack. But I only ask you to look at (Gen 18:24-25,27-28) “Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; 25  and He overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. 27 And Abraham got up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD: 28  and he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.

 

20 “Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, because God has pronounced judgment for you against her.” Why are we to rejoice?

Because the righteous Judge of all the earth has done right. God is righteous when He speaks and blameless when He judges. 21 Then a strong 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 not be found any longer. This is the end of all who rebel against God. 22 “And the sound of harpists and musicians and flute-players and trumpeters will not be heard in you any longer; and no craftsman of any craft will be found in you any longer; and the sound of a mill will not be heard in you any longer; 23 and the light of a lamp will not shine in you any longer; and the voice of the bridegroom and bride will not be heard in you any longer; for your merchants were the great men of the earth, because all the 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 the earth.”

 

The Day of Judgment, the day of destruction of those who love evil is coming. And that day will be far more terrifying and awful than anything ever seen. As one old time preacher stated it, “See that dense mass of sinners drawn up before the Great White Throne, as far as the eye can see they com surging up –  a countless throng.

 

And now they stand. And the awful trump of God summons them forward to bring for their excuses for sin. So sinners, any of you, what have you to say? Why should sentence not be passed on any of you? Where are all of your excuses that you were once so free to make? Why don’t you make them now! God waits…He listens…there is silence in heaven…all throughout the congregated throng…for half an hour…an awful silence that can be felt.  But not a lip moves among the gathered myriads of sinners there. Like Job they have all laid their hands to their mouths.

 

And now the Great and Dreadful Judge arises and lets loose His thunders! O see the waves of dire damnation roll over those ocean masses of condemned sinners!

 

Did you ever see a judge rise from his bench in court and pronounce the death sentence? There! See! The poor man reels – he falls prostrate – there is no longer any life in him for the sentence of death is upon him. All appeals have been spent and now his last hope has perished. Oh what will the sinners of this world do who have flaunted their sins before the face of a Holy God for in the same way, their sins have piled as high as heaven.

And on the appointed day God will visit them in judgment for their iniquities. What will they do on that day when the sentence from the dreaded Throne falls upon them! Their excuses will be like millstones around their necks as they plunge down into the pit! And they will remember the words of faithful men who spoke to them the words of life. But then it will be too late!

 

 

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