100 Days of Preaching the Gospel #92 | with Daniel Whyte III
SCRIPTURE: Revelation 16:17-21: "And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.
Today, we return to the scene at Armageddon. The vast armies of the antichrist and all the nations of the world are assembled in Israel for the purpose of preventing Jesus Christ's return to this earth. Jesus is on the threshold of Heaven, ready to descend with his army to defeat forever the rebellious forces of the devil and the antichrist. But first, the final vial needs to be poured out, and judgment will be complete.
The passage we just read tells us of the pouring out of this seventh vial. This vial produces what the Bible calls "a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great". This earthquake is so awful that the "great city" -- that is Jerusalem -- is divided in three parts, the "cities of the nations" crumble, every island "flees away", and the mountains are flattened. This vial also produces great hail which rains down on the earth. Tim LaHaye tells us that this hail weighs about 100 pounds, and as the huge hail stones pummel the earth, man does what he has so often done during this time -- "blaspheme God."
This last judgment also establishes another parenthetical narrative, which we will focus on in this message. Verse 19 of our passage states that "great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath." This judgment of Babylon is found in Revelation chapters 17 and 18.
Dr. Grant Richison of Campus Crusade for Christ writes that, "Chapter 17 is the religious fall of Babylon and chapter 18 is the political fall of Babylon. First, we come to the destruction of religious Babylon. Babylon is the fountain of ecumenical religion that is the antithesis of true Christianity. Chapter 17 deals with the fall of worldwide ecumenical religion, a super-church inclusive of all cults and religions. The beast uses ecumenical religion to rise to power and then overthrows it later to suit his convenience. Chapter 18 presents political Babylon. This is the judgment of international government, multinational organizations and financial institutions." In Revelation chapter 17, we see the destruction of the worldwide false religious system. In Revelation chapter 18, we see the destruction of the worldwide government system. With the fall of these two satanic systems, the world crumbles at the feet of Jesus Christ.
For the sake of time, we will not read all of Revelation chapters 17 and 18 today. Actually, we could preach a whole series of messages on just these two chapters alone. Right now, I want us to notice very briefly three things about the destruction of these two world systems as the final moments of history draw to a close.
1. First of all, notice the Enticement of the great whore.
2. Secondly, notice the Evil world government.
3. Thirdly, and finally, notice the End of the world system.