And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication; and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have waxed rich through the abundance of her indulgences pleasures." ……… How much she hath glorified herself and lived voluptuously! That much torment and sorrow give back to her; for she saith in her heart, ‘I sit a queen and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.' Therefore shall her plagues come in one day" death and mourning and famine, and she shall be utterly burned with fire; for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her. ………. The merchants of these things, who were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing and saying, `Alas! Alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen and purple and scarlet, and bedecked with gold and precious stones and pearls! For in one hour such great riches have come to nought!' …. weeping and wailing, saying, `Alas! Alas, that great city, wherein all that had ships in the sea were made rich by reason of her extravagances! For in one hour is she made desolate!' Revelation 18
In Revelation chapter 18 we read of the destruction of political Babylon, whereas, in chapter 17 we read of the destruction of spiritual Babylon. I like to think of it as the economic portion of Babylon’s judgment, for in one hour the economic mega center of the world will be made desolate! To me, it is hard to imagine an economy that impacted the whole world was gone in an hour, but we know that in the future this will happen just as the Bible predicts. Verse 17 tells us, “For in one hour such riches have come to nought.” Also, in verse 18 it put it this way, “For in one hour is she made desolate.” (more…)
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no more sea. 2And I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of Heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a great voice out of Heaven, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them; and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them and be their God. 4And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away." 5And He that sat upon the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said unto me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful." Rev. 21:1-5
Recently, I taught a lesson on heaven from Revelation chapter 21. While studying the teacher's book in preparation for the class, I noticed the focus of the lesson was on the beautiful city and the long awaited relief from the pains and sufferings of this life. Also, in many cases, the songs and hymns about heaven focus on either the reunion with loved ones or on the victory we are going to have. As, I read the whole 21st chapter, I began to have a much different focus. Look with me at some familiar song lines to give you an example of what I am talking about. A hereafter focus would be, "When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be!" A focus that helps us to overcome while we wait on our departure would be, "Heaven came down and glory filled my soul!"