Reading Revelation Chapter 18

Reading Revelation 18

In chapter 17 we saw a ‘replay’ of the wrath of God being poured out upon the great city of Rome. The Emperors had led the city and the Empire against the people of Jesus. Jesus was victorious for He is king of kings and Lord of lords. The point of that judgment was that they had persecuted the saints. Now in chapter 18 we see yet another reason for that judgment: the gross ungodliness of the city and Empire. God brings this judgment against her because of her immorality (vs. 3), sensuality (vs. 3, 7), her sins (vs. 4, 5), and iniquities (vs. 5). John writes: "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” (vs. 8). Because of this coming judgment, God’s people are exhorted to ‘come out of her’ and do not “participate in her sins’ (vs. 4).

Time and again the Bible has shown us that God rules in the kingdoms of men and when their immorality ‘becomes full,' God judges them and brings them to ruin. Remember the Canaanites, the Egyptians, the Assyrians, and the Babylonians. Now it is Rome, but it is the same God bringing the same judgment against ungodliness.

Of course, the judgment upon the ‘great city’ will adversely affect all of those who were partaking of her wealth and immorality. John describes these various entities and shows them weeping and mourning over her. 

Alongside all this crying and moaning comes also the sounds of joy coming from the saints, apostles, and prophets (vs. 20) because “God has pronounced judgment’ for them against her. In her was found the blood of prophets and saints (vs. 24) and thus the judgment of God is just and righteous. 

We see a tale of ‘two cities’. One that is ungodly and is destroyed, the other is made up of God’s people and they are glorified both now and forever. Which city do you belong to?  

Hugh DeLong