In the past messages about the Covid19 pandemic, the focus has been upon what to pray for and to encourage each and everyone hearing them that we need not fear as we have a good God who delights in His people. He doesn’t promise us that life would be without difficulties; however, He promises to be with us in them.
I had mentioned in the first message, that when difficulty comes into our lives, such is not by chance. We have a good God who has allowed it, and he will weave even the dark strands of our life into a beautiful tapestry. While in the process and painful episodes come, such as suffering, loss, and grief, it is easy to question the goodness of God. If God is so good and so powerful, why is there so much evil and suffering in the world? Part of the answer is that the last chapter has not been written yet. We are amid a tale being told. When the last chapter is written, God will judge the world and evil and evildoers will be eradicated forever. The very people who question God’s goodness, scoff at the idea of coming judgment. Once the apocalyptic day of judgment comes and the dust settles, the Lord will take His people to a new heavens and a new earth where there will be no more pain, no more sorrow. This present earthly existence is but the front porch. Once the door is opened to eternity in the world to come, as the Bible says, “our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).
So, on this side of eternity, when God interrupts the normal rhythm of our life with a crisis. We need to ask, Is He seeking to teach us something? In this sermon, one lesson we can glean from the events of our lives during this world-wide crisis will be considered.
If there is one lesson to be learned from the Covid19 crisis, it is how fast an economy can take a turn for the worse. I am praying, with all Americans and people world-wide, that we will have a rapid recovery after it is safe to come out of our homes and seek to resume some sense of normalcy. Did you know that the Bible speaks about a coming great economic collapse of a world power named Babylon and its devastating impact upon the world’s economy? This is described in Revelation chapter 18.
I am not a doomsday prophet saying that the current situation is a fulfillment of that prophecy or that America is Babylon. There are some aspects of Babylon that are not true of America at present, particularly a hostility against Christians that is manifested in a desire to eradicate Christians. Babylon is viewed as a harlot immorally seducing the nations and becoming intoxicated with the blood of the saints. However, that does not mean a day of persecution could not come.
Perhaps it will be like the Holocaust, which is truly a frightening thought. The Jewish people in Germany and German occupied territories were systematically exterminated by a highly civilized and educated people. Jewish professionals such as, teachers, lawyers, doctors, scientists, authors, rabbis, and those of other vocations lived comfortable lives just like their neighbors. What happened to them was not only horrifying but unthinkable by the average person.
We should not think that events that have happened before could never occur in our socially “refined” and tolerant America toward people of faith, whether they be Jewish, Muslim, or Christian. Listen to the political discourse on the news broadcasts, and it becomes apparent that, all too often, divergent views are not tolerated, by those who are self-declared champions of tolerance. We are living in a post-Christian world, here, in the developed Western Civilization, where the Christian faith is becoming more and more marginalized.
So, today we will look at Babylon, and what the Bible says about its future demise. Babylon, not so much as a city, but a mindset is still around today. Perhaps what was spoken about as future will be realized in our own lifetime. Therefore, the Covid19 pandemic and its economic ramifications, no doubt, will make the prophecy of things to come appear to have a ring of truth, even to the skeptical mind.
Our approach to this topic, will speak of the three distinct periods of time that Babylon surfaces in the Biblical narrative (Genesis 11, the tower of Babel; Daniel 1–4, Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon; and Revelation 17–18, the apocalyptic vision of the Apostle John in Revelation). A common theme in all the Babylonian passages is man’s pride in his achievements apart from God. Its focus is man, unlike the Christian who lives a God-centered life. Babylon celebrates a life without God and all that can be accomplished without God’s aid. Religion may be professed to appease the religious among them, but that does not mean it is believed wholeheartedly. Characteristic of Babylon is a tooth and claw climb to the top, for power, wealth, and pleasure.
According to the Bible, God will bring future Babylon to a swift end. It will happen in a day. The powerful, the impregnable, will collapse in the dust to the wonder of the entire world. Would you like to hear more? What are God’s people to do in such a Babylonian world? Lord willing, both the prerecorded sermon and the sermon handout will be available on the website of The Bible Baptist Church of Galway this coming Sunday, April 26th.