Revelation 18:21–24 (NKJV)
In the last passage, Babylon’s destruction was described as severe, with fire and smoke and loss of everything, including alliances with kings and merchants. Now, John relates the finality of it all, the fact that Babylon will never rise again.
21 Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “Thus with violence the great city Babylon shall be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore. 22 The sound of harpists, musicians, flutists, and trumpeters shall not be heard in you anymore. No craftsman of any craft shall be found in you anymore, and the sound of a millstone shall not be heard in you anymore. 23 The light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore, and the voice of bridegroom and bride shall not be heard in you anymore. For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived. 24 And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth.”Revelation 18:21-24
In verse 21, a mighty angel comes and takes a large millstone-like stone and throws it into the sea as an image of the overthrowing of Babylon. The great stone provides a huge splash and commotion as it is thrown into the sea, and Babylon’s fall will be violent, as the city is overthrown and shall not be found anymore. The eradication of this evil, hedonistic city will be complete. Verse 22 tells a bit more about what that will look like. Babylon (or Rome) will not hear music anymore, as its harpists, musicians, flutists, and trumpeters will not have a place to play, and may not live anymore, either, due to the destruction. Their craftsmen, who produced some of their opulent wares and drapings will no longer work, perhaps dead, or at least without a millstone to press their oils or grind their grain. In verse 23, it is stated that the lamp will not shine any longer in Babylon. There will be no oil to fill it, and there will be no one to light it. There will be no weddings, for children will not grow up there and find mates. The merchants will no longer live or operate there, for their work was deceptive, as like sorcery, and they contributed to the deception of the nations. In addition, verse 24 reveals that the blood of prophets and saints are found in Babylon, as they slew the people of God on the earth. This cities losses were extreme and complete. There would be no coming back from this loss. Babylon is fallen, yes, but so far that it will not come back. Babylon is just a memory, now, and a bad one at that.
Be certain that God’s judgment is swift, strong, and complete in the end. No one will be able to deny Christ and live in sin and miss the final judgment. While Babylon’s judgment, apocalyptic and fearful, was for specific works of evil she performed, the judgment of all people will be extensive and complete. Once death has come, there is no turning back. Whatever punishment God metes out will be final. Don’t wait too long or go to far for God to be able to offer you repentance and forgiveness. There is a line that separates you from the point of no return. Do not cross it, for judgment awaits on the other side!
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