As the second major section (chapters 4 – 11) of Revelation comes to a close, God’s final judgment comes upon the wicked of mankind who are described as a “city.” In the third major section, the same story is told but this time, God prefigures the final judgment in Romans 14 – once again referring to “the city.” In chapter 16, just as He did in Revelation 9, God sends trouble on the earth to cause people to take their eyes off themselves and the worldly culture they prize so highly, and look to God. And once again, God fails (Revelation 16:11).
And so, as chapter 16 comes to an end, the world – in the figure once again of a city, Babylon, is destroyed.
As chapter 17 opens, we are plainly told that the sea beast represents the city of Rome, the enemy of God’s people also called Babylon and we will see more detail concerning the end of time. But the main thing to note is this: There is no earthly competition for the minds and hearts of men that will win against God. No empire or culture can stand. God intends them all to fail. They are competitors without a chance.
What competes with God for your mind, heart, and time? As you consider which side you’ll be on, it’s important to note which is the assured side of the “winners,” and to choose wisely.