Isaiah 24:5 – Reading Rev. 17:1-18:5
Three Indictments Of God Against Man’s Religion
Sunday Evening – October 14, 1990
There are, in reality, only two systems of religion in the world: The religion of Christ and the religion of antichrist. There are only two systems of doctrine in this world: the doctrine of free grace and the doctrine of free will. There are only two opinions about salvation in the world: salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, and salvation by the will, works and worth of man. Everybody fits into one of these two categories. Every church and religious organization in this town and in the world fits into one of these two categories. But no one fits into both.
In the Bible there are only two churches, the false and the true. The false church, the church of antichrist, is Babylon, the great whore. Babylon represents all free will, works religion of every name and nation: Islam Judaism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddism, and pseudo-christianity – (Gen. 11:1-9). Babylon is the religion of works, the religion of man, the religion of confusion.
- If you believe in salvation by man’s free will, your religion is the religion of Babylon.
- If you believe in salvation by man’s works, your religion is the religion of Babylon.
- If you believe in salvation conditioned upon, or determined by man, in anyway, to any degree, your religion is the religion of Babylon.
The true church is the Church of God, the Bride of Christ, the Lamb’s Wife. It is made up of men and women in every age who trust Christ alone for their eternal salvation.
In this world Babylon is always opposed to and at war with the church of God, antichrist is always at war with Christ. And before time is finished, the free will, works religion of Babylon will so thoroughly engulf the world that no one will be able to buy and sell and carry on the normal affairs of life who has not received the mark of the beast , who stand in opposition to the religion of Babylon.
Illustration: It is happening already! (Willette – Mae – Sarah).
But, in the end God will destroy Babylon! Antichrist will be destroyed! Free willism will be annihilated! Works religion will be cast into hell, from which it sprang! In our text tonight Isaiah, the prophet of God, tells us why God will destroy Babylon – (Read Isaiah 24:5). This is the conclusion to Isaiah’s sermon, “The Burden of Babylon,” which began in chapter 13. It is the same thing which John describes in Revelation 17 and 18.
The title of my message tonight is The Crimes Of Babylon. Isaiah tells us that “The earth is defiled under the inhabitants thereof.” Babylon, the harlot, the great whore has caused the peoples of the earth to become drunk with the wine of her fornication. In our text God brings three indictments against Babylon. These three crimes I lay at the door of every church, at the foot of every pulpit and to the charge of every preacher of free will, works religion.
I. THEY HAVE TRANSGRESSED THE LAWS OF GOD.
I am not going to address the transgressions of God’s law by the profligate, immoral and profane of the world. Drunkards, thieves, murderers, adulterers, and perverse wicked men are commonly, and properly, seen as transgressors of the law. But our text is talking about the transgressions of the law by the creeds and practices of religion.
Here are three ways the religion of the world, the free will, works religion of Babylon transgress the laws of God.
A. Some transgress God’s laws by changing them to accommodate the opinions, desires and customs of men – (Ex 20:1-17).
1. They make only the open worship of idols to be idolatry (v. 3).
2. They make the use of images acceptable (v. 4).
3. They make only profane oaths by God’s name to be the taking of God’s name in vain (v. 7).
- Minced Oaths.
4. They make church attendance to be Sabbath keeping (v. 8).
5. They make polite words and obligatory care to be the honor of parents (v. 12).
6. They make “thou shalt not kill” to mean only “thou shalt not commit physical murder” (v. 13).
7. They make only “one night stands” to be adultery (v. 14).
8. They make only robbery to be stealing (v. 15).
9. They make only open lies to be bearing false witness (v. 16).
10. They make only the passionate, envy of another’s possessions covetousness (v. 17).
They transgress the law by limiting the law’s claims to outward, letter obedience, and by altering the letter of the law to suit man’s idea of righteousness. Whereas, the demands of God’s law are infinite, spiritual and unbending. The ten laws of God require…
1st The Recognition of God’s Supremacy.
2nd The Spiritual Worship of God – No Idolatry.
3rd The Reverence of God’s Name.
4th Rest in God’s Purpose of Grace in Redemption and
5th Respect for God Ordained Authority.
6th The Sanctity of Human Life – Seeking to Help the Lives of
7th The Sanctity of the Home – Marriage.
8th The Sanctity of Private Property.
9th Honesty, Integrity and the Protection of Your Neighbor’s
Name and Reputation.
10th Contentment with God’s Provision.
B. Other’s transgress the laws of God by altering the purpose and use of the law.
Paul tells us plainly that “the law is good, if a man use it lawfully” – (I Tim. 1:8). If we use the law for the purposes for which God intended it, it is good. But if we seek to use it for other purposes, we transgress it and make the law a tool for evil.
1. In the Bible, we are told that the law of God was given for four purposes. These four things are the only lawful uses of the law.
a. To identify and expose sin (Rom. 7:9).
b. To condemn men for the guilt of sin (Rom. 3:19).
c. To restrain wicked men and women from the acts of sin (I Tim. 1:9-10).
d. To bring sinners to Christ in faith (Gal. 3:24-25).
2. When religious men and women use the law for any other purpose, they transgress the law and make it a tool of wickedness.
a. To make the law a means of justification is to transgress the law (Rom. 3:20).
b. To make the law a rule of life for the believer is to transgress the law (I Tim. 1:8-10; Col. 2:16-17).
c. To make obedience to the law a means of sanctification, a basis for assurance, or a test of spirituality is to transgress the law (Gal. 3:1-3).
d. To make Sabbath keeping the observance of a day rather than the life of faith is to transgress the law (Col. 2:16; Heb. 4:9).
C. The world of works religion transgresses the law of God by lowering its standard to accommodate sinful man.
- Those who teach salvation by the works of the law.
- Those who uphold the law as a rule of life.
Note: The only person in the world who truly honors God’s
law is the sinner who looks to Christ alone as the
fulfillment of the law (Rom. 3:31; 8:1-4).
I lay this charge against every religious legalist, against every church and preacher who teaches either justification or sanctification by the works of the law – “The have transgressed the laws” of God!
II. Secondly, “THEY HAVE CHANGED THE ORDINANCE.”
The word “ordinance” in our text refers to the Book of God, the Holy Scriptures. This Book is the Word, or “Ordinance” of God. It is the authoritative decree of the Almighty.
This is the charge God lays against Babylon, the whole religious world, “They have changed, altered, perverted the Word of God.” And they have done so while pretending to honor and defend the Word. (See Jer. 23:21, 25-32, 36). (Acts 13:8-11).
Here are eight areas in which Babylon (Remember, Babylon represents all false religion, all free will, works religion) has perverted the Word of God. They have perverted what the Word of God says about…
A. The character of God. Either God is Sovereign, or He is not God!
1. His Sovereignty (Rom. 11:36).
2. His Purpose of Grace (Rom. 8:28-30).
3. His Justice and Truth (Rom. 3:24-26).
B. The person and work of Christ (Heb. 10:5-14).
“A just God and a Savior” – (Isa. 45:20-25). Either Christ redeemed his people, or he failed his work.
1. His Eternal Diety.
2. His Glorious Humanity.
3. His Effectual Redemption.
4. His Triumphant Resurrection.
5. His Heavenly Exaltation.
C. The office and work of God the Holy Spirit (John 16:8-13).
1. He convicts men of sin.
2. He converts men from sin.
3. He comforts men with the pardon of sin.
D. The blessed work of salvation – “Salvation is of the Lord.”
- By Grace alone.
- Through Faith alone.
- In Christ alone.
E. The ordinance of the gospel.
- Baptism, the believer’s compassion of Christ.
- The Lord’s Supper, the blessed remembrance of Christ.
F. The providential rule of Christ – (John 17:2; Rom. 8:28; Pro. 12:21).
“No man knows good from evil” – This is knowledge that only God has.
G. The life of faith.
“The just shall live by faith” – (Heb. 10:38). The whole of the believer’s life is a life of faith.
- We begin in faith!
- We walk in faith!
- We die in faith!
H. Our basis of hope in the day of judgment – (II Cor. 5:10-11).
1. There is a day of judgment which shall come.
2. God will judge and reward all according to their works.
3. Our basis of hope in that great day is the substitutionary work of Christ imputed to us.
- My sin is gone – Christ put it away!
- My righteousness in Christ is perfect!
- My future is glorious!
Babylon, the world of free will, works religion transgresses the law of God and changes the word of God.
III. And, thirdly, “THEY HAVE BROKEN THE EVERLASTING CONVENANT.”
The everlasting covenant is a covenant of pure grace made by God with Christ, as our Surety, before the world began. Because it is not conditioned upon man’s obedience, it cannot be nullified, or broken by man’s obedience. This covenant was…
- Made in Eternity (Eph. 1:30).
- Secured the Salvation of God’s Elect (Jer. 31:31-34; 32:38-40).
- Ratified by the Blood of Christ (Heb. 9:12-26).
- Sealed to Every Believer by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13-14).
But the whole lost religious world, despises covenant grace, casts it aside, and tramples it under the foot of their own free will and their own good works. In that sense, they have broken the covenant.
Application: II. Cor. 6:14-7:1; Rev. 18:4.