When The Stock Market Crashes For The Last Time

Title: When The Stock Market Crashes For The Last Time

Bible Book: Revelation 18

Author: J. Mike Minnix

Subject: Stock Market; Finances; Salvation; Judgment; Security



We come now to Revelation 18 and a look at the fall of Babylon. In 2008 Americans gasped as the stock market dropped by more than 50%. That meant that all of us with retirement funds in 401k accounts or in other investments suddenly lost from 30% to 70% of all we had saved in the market, depending on whether we had our retirement accounts in risky or safe funds. The market is now soaring again, but many are warning that with America over $21 trillion dollars in debt, there will be a more devastating crash one day in the not too distant future. I’m not even a novice in financial markets, but I know for sure that one day the market will crash for the last time. We read about in our text today.

Let me share something with you, whoever is responsible for American or foreign markets and for however long it lasts, the economic warnings are a sobering wake up call for those who trust only or mostly in money and possessions. Looking at how the markets are often propped up in artificial ways ought to remind us of just how vulnerable we really are.

Remember that the Roaring Twenties ended with the Snoring Thirties, as the Great Depression hit America – and for that matter, that depression touched the entire world. The Depression of the 1930s and the horrible decline in 2008 are blips on the radar screen compared to what is coming one day to the financial markets of the world. The systems of government, false religion and economics upon which so many are building their lives will come tumbling down.

There was a song many years ago with the following line: "My buckets got a hole in it." Strange, unless you know the background. Many years ago people used buckets for various chores and tasks. They would bring vegetables from the garden in a galvanized bucket. Water was drawn up from a well and carried to the home in a bucket. A mason would carry bricks in a bucket. In those days there were no plastic buckets, and the metal ones were expensive. Buckets were used for a very long time and occasionally a bucket would become so old and worn that the bottom would fall out while someone was using it. You can imagine the frustration if a person was hauling water from the well when suddenly the bottom of the bucket gave way and water splashed out on the person carrying it. It was even more annoying if there were bricks in the bucket when it ruptured. One day something far more disturbing is going to occur. In due time, the bottom is going to fall out of the financial bucket of this old world and the results will be too terrible to fully describe.

In Revelation 18 we read about the fall of city named Babylon. Of course, there is no city in the world today by that name, so just what does this mean? When we study the Bible, we learn in Genesis 10 that Babylon was an ancient city established by a man named Nimrod. Then, in Genesis 11 we read about the Tower of Babel that was a tower built by people who thought they could ascend to heaven and make a name for themselves. It was a man-centered attempt to take the place of God, but it utterly failed - of course! God confused their languages so that they could not work together, scattering the people, and the place became known as Babel. Symbolically the term Babylon is a representation for the world system of government which is man-centered, defies God, and seeks pleasure, possessions, and power as the goal and end to the meaning of life. In essence, this speaks of the rule and reign of the Antichrist, the one who will seek to take God’s throne and replace Jesus as the Lord of the Universe.

One day Jesus is coming again and He will bring Babylon (the world system) down for the last time as the Stock Markets of this world collapse, along with all the systems of mankind. The songwriter correctly penned the words:

“On Christ the solid rock I stand,

All other ground is sinking sand

All other ground is sinking sand.”

The poet put it like this:

“Only one life, twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.”

But many people are building their lives on the sinking sand of money, fame, one-world government domination and selfish pleasure. Remember, Babylon is not just the name of a city, it is a system, a satanic system. Babylon is the code name for the system the anti-Christ will use in his attempt to overthrow Jesus. All those who live their lives based on this system are living on sinking sand - their bucket has a hole in it! Everyone depending on this worldly system is carrying a bucket with a rusty bottom that is just about ready to fall completely out!

Some time ago there was a movie titled, The Bucket List. I didn't see it but apparently it was about some people seeking to complete all the things they hoped to do in their lifetimes. It doesn't matter what is in your bucket when the bottom falls out of it, and that is what will happen one day.

Are you living on Babylon time? Are you living according to the anti-Christian Babylonian system? Let’s take a test and find out.

I. The Trust Test

Revelation 18:1-4

You will note that those who live according to the anti-Christ are trusting in three things: possessions, power and pleasure. These are addictive things in this life and you can be sure that Satan works full-time to get people involved in worldly pursuits so that they are restrained from thinking about the kingdom of God and salvation through Jesus. The satanic system leads the lost person to be indifferent to the Savior and leads the saved person to be indifferent to faithful service for Jesus.

What can we really trust in this life? Money? Health? Friends? Your job or business? Your home or possessions? There is nothing inherently wrong in these things, but they cannot be trusted. Yes, we need them but we must not “trust” them. They are all made for temporary use and are resting on sinking sand.

Your money can be lost, your home destroyed, your health fail, your friends may desert you or perish before you. Only Christ can be trusted forever. In John 10 Jesus speaks of holding the believer in His hands. He tells us that nothing can take us out of His hands. That is the truth worth placing all your life and eternity on!

In a cemetery in England stands a grave marker with this inscription: SHE DIED FOR WANT OF THINGS. Alongside that stone is another which reads: HE DIED TRYING TO GIVE THEM TO HER. In a laughable and yet tragic manner these epitaphs suggest the folly of living and working only for this world's goods, yet that is what some are doing.

Rest your life on the truth – and Jesus is the Truth. He is the “way, the truth and the life.” He alone never fails!

II. The Testimony Test

Revelation 18:5-7

The testimony of the Babylonian system is found in verses 5-7. The sins of Babylon will one day reach their zenith - they will reach to the throne of God. This reminds us of the Book of Jonah and the city of Nineveh. God said of that city that her sins had reached all the way to heaven and He was ready to bring judgment. Sodom and Gomorrah had sins that reached up to heaven and God sent judgment.

The inhabitants of the Babylonian system, the life built on self and sin, cannot see the coming danger. Look at the testimony. Riding high on sin and self, the people in this system just cannot see the coming day of sorrow and judgment. The testimony is one of defiance of God and His holy Word. The testimony of those living according that the Babylonian system is one of going on in sin and refusing to listen to what the Lord is saying.

A funny story is told of two roaches that decided to visit their favorite restaurant. While the larger of the two finished his meal, the smaller one said, “You would not have believed the house I just left. It was spotless. The lady must have been a clean-aholic. Everything was shiny - the sink, the counters, the floors. Everything was sparkling.” The other roach stopped his munching, looked at his companion annoyed and said, “Do you have to talk like that while I'm eating?”

Those living according to Babylon, do not want to hear about the purity of Christ. They consider conversation about sin, forgiveness and a Savior to be offensive. They scoff at coming judgment and consider the Christian life as nauseating. They wince when they hear a preacher speak of righteous living. And the thing they hate and avoid even more is the message of hell.

One popular TV preacher, who died just a few years ago, never mentioned the word hell on his program in over twenty years on the air. I heard a Baptist minister at a conference some years ago who met with this television preacher at a meeting and over lunch he asked why he never spoke of judgment and hell in any of his television sermons. The minister smile with a wink and said, “The people don’t want to hear it, the people don’t want to hear it.” Indeed, they do not. Sadly, those of us who fail to tell the truth join in a kind of partnership with those who don't want to hear it. Those of us who know the Lord and love Him, must always remember how Jesus was rejected while on this earth. The people didn't wish to deal with the truth then and many do not wish to now, but there are those who followed Jesus then and many will do so now if we tell the truth!

Out testimony must be that we believe Jesus is Lord, that He died for our sins, that He was buried, that He rose from the grave, and that He is coming again! Our testimony must be that He died to save us from the awful terrors of punishment, which is total and everlasting separation from God because of our sins. Is that my testimony and yours today? If you are offended by that testimony, you may just be in league with the Babylonian system.

III. The Time Test

Revelation 18:8, 10b, 17, 19b

The third test is what I call the time test. Note in the selected verses how time is emphasized. The reason for this is when judgment comes, it will happen in a moment.

I want you to think of something with me today. Think of anything you have today that money cannot buy and that time, disaster or death cannot take away from you. Ponder that for a moment.

Money? A disaster could wipe you out in a moment. Health? Illness or death could change your life in an hour.

I remember visiting the hospital some years ago to see a young woman who had been in car wreck. The day before she had been full of life. She was beautiful, young and had her entire life before her. A freak accident, however, changed all of that in a few moments. She ran off the road in her car, hit her head on the roof of the car and by the time I got to the hospital, she had learned that she was paralyzed for the rest of her life. She could not move her legs. She could not move her arms. As I bent over her to pray, she cried out, “Preacher, please pray that I will die.”

A few weeks later she committed her life to Christ. Though required to live out her life without feeling her extremities, she became a vibrant Christian. She was elected Homecoming Queen at her school. She gave her testimony anywhere and to everyone who would listen. She would say, “It took a horrible accident to wake me up to the meaning of life. Don’t let this happen to you.”

What do you have that time cannot take from you. Your home? It can be gone in a moment. I remember one day in North Carolina when I was cutting grass in my backyard that storm clouds began to gather in the distance, but the sun was still shinning where I was. Suddenly, out of the clear sky came bolt of lightning, followed by thunder that shook the ground. My wife, Jayne, told me to get off that mower and come in the house. She took our son and went in the back door, but I decided that I could finish the yard first. After all, I only needed to cut a few more strips of grass. Then, suddenly, lightning was everywhere. I mean, it all happened in a moment. I leaped from the mower and ran into the house and curled up in the hallway with the family as we listened as the most violent lightning storm we had ever witnessed exploding all around us. We could hear the lightning striking trees in our yard and cracking them in pieces. Finally the storm passed and we went out to survey the damage. It was horrible to see the destructive nature of that storm. A few minutes later we heard that we had actually avoided the worst of the damage from he storm. A tornado had touched down just a few miles from our house. We rode over to see the results and looked in shock at the foundation of homes remaining while the structures had been completely annihilated. Entire homes were literally gone and a business that sat on the corner of two roads was gone as if it had never been there. A path through some trees gave evidence of the fury of that storm. In a few minutes, the work of entire lifetimes had been erased by the wind.

Let me ask you something? What do you possess that a storm could not take from you? Family? In that storm that passed over us, some people lost their family members. A couple years ago a family left church to drive home and a few minutes later they were all dead. A man driving a van ran a red light and crashed into their car. As I saw that on the news, I wondered, “Was everyone in that car saved? Were they ready to meet God?” You see, going to church is not enough. We must have something that time cannot take from us. Only a relationship with Jesus Christ is forever!

The Bible says that one day the Lord is going to bring judgment on Babylon. It will happen in an hour, in a day, in moment. If it happened in the next few minutes would you be ready to meet God?

When the Berlin Wall was torn down, scientists set back the hands on the so-called Doomsday Clock from near midnight to about 11:45 P.M.  Scientists move the hands back and forth based upon their estimation of the danger present in the world at any given moment. Scientist may move the hands of that clock back and forth, but no one can move the hands of our personal clock when it comes time to meet God.

Longfellow wrote,

“Art is long and time is fleeting,

And our hearts though stout and brave,

Still like muffled drums are beating,

Funeral dirges to the grave.”

Each heartbeat is like a drum moving us toward our own funeral. But, the funeral is not the end. We live on! With God, or without God, which will it be?

Can you pass the time test? Do you have something that time cannot take and death cannot steal? Only Christ can give you something like that.

IV. The Terror Test

Revelation 18:10, 13

Note that the terror observed in this passage is judgment. Those depending on the Babylonian system will be filled with terror at the coming judgment.

A Tennessee doctor was attending to a man who was dying in an apparent heart attack. The man began to ask the doctor to pray for him. The told the doctor that he could feel himself slipping into hell and he begged the doctor to please pray for him. The doctor, however, was not a Christian and did not know how to pray for the man. Following that incident, the doctor could not get that man’s cries out of his mind. It haunted him. He finally turned his life over to Christ and experienced the new birth. I heard him give his testimony on television one evening, and he told how he would never forget the terror on the dying man’s face. He told how he had seen Christians die in peace and how that memory helped him see his need for salvation available only through Christ. That doctor had bowed in believing faith and trusted Jesus Christ to forgive his sins and grant Him that which time cannot steal and death cannot end.

How about you? Is death a terror? Don’t get me wrong, death is not a picnic for anyone. No one wants to die. God created us with a desire to live, but the difference in living in Christ and living in Babylon can be seen in the terror factor. A Christian once said, “I am not at all afraid to meet God. In fact, since I have been saved, I have looked forward to that day. The fact is, however, I would rather not have to go through death to get there.” I think every Christian can honestly say that, but the lost person is facing something worse than death. The Bible says that it is appointed unto man once to die and after that the judgment.

V. The Tears Test

There are two kinds of tears you can weep - tears of sadness or tears of joy. I remember a Vacation Bible School leader from a church I pastored many years ago. She came walking up a hallway toward me one day during VBS and she had a child by her hand. She and the child had tears in their eyes. Now that is not unusual at some VBS events. Children and teachers can feel so tired, so frustrated, so put out, that they will shed some tears, but on this day things were different. I could tell that the tears were not sad tears because they were smiling. When she came up to me, she told me how this older child beside had accepted Jesus as Savior. Then with her tears increasing, she said, “This is the first person I've ever led to Christ.” With that statement and her tears, she opened up my tears. Then there were three of us crying, but they were happy tears. You know, the devil can make you laugh and the devil can make you cry, but only Jesus can make you do both at the same time.

There is something called sad tears and many sad tears are shed over a wasted life. The Bible says that those who die without Christ will go out into eternity and there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Sometimes we Christians have tears in this world. But look at Psalm 30:5. “Weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” Jesus saves the best till last. The devil gives you pleasure now and sorrow later. Sin has pleasure for a season buy then the season runs out. With the Lord, there is a joy unspeakable and full of glory, even if that must come after a season of hardship.


To which kingdom do you belong - that of the Beast or that of Christ? If you are resting on the foundations of Babylon, be warned that they are ready for collapse and will be destroyed!

Someone here today needs to flee from Babylon. You need to step out of the mire and put your feet on the Solid Rock, Jesus Christ. Trust Him today, He will give you a glorious testimony, give you a life that time cannot touch, take the terror out of death and grant you tears with joy!

Then some of us need to acknowledge anew today that Jesus is our foundation. We are not trusting in the market, but trusting in the Master. We are trusting in our health, we are trusting in the Holy One. We are not trusting government, we are trusting God. We are not trusting self, we are trusting the Savior. It is good for us to acknowledge this. It is good for us to renew our testimony and our commitment to the One who gave everything for us and is the only true foundation in the this world and the next!

So here is the test: If you TRUST Jesus, you have a TESTIMONY. If you have a testimony of salvation, you are not just living for TIME alone. Those who know the Lord do not live in the TERROR of death or judgment and they know that one day all their TEARS will be dried. If you have never turned from your sin and trusted Christ as Lord and Savior, you can do it today.

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