In Revelation chapter 18, we read of the destruction of a great city referred to only as Mystery Babylon. The manner in which this destruction is described really makes it seem like it will happen via nuclear weapons. It happens in one hour. It is said that both the kings and the merchants of the earth will stand far off in observation, not going near the city for fear of her torment. That to me sounds like fear of radiation. It is also said that the kings and merchants will mourn over the destruction of this great city; kings because they have committed fornication with her, and merchants because it was a great commercial center of the world and with the destruction of this city most of their customers will be gone.
The identity of Mystery Babylon has been a topic of great debate. Some hold the opinion that it will be the actual city of Babylon rebuilt, which is located in present day Iraq. The problem with this theory is the prophet Jeremiah assured us Babylon would never again be raised up or inhabited in the following passages:
Rest assured, the original Bayblon ain’t coming back. It is interesting to read Jeremiah chapters 50 and 51 immediately after reading Revelation chapter 18, because you begin to recognize parallels in certain places. For example, Jeremiah 51:6-8 rings familiar with Revelation 18:3. This is probably because the Old Testament prophets had a habit of starting to write about near-future events and then morphing off into something else conceptually related, such as end-times prophecy. This was just their style. Personally, I think they often knew neither the depth nor scope of their own inspired prophetic words.
Of particular interest is Jeremiah 51:45, which seems as though it could be a prophecy of the rapture. If that is true, then the rapture will happen shortly before the destruction of Mystery Babylon. Of course, the term shortly by God’s standards could be years before, which is consistent with a pre-tribulation rapture viewpoint, and also a linear viewpoint of the tribulation events in the book or Revelation. However, we cannot rely upon a linear interpretation of the events in Revelation, as what John witnessed in his vision does jump back and forth in time somewhat. In any case, it would seem a safe bet that the church will not be on earth when Mystery Babylon is destroyed, as we are all there in heaven rejoicing over the event in Revelation chapter 19.
Who, then, could this Mystery Babylon be? Well, we know it will be one of the world’s top importers of trade goods, since the merchants will all be crying over their lost customers. We also know that Mystery Babylon will have been guilty of spreading ungodly cultural corruption, having made the other kings drink from the wine of her fornication.
America is the number one world importer of goods. America is also the home and point of origination of several of the world’s largest non-Christian cults (Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Scientology, etc.) which are now making frightening progress in worldwide recruitment efforts. And then there is the whole homosexual culture and gay marriage thing. Billy Graham is famous for saying, “If God does not judge America, He owes Sodom and Gomorrah an apology!” Also, European countries are present in Biblical end-times prophecies, while America is not. In fact, if America is present in Biblical prophecy at all, it is most likely as Mystery Babylon. This doesn’t seem like such a mystery to me – but, alas, it is only my opinion and I could be wrong.