The destruction of the ancient city of Babylon is a symbol of the coming destruction of the entire world. The destruction of the city of Jerusalem and its stately temple is also a symbol of the destruction of the world. In the New Testament, Jerusalem and the Jews are used as a symbol of the professed Christian church and Babylon is used as a symbol of the entire religious world. And yet both of these—Babylon and Jerusalem—are portrayed as objects that will be totally destroyed (see for example The Desire of Ages, 743, 816; The Youth’s Instructor, December 29, 1890).
Why is the world going to be destroyed at the end?—because of its wickedness. “The destruction of Babylon pictures to some degree the final destruction of the world [see Isaiah 13]. Babylon is a symbol of the world at large. … When the doom of a nation is fixed, it seems that all the energy, wisdom, and discretion of its former time of prosperity, deserts its men of position, and they hasten the evil they would avert. Outside enemies are not the greatest peril to an individual or a nation. The overthrow of a nation results, under the providence of God, from some unwise or evil course of its own. But the people who fear God, who are loyal to His laws, who carry out the principles of righteousness in their lives, have a sure defense; God will be the refuge of those who trust in Him.” The Signs of the Times, December 29, 1890
“Could the curtain be rolled back before the youth who have never given their hearts to God, with others who are Christians in name, but who are unrenewed in heart and unsanctified in temper, they would see that God’s eye is ever upon them, and they would feel as disturbed as did the king of Babylon. …” The Youth’s Instructor, May 26, 1898
“We are never alone. We have a Companion, whether we choose Him or not. … Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, God is there. To your every word and action you have a witness,—the holy, sin-hating God. Nothing that is said or done or thought can escape His infinite eye. … In the deepest darkness and solitude He is there. No one can deceive God; none can escape from their accountability to Him.” Ibid