The Everlasting Gospel
“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”
When establishing conclusions about “evangelism” we would do well to allow the Scriptures to frame our definitions, rather than popular opinion. Sadly, there is a raging debate today in regards to the interpretation of the gospel. Wicked men, inspired by evil spirits of religion, have somehow crept into the church, subtly tampering with how the gospel is perceived. In some circles, the gospel has been so mishandled, misappropriated, and re-invented that is hardly recognizable when compared to the New Testament. Unfortunately, confusion often reigns as to the real message and method of the gospel. Amazingly, all that’s necessary to offend most professing Christians today is simply preach the gospel to them.
Psalm 11:3 If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?
If we are to stay true to Jesus Christ, it will be required that we repeatedly go back to the Bible to regain our spiritual bearings. And this is exactly what we will do in this note as we examine “the everlasting gospel.”
Everlasting: (Greek) ahee-o’-nee-os, Eternal, perpetual, past, present, and future.
Now, the Greek word translated throughout the N.T. into our English word “Gospel” literally means good message or good news. However, this only tells us that the gospel of Jesus Christ is good, holy, virtuous, and right; to this we agree. But by examining our text, I believe we can gain valuable insight into the Biblical gospel. I see five specifics gleaned from this passage that will enlighten us to a clear understanding of the true gospel. Namely, the messengers, the audience, the method, the message, and the response of the everlasting gospel.
Rev. 14:6a And I saw another angel…
Notice, the preachers in our text are not men, but angels. Now, we know angels are holy, heavenly, and sinless beings. This is an important observation for our thought for two reasons. First, because it irrefutably verifies their message as pure and flawless: no one can accuse them of succumbing to the flesh or error. But secondly, it establishes, without question, an unchanging requirement of practical holiness for the gospel preacher. If the Bible declares in…
Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord…
How will we point men to Jesus without it? Any sin, flesh, compromise, or rebellion will defile the gospel declaration. The message is only as infallible as the messenger. If we are going to accurately represent Jesus Christ we must BECOME the gospel we preach.
Rev. 14:6b …having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people
There is only one eternal, unchanging, unalterable, Gospel of Christ. There is a false concept today that promotes a diversity of messages and methods within the gospel. Many say we must consider our audience, we must appeal to the unique needs of culture or class. This is a lie; there is only one, universal message to all mankind, to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. The problem with a sixteenth century peasant or a twenty-first century executive is the same: sin. And likewise, there is but one answer: Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
John 1:29 …behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
“There is no greater fallacy than to think that you need a gospel for special
types of people.” -D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Rev. 14:7a Saying with a loud voice…
Notice, the message is delivered with authority and boldness, in a word, it was “preached.” Preaching, by strict Biblical definition is to “publicly herald.” Notice, the angel here isn’t timid, but delivers his message with boldness, clarity, and in a loud voice.
“Why it’s not wise to shout at folks, people won’t listen…”
Proverbs 1:20 Wisdom crieth (shout) without; she uttereth her voice in the streets…
We must understand, the gospel is not a suggestion, but a proclamation, it is to be sounded with authority. The Apostle Paul coveted prayer from the Ephesian church in regards to his gospel delivery, saying…
Ephes. 6:20 …that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
Again, the spirit of religion hates life and life is often manifested by spiritual authority, activity, and excitement. If we believe what we preach how can we do so without passion sobriety?
“A ministry that saves people from sin and prepares them for heaven must be a serious ministry. No light gospel can meet the serious demands of this serious work. The gospel of fun may draw but cannot save, may please but not edify. The gospel never appeals to the fun- loving side of our nature; its work is done by restraining or ignoring the lighter elements and basing its operations on the profound and weighty elements of our being. Christ and His gospel are the most serious expressions of God. It is the gospel of the cross bathed in tears and blood and crowned with death. Christ’s gospel can only reach and save by breaking hearts.”
Our method must confirm our rhetoric: if we believe in a burning hell then we will passionately act accordingly. Emotion, pathos, and alarm will ring true in our preaching and warning will be emphasized. Make no mistake, old-fashioned fire and brimstone preaching is affirmed by the Bible.
THE MESSAGE: FOUR ELEMENTS FOR OUR CONSIDERATION
Rev. 14:7a Saying with a loud voice…
1. The Fear Of God.
Rev. 14:7b Fear God…
First, the angel preaches the fear God. Sadly, the fear of God is an unpopular doctrine in this hour of apostasy. And yet, the fear of God is a foundational doctrine of the Bible.
Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
There can be no true conversion to Christ apart from the fear of God.
Proverbs 16:6 …by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.
In this hour, the god that is presented from most pulpits is impossible to fear: he tolerates sin, instead of judges it. However, Jesus Himself encouraged the fear of God.
Luke 12:5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.
The faithful preacher is the man who truly unveils the nature of God, who preaches the Christ with whom men must give an account.
2. Give God Glory.
Rev. 14:7c …and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
“Always and always God must be first. The gospel in its scriptural context puts the glory of God first and the salvation of man second.” -A.W. Tozer
To give God glory is to render to Him what is rightfully His.
1 Cor. 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
This is the message of obedience and holiness. Again, the message of holiness is a hated message. The popular theology of today teaches that grace frees us from our obligation to fulfill the moral law. As Wesley stated in his day, the Antinomians erroneously say…
“That a preacher ought not to exhort to good works; not unbelievers, because it is hurtful; not believers, because it is needless.”
The false gospel makes little or no claim upon the sinner’s life. But Jesus clearly said…
Matthew 10:38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
Notice, why should men give God glory?
Rev. 14:6-7c …for the hour of his judgment is come:
The Everlasting Gospel always contains an urgent call to prepare for to meet God in judgment.
3. There Is An Exposing And Condemning Of False religion.
Rev. 14:8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
In the Bible, Babylon always represents spiritual confusion, false religion, and counterfeit Christianity. It is difficult to exalt what is right before we expose what is wrong. How can we proclaim truth without uncovering error?
Proverbs 28:5 Evil men understand not judgment…
The true gospel preacher will address the deceptions of the day. He will point out the evils of Rome as well as the horrible errors of modern day evangelical Christianity in America. This has always been the Apostolic pattern, notice Paul’s confession in…
Acts 20:30-31 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
4. The Warning Of Hell-Fire.
Rev. 14:9-11 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, 10The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb…
Hell is another unpopular subject. Yet, not only here but elsewhere in the N.T., God’s messengers were never afraid to proclaim its existence. We cannot preach the gospel if we refuse to warn men and declare God’s judgment against all sin. In fact, avoiding God’s judgment is a mark of the false prophet.
Jeremiah 23:17 They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.
FINALLY, THE RESPONSE
Amazingly, we see no response. This debunks the false concept that teaches, “If it is God, someone will respond”.
But I believe it teaches us another, very important principle. We must realize, men are never prepared to receive grace until they first see their sin rightly.
“Evermore the Law must prepare the way for the Gospel; to overlook this in instructing souls is almost certain to result in false hope, the introduction of a false standard of Christian experience, and to fill churches with false converts.” -Charles Finney
“The man who does not know the nature of the Law cannot know the nature of sin, and he who does not know the nature of sin cannot know the nature of the Saviour.” -John Bunyan
“They will never accept grace until they tremble before a just and holy law.”
-Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Remember, it is God’s Word that refers to our text as the “everlasting gospel”.
Some may ask, “You call this the gospel and there is no mention of the atonement, forgiveness, love?”
No doubt, these aspects are essential to the gospel, we cannot deny this, however, the first oracle of the gospel declaration is “repent”. If men fail to acknowledge their sin and agree with God, it is futile to move forward. If they refuse the diagnosis they are ill-prepared for the remedy. Hence, if I stand in the public, with a pure heart, preaching, “Thou shalt not…” God calls it the gospel.
This is a lot different than what we hear today. Are we surprised? Are we willing to be used by God to utter the true gospel message?