The Everlasting Gospel

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Revelation 14
Lesson Number: 

Lesson 3

The Everlasting Gospel

(Revelation 14)

Copr. 2023, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. If you normally receive this lesson by e-mail, but it is lost one week, you can find it by clicking on this link: Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as you study.

Introduction: What comes to mind when you think about the book of Revelation? Many assume they cannot understand it. The frightful looking beasts, the plagues and terrors cast on the earth, and the warnings of what will come to pass seem scary. Why did God inspire John with this message? Is it to give God’s followers hope and insight into what will happen in the future? In the days when I watched football I developed the practice of recording the game when it was played. If my team won, I would watch the game. This practice made me a calmer person. Even if bad things happened during the game, I knew that it would turn out fine in the end. This what I think God has in mind in sharing Revelation with us - He wants to give us a level of confidence and trust as frightening things happen on earth. Let’s dive into our study of Revelation so we can prepare to calmly understand end-time events!

  1. Purpose
    1. Read Revelation 1:1. Albert Barnes’s Commentary says that “Revelation” means “nakedness.” Have you any idea why that is a good name for this book? (The idea is that the future is uncovered. The shadow over the future is removed.)
      1. Who is the source of this new information? (God gave it to Jesus who sent an angel to give it to John. John was one of the twelve disciples who had been with Jesus.)
    2. Read Revelation 1:3. Would it be best to remain ignorant of this new information? (No. We are blessed to pay attention to this and remember it because it is relevant to a time that is near.)
    3. Read Revelation 14:6. To whom is this message given? (All those who live on earth!)
      1. Is it irrelevant to anyone? (It is for “every nation and tribe and language and people.” Anyone who says that this message is not for them is mistaken.)
      2. It is a new gospel? Is it “breaking news?” New news? (No. It is the “eternal” gospel. This message has always been the gospel.)
      3. Why do you think this angel is pictured as “flying directly overhead?” (This is a picture of rapid motion and a message focused on us.)
  2. First Angel
    1. Read Revelation 14:7. This message is contained in one sentence! Let’s examine it in detail. Why should we fear and glorify God? (The “hour of His judgment has come.”)
    2. Read Daniel 7:9-10. What is this judgment? (It appears to be the final judgment referred to in Revelation 14:7.)
    3. Read Daniel 7:13-14. Who wins in this judgment? (Those who serve Jesus. They are part of an everlasting kingdom.)
    4. Let’s focus on the last half of Revelation 14:7. On what basis does God claim our allegiance? (He is our Creator God.)
      1. This creation is recounted in Genesis chapters 1 and 2. Must we accept the Genesis account to be included in this group of worshipers? (If you disbelieve the specific basis for your worship, I do not see how you could be called a worshiper. That kind of worship is a fraud.)
      1. There are some highly contested issues today that are directly connected to the Genesis creation account. One is the question of origins - were humans created by the hand of God or were they a product of slow evolution? Another is the question of marriage, is it designed to be between a man and a woman who “become one?” A third is the question of gender. Are there only two, or is the matter completely malleable, and subject to change?
        1. Is it necessary to accept the Biblical account on all of these issues to be a true worshiper?
      2. If you answered that a true worshiper’s views must conform to the Biblical record, is this something that should be preached and taught by Christians? And would that be part of the First Angel’s message?
      3. If your answer to the previous question is “no,” then what do you think is the content of the message of this First Angel?
    1. Look again at the last half of Revelation 14:7 from a slightly different point of view. Is there any logical connection that you can find between the call to worship God and this description of God’s activities? (These activities are what entitle God to worship. They reflect His power, His authority over the creation.)
      1. A famous movie is the original 1939 “The Wizard of Oz.” It turned out that the great and wonderful wizard was a fraud. He was only a man operating a machine that gave a false appearance of power. Is this the position of those who disbelieve God’s claims of power? Can you still claim to be a Christian if you believe the claim is like the man behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz? (This belief seems very common, and I cannot understand the logic of it.)
  1. The Eternal Gospel
    1. Look again at Revelation 14:6-7. The Bible calls this one sentence “the eternal gospel.” Is that how you understand the gospel: Our Creator God has begun His judgment?
      1. Isn’t this just the opposite of the way in which we share the gospel: Our loving God lived and died on your behalf so that you would escape the result of a final judgment? Why not accept Him as your Savior right now?
    2. Read 1 Corinthians 15:1-2. What is Paul saying that he preached? (“The gospel.”)
      1. What is the result of receiving Paul’s gospel? (They are being saved.)
    3. Read 1 Corinthians 15:3-5. The way that Paul describes the gospel that he is preaching is the same way that I share the gospel. This seems just the opposite of the eternal gospel shared by the First Angel. Can you reconcile the two?
    4. Read Romans 3:21-24. Is this the gospel? (Yes! It is the gospel as I understand and teach it.)
      1. Is this also contrary to the eternal gospel proclaimed by the First Angel? (It certainly seems to be much different.)
    5. I believe the Bible. It seems absolutely critical to reconcile the First Angel’s gospel to the gospel preached by Paul in 1 Corinthians and Romans. Let’s start by asking what is left out of the gospel message proclaimed by the First Angel? What critical facts are missing in that one sentence? (The fall of humans. The entrance of sin. Jesus’ rescue of us. The First Angel proclaims Jesus as Creator and then leaps over the rest of history to the final judgment.)
      1. Are these unimportant details, meaning the details left out by the First Angel? (No. They are critical.)
      2. Wait a minute. Does the importance of the details turn on the nature of your decision?
    6. Assume you are talking about a powerful race car that you own. You describe its beauty and power when it was first made. You tell how the most important race is coming up and you declare this car will win that race. However, you fail to mention that this car was in a wreck, the engine failed, and the body and engine have been completely rebuilt. Would the short-hand account of power and victory be what is of critical importance? (I think the answer is “yes.” The relevant issues are the current condition of the car and the fact that it will win. If you were purchasing the car as opposed to anticipating the win, the interim history would be important. That is how I reconcile the First Angel and Paul’s statements about the gospel. The First Angel is stating what is important now, and not giving a teaching on the method of salvation.)
    7. Read Matthew 28:19-20. How would you relate these verses to the message of the First Angel? (Jesus refers to the “end of the age.” The First Angel gives urgency to the gospel. Our Creator God is bringing things to a close.)
    8. Friend, the end is coming. If you do not believe what the Bible says about the beginning of the world, you are unlikely to believe the account of the end. If you are doubting, why not ask the Holy Spirit, right now, to guide your mind to all truth?
  2. Next week: “Fear God and Give Glory to Him.”