Wednesday, July 1

Revelation: Thinking Gospel

What message did you listen to when you got saved? What did that sound like?

Does the message matter? Here are some things to think through.

Read: Revelation 14
The Lamb and the 144,000
1 Then I saw the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him were 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of mighty ocean waves or the rolling of loud thunder. It was like the sound of many harpists playing together.
3 This great choir sang a wonderful new song in front of the throne of God and before the four living beings and the twenty-four elders. No one could learn this song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. 4 They have kept themselves as pure as virgins, following the Lamb wherever he goes. They have been purchased from among the people on the earth as a special offering to God and to the Lamb. 5 They have told no lies; they are without blame.

The Three Angels
6 And I saw another angel flying through the sky, carrying the eternal Good News to proclaim to the people who belong to this world—to every nation, tribe, language, and people. 7 “Fear God,” he shouted. “Give glory to him. For the time has come when he will sit as judge. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all the springs of water.”
8 Then another angel followed him through the sky, shouting, “Babylon is fallen—that great city is fallen—because she made all the nations of the world drink the wine of her passionate immorality.”

9 Then a third angel followed them, shouting, “Anyone who worships the beast and his statue or who accepts his mark on the forehead or on the hand 10 must drink the wine of God’s anger. It has been poured full strength into God’s cup of wrath. And they will be tormented with fire and burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb. 11 The smoke of their torment will rise forever and ever, and they will have no relief day or night, for they have worshiped the beast and his statue and have accepted the mark of his name.”

12 This means that God’s holy people must endure persecution patiently, obeying his commands and maintaining their faith in Jesus.

13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this down: Blessed are those who die in the Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit, they are blessed indeed, for they will rest from their hard work; for their good deeds follow them!”

The Harvest of the Earth
14 Then I saw a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was someone like the Son of Man. He had a gold crown on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand.
15 Then another angel came from the Temple and shouted to the one sitting on the cloud, “Swing the sickle, for the time of harvest has come; the crop on earth is ripe.” 16 So the one sitting on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the whole earth was harvested.

17 After that, another angel came from the Temple in heaven, and he also had a sharp sickle. 18 Then another angel, who had power to destroy with fire, came from the altar. He shouted to the angel with the sharp sickle, “Swing your sickle now to gather the clusters of grapes from the vines of the earth, for they are ripe for judgment.” 19 So the angel swung his sickle over the earth and loaded the grapes into the great winepress of God’s wrath. 20 The grapes were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress in a stream about 180 miles long and as high as a horse’s bridle.

Things always happen on at least 2 primary levels. There is what we see on earth and then there is what is going on in heaven. In chapter 13 we saw how the beast was making war with the Church, killing believers and forcing people to worship him. There is panic on earth and things seem out of control.

Here in chapter 14 we see what is going on in heaven. God is not worried. There is no rush to action. No surprise. No panic. In fact, it is as if nothing has changed since Revelation 7:1. The 144,000 are in heaven, choirs are singing and God is on his throne (v. 3).

Another thing of note: the Gospel in Revelation 14 looks different than what we are communicating today. What does our typical gospel presentation sound like?
1. God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life
2. But you are separated from him
3. Jesus died to bring you back to God
4. Believe it and you will be saved

The Gospel of Revelation is a little different (v. 6-7):
1. Fear God
2. Give glory to him
3. He is ready to judge you
4. Worship him

The first presentation begins and ends with ME. The second presentation begins and ends with God. It is about HIM, who He is, what He does and what He will do.

There is no mention of the cross or the resurrection and yet it is called the "good news" of the gospel. Maybe the gospel is actually the message of being right with God. Think through it. What are we saved FROM? What are we saved FOR? We are saved FROM God. We are saved FOR His glory. Look at gospel presentation number 2 again.

We know that this comes through Jesus Christ. We know this comes through the death and resurrection of Jesus. We know there is no name given under heaven by which we MUST be saved. We know it is about Jesus BUT it is so that we will be right with the Father. That we would be rightly related to the Father. Apparently that looks like fearing him, glorifying and worshiping him.

Something to think through.

Are you comfortable with the fact that God is in control even when you feel out of control? Will you take time now to relate that back to Him?

Do you relate to God with high levels of respect, fear? Does your life glorify him? Does your life worship him?

Is your gospel message like the first example above or the second? How can you combine the two messages to reach people? Here's an example:
1. You have a problem - sin
2. God solved that problem - Jesus
3. You must respond - repentance

Something to think through.

DevoLink: Devotions to help you Link with God.

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