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Revelation 14:6–7

“I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. And he said with a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.’”

In light of the great wrath and suffering described in Revelation 1–13, one might wonder if there is any hope for the people of the world. We have seen that hope exists for the servants of Christ, who are marked out by God for preservation and salvation (Rev. 7; 14:1–5). Yet, it is not yet too late for those who are outside Christ. Though we are in the final era of God’s plan of salvation, while the earth remains and people draw breath, they may still find redemption in Christ.

This seems to be at least part of the message conveyed in today’s passage. John sees an angel flying overhead with an eternal gospel that is to be proclaimed to all the world, a gospel that announces God’s imminent judgment and exhorts hearers to worship the Lord (14:6–7). Of course, this is just another way to summarize the gospel: it is a message that men and women can escape the eternal wrath of the holy Creator by turning away from sin to the worship of the one true God in and through Christ alone (John 3:16; 4:6). Revelation tells us about the kinds of sufferings the church will face before Christ returns and the periodic judgments on God’s enemies during that period, which culminate in the final judgment of all creation. However, Revelation tells us in 14:6–7 that while these things are going on, the gospel is to be going forth as well. The church has a distinct mission to preach the gospel and to make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:18–20), and the suffering and problems we face as Christians give us no excuse to stop proclaiming this gospel.

Only the gospel can create a people for God from every tribe and tongue, so it must be preached to every tribe and tongue (Rev. 7:9–17; 14:6–7). No people group is beyond the reach of God’s grace. But the gospel is not only for those outside the church. It is the means of reform and edification for those who are already believers. Matthew Henry helpfully comments on today’s passage, “When idolatry creeps into the churches of God, it is by the preaching of the gospel, attended by the power of the Holy Spirit, that men are turned from idols to serve the living God, as the Creator of the heaven, and the earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” While we wait for the consummation of God’s plan, whether the last days go on for two more days or twenty thousand more years, the church must remain dedicated to preaching the gospel in all its fullness both for the salvation of sinners and for the building up of the church.

Coram Deo Living before the face of God

Around the world, the church is suffering at the hands of many different enemies. But this same church is preaching the gospel, and we are seeing church growth on many continents. Their example encourages us to preach the gospel in our own context so that we may see the church renewed. Let us be faithful to proclaim the gospel and to seek leaders for our churches who preach and teach the biblical gospel.

For Further Study
  • 1 Corinthians 9:16
  • 2 Timothy 4:1–2

A Song of Victory

God Is Worthy

Keep Reading Truth

From the November 2020 Issue
Nov 2020 Issue