The Everlasting Gospel—Rev. 14:6-7
Election day is this week. In our country there are many current issues to consider. There are all kinds of causes and movements and trends. But all issues come and go. Governors, presidents, kings and even nations rise and fall. But there is one movement or cause and King that is everlasting. It is the everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel is this: the good news that God so loved the world that he sent his son, our Savior, Jesus to atone for the sins by his holy life, cross, death and resurrection. Then I saw another angel flying in the middle of the sky. He had the everlasting gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth. You have peace, security and life in this everlasting gospel!
The devil and the world and our own sinful flesh want to silence the gospel. It is a war going on throughout the ages against the gospel. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. eph6. The principalities of darkness attack us to get us to believe a lie instead of God’s Word. We often do. The lie sounds better than the truth and we fall for it. “Do this sin and your problem is fixed!” The rulers of this dark age tempt pastors to preach so that the law (define) predominates and the people are left comfortless, gospel-less and thus weak in their faith in Jesus. Such lack of gospel preaching brings praises to the preacher and admiration from the world. The spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places attack and tempt the members to be silent of both law and Gospel, keeping it under a bushel, in order to keep friends in this world. God have mercy on us! It is a war.
In Martin Luther’s day the papacy of Rome no longer proclaimed the gospel but condemned it. Right in the midst of the Church was the preaching that we are not saved by grace alone in Christ but we must add our works to earn heaven. This came from the head of the church of Rome, the pope himself as St. Paul foretold in 2 Thes. 2. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. That would be the office of the papacy that has not changed its hostility to the gospel to this day
But by God’s grace this man and his office and his lies would be exposed and the church would once again proclaim the Gospel like an angel flying over the world. God raised up Dr. Martin Luther who started the reformation of the church. St. Paul goes on to say: And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The deception of the papacy has been exposed by the reformation which we celebrate today.
Would it not be great if God sent an angel to fly over our homes, our yards and in our church preaching the Word of God? We would drop what we are doing and listen with gladness! But this prophesy is happening today! Due to the Reformation the Gospel is flying over the world, through Germany, to Norway, to China and Africa and here today in Iowa. Preaching and teaching and printing of God’s pure word has flown all over the world! God foretold this joy of the reformation: Then I saw another angel flying in the middle of the sky. He had the everlasting gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth, to every nation, tribe, language, and people. John sees an angel. Who is this messenger or angel flying in the midst of the heavens? It is Martin Luther and all who proclaim with gladness the eternal gospel to the world.
The Gospel is this: that God has destroyed for us the works of the devil and of sin. Jesus’ holy blood wiped out the sin that was charged to you. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. col2. Christ rose on easter and then made an appearance in hell to preach to them that Satan and all who are there who have warred against the gospel and have followed his lies …these gospel haters are conquered. When Satan tries to attack you to accuse us of your sins, when he wants to leave you spinning in uncertainty and leave you hopeless under the law and wrath of God, we can say: “Christ is risen. Hell is vanquished. The victory is won. Heaven is my home. Christ is my Savior! I am saved by grace alone, by faith alone!” You live and thrive and can’t lose as you have the victory and life in the the Gospel that is…yes, the everlasting Gospel.
How is it so everlasting? Does it ever have a beginning or will it have an end. No. God has in eternity promised that you will be his own by grace: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, Into eternity, before the creation of the world, the eternal gospel was applied to you as God chose you to be his own, through Christ.
When time began, when God created Adam and Eve—they at first had no sin and there was no death. Where was the gospel then?. They lived in God’s grace, enjoying marriage, work and life. God made them, loved them, provided all things for them. All was by grace alone and Christ and his gospel was there…even before sin. The Gospel is everlasting!
But was the Gospel lost when sin came into the world? No! God again came to Adam and Eve proclaiming the Gospel. He promised the Savior would be born for them and for us. God fulfilled that promise as the Son of God was born of Mary and suffered and died and rose for our forgiveness of sin, life and salvation!
And throughout the history of this world, every language, every tribe every people have had this gospel preached like an angel flying over the world. The everlasting Gospel has made saints of Noah, Abraham, Moses, and all those who believed the Gospel in the OT. In the NT we think of Mary and Joseph, Anna, Simeon, the apostles and thousands upon thousands in the every century from the 1st to the 16th century where the Reformation was begun through Luther and to the19th where the founders of this congregation proclaimed the gospel here (in _____) to the 21st…to us today— and the gospel will be preached until Christ comes in glory on the last day.
Even in heaven and into eternity we will hear and live in the grace of Christ, in his love and salvation. “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple.
The flying angel symbolizes Luther and all who preach the everlasting Gospel… said with a loud voice: Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the sky, the earth, the sea, and the springs of water. It is flying because it is swift and gets to the very corners of the world, and to where you are. It is loud because it is loud and clear you can hear it and understand it by the power of the Spirit. It gives God the glory because Jesus earned it 100% …all for you. It is time for judgment for now you will be judged a holy child of God and a saint by the blood of Christ who has washed you clean of all your sins. It is from the eternal God, Father, son and Holy Spirit who made the sky, the earth, the sea and springs of water!
Nations, kings, presidents, issues, political movement, leave spinning and fretful bu they all come and go like everything else but what is eternal is the everlasting Gospel proclamation of God’s grace in Christ Jesus to sinners so that they may be saved by grace alone in His blood! Thanks be to God for the blessings of the Reformation because the everlasting gospel never did cease but all the more was preached to all the world and …thus to us this very day and and every day and forever! Amen.