Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.” A second angel followed and said, “ ‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great,’ which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.” A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.” This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus. – Revelation 14:6-12
A flying angel with an eternal gospel, what a way to begin a passage. What would be the meaning of “eternal gospel”? I suppose a literal translation would be something like good news without end. Something or Someone that brings good news and has no beginning and no end. Sounds like Jesus the Lamb of God who we are called to follow. What does it mean to follow Him and God?
According to the passage it means to “Fear God and give him glory”. I am not sure fearing God is the same as fearing things of this earth. We often fear what we do not know or understand which I suppose could apply to God. God is both unknowable and the most knowable of all things – at the same time. Both the Lion and the Lamb at the same time.
We are to worship the One who made “the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.” God made everything that we can see and know. He is the Spring of Living Water from which we can all be refreshed and our thirst satisfied. God has given us the freedom to choose to drink of other springs and to satisfy our thirst with things other than Him.
This drinking of “other wines” is what results of choosing a path that leads away from God rather than toward him. Those who choose this perilous path are marked by the “the beast” and are in some sense owned by him. I do not know what the “mark on their forehead or on their hand: will be but there are plenty of marks in our current culture that could qualify.
Whatever this “mark” will be it will be a outward expression of an inward commitment to follow someone or something other than God. There are many ways that we follow images and gods other than God. This could take the form of social media “influencers” or being a person who influences others.
Who we choose to “follow” determines our destination. Follow God and we ultimately end up crossing the river that know one can cross to the undiscovered country. Follow the beast and his worldly wiles and we remain cave dwellers in this land of oblivion forever. The eternal “good news” is that God has sent the Lamb. As long as we accept His sacrifice of love and bare His mark on our souls we are home already.
Prayer: God help us to bare Your mark on our souls and accept our future with You as good news.