- Sermon Notes
Resting in the Promise
Intro: Finding a good place to rest.
At this point in Revelation 14, we have seen the unholy trinity: Satan, the Beast (or Antichrist), and the False Prophet. This unholy trinity will declare that there will be ‘the mark of the beast’ which is to be placed on the back of the hand or on the forehead. Without it, no one will be able to buy or sell.
Those who remain on earth during the Great Tribulation will be faced with a choice. We looked at the 144,000 who are marked by God during this time, and it is important to know that others will choose Christ, even in the midst of great difficulty. Those who persevere in victory are promised rest, and those who worship and receive the mark of the beast, will have no rest day or night.
Today we will look at three angels, each with a message for those who remain on earth. Those on earth have been in the midst of the tribulation, this is after the church age and the messages these angels declare for those who remain carry significant importance.
Read: Revelation 14:6-16
The first angel comes with a message to preach to every nation and tribe and tongue and people. The message that is given, is not given quietly, rather, the scripture says this angel is declaring the message with a loud voice. This angel understands the importance of the message being sent and wants to make sure everyone will hear. The angel is preaching the gospel.
I. The Gospel is Eternal
- John, the writer of Revelation, says that the gospel being preached by this angel is an everlasting, or eternal gospel.
- While it may sound different than the Gospel we hear preached today, it isn’t all that different. The primary difference, is that it is preached in
a different, specific time. It is preached to those in the latter part of the great tribulation.
- The word gospel refers to the good news that Jesus Christ suffered death on a cross to obtain salvation for mankind and that He rose to life again,
was exalted to the right hand of God, and awaits His return.
- The eternality of the Gospel is that it is an unchanging message. False doctrines come and go, but salvation through faith in Jesus is eternal truth.
- He is the eternal Gospel being preached by an angel, when the hour of judgement has set in. It is one of the very last calls of grace to those who have not come to faith in Christ.
A. It stands true in the darkest hour
- The angels are pleading passionately and proclaiming loudly. There is a real decision to be made and the angels are ensuring that the gospel will be
made known to all the world.
- The 144,000 have been putting out the message of Jesus, many come to faith in Jesus, however, there is more work to do.
- Interestingly, this is the only time in the new testament where we see angels preaching the Gospel. God chose to give that responsibility to people,
apart from the rarest occasions.
- The angel is preaching to every nation and tribe and tongue and people with great fervency and urgency.
- Urgency increases as time is running short.
Illus. – Black Friday hurdles.
- The angel is preaching with urgency because there is still a choice for many to be made. The eternal gospel is standing true.
- We have an opportunity in difficulty to point people towards the importance of salvation, the importance of looking to the Lord.
- What is being experienced by those in the latter tribulation is overwhelming and loud. The angels understand this and proclaim their message loudly
- This is a different perspective of angels; normally thought of as cute, quiet and cuddly. Why are they being so loud? Because there is real danger.
Illus – In Isaiah 20, the Assyrians were headed toward the people of Israel to overtake them. The people of Israel were not taking the threat seriously. Because of this, God tells Isaiah, the educated, articulate, and eloquent orator, the people aren’t listening, or heeding the message…a new plan was needed. It was an illustration of what would happen if they became captives of the Assyrians.
- Those in the great tribulation have seen Satan and the unholy trinity attempt to win and deceive souls. But even here the Gospel stands true.
B. There is none who can remove its Power
- A second angel follows the first, this angel is declaring that Babylon is fallen.
- Babylon was the name of both an evil city and an immoral empire, it was also a world center for idol worship.
- Babylon was a real city that destroyed Jerusalem and took the people captive.
- Babylon was spoken of prophetically as a symbol, where the Antichrist will use as headquarters. It is the commercial and political epicenter of the
- Babylon is also a symbol of spiritual false religion or idolatry.
- Babylon was the Jews worst enemy, and similarly, the Roman empire was the worst enemy of the early Christians. This term Babylon takes on the characteristics
of that which opposes the Lord. The Lord also, stands against Babylon.
Illus. The earth wails Revelation 18:17, but heaven rejoices; Revelations 19:1-4 Four hallelujahs from heaven.
- The second angel in chapter 14, is declaring that what opposes the Lord and what He opposes, is fallen. That which has pulled people away from the
Lord, it is fallen.
- Another angel, a third angel then comes and warns those who would consider taking the mark of the beast that they would have no rest, day or night.
But for those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus, they will be blessed and will have true rest.
- In those times, in the latter days of the tribulation, the people who remain on earth will still have a choice to make. This is the same choice that
faces mankind today.
- The word “imitate” in the Greek is “mimic.”
II. Choose Whom you will Serve
- The third angel ultimately declares that those who take the mark of the beast will have no rest, but those who keep their faith in Jesus, will find
- The choice one makes regarding the eternal Gospel, it matters.
Joshua 24:15, “If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the river, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
A. All will have a choice
- Those who choose the mark of the beast will at first think they made the best choice. The conditions they live in will seem better.
- This is likened to living for the moment.
Illus. Choosing a college.
- Our decisions, they matter. Not just monetary debt, but a debt that we cannot pay, but Jesus paid.
- The scripture here in Revelation 14 makes it clear that choosing the mark of the beast is ultimately the worst choice one can make. It is also not
a casual or accidental acceptance.
- There is another choice to be made, however. And John depicts the faithfulness of those who will come to Jesus during the tribulation.
- They persevere; they keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.
Hebrews 11:6, And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
- These believers cling to faith in their decisions, even when what seems easiest is to take the mark, to eat, drink and be merry. By faith, they choose
Illus – In Daniel chapter 1 when Babylon took captive those in Jerusalem, Daniel had a choice to make. Those in Babylon besieged the land in a display of great power. Daniel was taken captive and told to eat the royal food which would be assigned to the young men brought in to serve in the king’s court.
- Daniel was resolved not to defile himself, even though it would have been easier and the food was likely the best in the land. He chose to remain faithful.
Illus. A badge of dishonor.
- All will have a choice to make, and today, all have a choice to make. Whom will you serve?
Jeremiah 6:16 “Thus says the Lord, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’”
- What is promised to those in Revelation 14 is blessings and rest. But there is a choice all will make.
- The right path has been marked out, but as depicted in Jeremiah, the people refused to take God’s path, going their own way instead.
- There is a promise, blessed are those who persevere, blessed are those who die in the Lord.
- Walking with the Lord, in His path, is the way to find “rest for your soul.”
B. In Christ, all will find rest
- This is a wonderful promise for those in the midst of tribulation. “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.”
- While those who die in the Lord are blessed today, John reiterates this to those who endure the great tribulation.
Romans 14:8, for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord's.
- The rest depicted in Revelation 14 is a promise, and a reward. This is given through Jesus, by faith in Him.
Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
- This rest, comes through faith in Jesus. True rest occurs when one realizes that salvation is completely dependent upon who Jesus is, and what He has
done. That He made a way for you, and for me.
- Rest is coming for those who endure, those who keep their faith in the Lord.
I can only imagine the courage and comfort the passage and promise of rest in eternity given in Revelation 13 will be to those persecuted and embattled in the Great Tribulation. God’s promise of rest can also be where we find courage and comfort today.
Revelation 14:6-16 NASB