Are we ever done preaching the Gospel? What is the Everlasting Gospel talked about in Revelation 14:6? What is our role and the role of this angel?
[Steve Myers] Well, news is in the news, whether it’s good news, bad news, fake news seems to be everywhere. I like the news that’s kind of funny. Okay, remember I said kind of funny because the lawyer was talking to his clients. And he said, “I’ve got good news and bad news.” He said, “Well, I’ve been charged with homicide.” “What could be the bad news?” The lawyer says, “Well, your blood matches the DNA at the murder scene.” Kind of, “What good news could there possibly be?” He said, “Well, your cholesterol is down to 120. That’s pretty good.”
Guy went to the doctor, the good news, bad news. He says, “Bad news, doc.” The doctor says to the patient, “You’ve got one foot in the grave and the other foot on a banana peel.” The patient said, “What could possibly be the good news?” He said, “Well, bananas are high in fiber and potassium. So that’s all right.” All right, one more. The bad news. There was a poor fella that fell into an upholstery machine. He was just injured terribly, just severe injuries. What could be the good news?
Well, he’s totally recovered. You got to think about that one for a moment.
There is a word in the Bible that has the definition of good news, in probably its most simple, succinct form. What is that word that is occurring many times throughout the Bible that points to good news? What is it? The gospel. That’s right, the gospel. The gospel is good news in its most simple form, and you know where it comes from. When the Greeks used it, they often referred to a message from a king, a favorable message, a good message about some significant event that was very positive. And so that word kind of morphed into the terminology of the New Testament to point to what God’s good news was all about. Because the world needs some good news, doesn’t it?
I mean, if we hear a lot of bad news, we hear a lot of fake news out there. And when we talk about the gospel message, it’s God’s message. It’s about the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God. It’s about God’s plan. What is His purpose? What is God doing? What is He got in mind for mankind? And is it critical message. It’s a message of love and mercy and grace. It’s a message that we focus on, hopefully, we focus on it individually, as well as focusing collectively in the Church because it’s a critical part of our mission, as the Church of God, isn’t it? In fact, the United Church of God has in its mission statement, this very fact, the mission of the church of God, the United Church of God is “to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God in all the world and to make disciples in all nations and to care for those disciples.”
And that summarizes God’s purpose and His plan to preach that gospel message. But sometimes people say, “Well, I don’t know. Is that our job? I mean, can we really do that? Isn’t there’s kind of a question about that. There’s an interesting passage that sometimes raises questions for some all the way in the back of the Bible in Revelation 14, notice verse 6. Revelation 14:6 Revelation 14:6And I saw another angel fly in the middle of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
American King James Version×is a passage that some will turn to and say, “Well, I’m not sure I have to worry about Living the gospel and preaching the gospel to the world because this seems to take care of it for me. Do I really have to worry about that?” Let’s notice what it says. Here we are, we’re at the end, Revelation 14:6 Revelation 14:6And I saw another angel fly in the middle of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
American King James Version×says this, “Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth — to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people.”
And so some read this passion and say, “See, I don’t have to worry about that, that because when it comes to preaching the gospel, this angel is going to take care of everything. That angel is going to preach to the world and so I feel pretty justified not having to because they’ll take care of it. Well, you think that’s true? Is that we just kind of hang around and wait for this angelic messenger and this event to take place. So then we don’t have to do anything except hang on to the end? Well, is that what the message of the Bible is all about? Is that consistent with what the gospel is about? Because certainly, Matthew 24 says, “The gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world and then the end will come.”
Well, is that a different message than this everlasting gospel? Is it something that is unique? I mean, after all, well, didn’t we just sing that song? “Go ye therefore into all the world.” And what does say? Well, Christ gave that commission in Matthew 28, “We’re supposed to preach this gospel.” And it’s important because it impacts the way we carry out the work of God. What about this particular passage? Is that different? Is this understanding of the gospel different? And how does it impact us? How does it affect what we do, how we live our life, and what the mission of the church is really all about, is if we don’t understand the message of the everlasting gospel, it’s going to impact us in ways maybe we really don’t understand. Because ultimately, when you do appreciate the message, when you understand the everlasting gospel, it really does contain the key, the key to our life, the key to our purpose, the key to what the future holds.
So let’s take a couple of minutes and explore the for a moment. What is the everlasting gospel? What is it about? Is it different or is it not? And let’s do it by a historical journey. And here, we’re going to begin to explore the gospel. Where would you begin? Where does the message of the gospel begin? I said, “Well, let’s turn to the Gospels. I mean, that must have the gospel message,” right? Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, the Gospels? Well, where does the story really begin?
All right, let’s turn there. Genesis 1. Okay, we’re not going to the Gospels. Let’s go to the beginning of the gospel. Where does the gospel really begin? Well, first and foremost, the beginning of the gospel doesn’t begin in the New Testament. It begins all the way at the beginning, at the beginning, Genesis 1:26 Genesis 1:26And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.
American King James Version×. Pretty familiar passage. Let’s notice what it has to say and how it impacts the message of the gospel. Genesis 1:26 Genesis 1:26And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.
American King James Version×, it says, “Then God said ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, over the cattle over all the earth, over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’” And you say, “Well, wait a second, what does that have to do with the gospel? That’s about the creation of man, God the Father and Jesus Christ are getting together here saying, “Let’s make man.” Well, is this about the gospel or what? What is the good news of the gospel of the Kingdom of God?
Well, it’s about the purpose of human life. Why was man created? Man was created to be in the image of God. And being in the image of God imparts special meaning, purpose, intelligence, it brings all of that to human life. But to be human is to be created in the image of God. And as God speaks these things, “Let Us make man in our image in Our image and likeness,” He’s not just saying the same thing twice our image and our likeness. These are different Hebrew words that are reflected here. This Hebrew word for image is tselem . And that word tselem literally means to be cut out, to be cut out. We’re to be cut out like God. We’re to resemble God. And then when He says, we’re in His likeness, demuth is the Hebrew word here. That’s talking about being similar, to be like that God. We’re not only to be cut out, maybe look somewhat like God, but we’re also to resemble God in His nature, reflecting His character. And those two words seem to embody that very thing.
So when you begin to recognize why God created us, we see that purpose right at the heart of things. It has to be about the gospel message, about God’s plan, about His purpose, about what He has in mind for us as human beings because it reflects the knowledge of why we were born. Why are we here? This verse is already describing the purpose for mankind. We’re to be ultimately not just physical human beings, but God has an eternal purpose. God has a spiritual purpose. God’s purposes reflected in this passage that He is creating a spiritual family, not just a physical family, but a spiritual one. That’s what God’s ultimate purpose that we can be a part of God’s spiritual family forever, living under His direction, under His guidance, under His authority.
And we can recognize this gospel message being preached right here at the very beginning. Because what happens next? After Adam and Eve are created, God tells them, they’re going to have this ultimate purpose. He’s got it in mind that it’s not just about physical but ultimately about spiritual. What happens next in the story in the garden? Another gospel is preached. Have you ever thought about it that way? This sly slimy snake comes along and preaches another gospel. We know the story, don’t we? What did Satan tell Adam and Eve? “Will you surely die? Oh, God’s told you about His plan and His purpose but wait a second, are you sure about that?”
And they’re preached another gospel. And they buy into that gospel. And they reject God’s plan and God’s purpose because Satan rejected His plans. Satan rejected God’s system. And instead of having God’s purpose, God’s plan, now Satan introduces his purpose and his plan and what is it based on? It’s not based on truth. It’s not based on love. It’s based on lawlessness, based on sin. And another gospel is brought before mankind. But what’s God’s reaction to that? Does God say, “Uh-oh, maybe I better change my plan? Maybe we’d better do something different. Maybe…” No, He doesn’t do that. I mean, Malachi says, “I am the Lord, I change not.” God wasn’t going to change His plan. God had it in mind, and it was going to come to fruition. And so there was no going back. And so there’s no changing from God’s plan and His purpose. In fact, even in the New Testament, James himself says, “There’s no variation, there’s no shadow of turning with God.”
And so we should be able to follow that plan and purpose throughout His word. And so if we fast forward from Adam and Eve, up a few chapters, to Abraham. Let’s take our historical stop at Abraham’s calling. So first, we had the beginning of the gospel with the creation of mankind. Next, let’s look at Abraham’s calling, Genesis 12. In Genesis 12, right at the beginning of the chapter, let’s take a look at Abraham’s call and the connection to the gospel. Verse 1, Genesis 12, “Now the Lord had said to Abram: ‘Get out of your country, out from your family and your father’s house, into a land that I will show you. I’ll make you a great nation; I’ll bless you and make your name great; you shall be a blessing. And I’ll bless those who bless you, and I’ll curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’” This is a significant step in God’s plan. His purpose was set.
Now through Abraham and his descendants, God was going to do something special. He was going to have a physical type, a kingdom, you might say, a physical kingdom, that would be representation of what he was going to do spiritually. And God was going to work through Abraham to bring that about. And through Abraham’s descendants, ultimately, the solution would be born, the solution to sin. Jesus Christ would be born, the one who could take away our sin, and so that God’s master plan could be completed. It could come about that he could then ultimately have that spiritual family. And so what did Abraham do? Abraham responded to that call. He couldn’t stay in his country. He couldn’t stay where he was. He had to take on God’s vision, God’s direction, God’s purpose, God’s plan, and he had to leave and get out of there, and go to where God was calling him.
And so what did he do? He left. He just went. He went. He followed God’s purpose for his life. In fact, if we skip over a chapter or two… go to Genesis 17. That purpose and plan didn’t come about instantaneously for Abraham, it was going to take years. In fact, that promise of descendants was going to take 25 years, even for the first one to come along, let alone the sands of the sea to come about. So in chapter 17 verse 1, it says, “Abraham was ninety-nine years old, and the Lord appeared to Abram and said, ‘I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless.’” And so this gospel message not only included the ultimate plan and purpose for spiritual life in the Kingdom of God, but in the meantime, Abraham was to learn faith. He was learn to trust God, he was to learn obedience, all part of God’s plan, all part of God’s purpose for mankind.
And so out of Abraham’s weakness, he was made strong. And he began to fulfill a major role among those who God would call throughout time. Now you think about us, aren’t we supposed to be like an Abraham? Haven’t we been called out? Are we supposed to be different? Aren’t we supposed to be applying God’s principles in our life today? I mean, you might say, “Well, yeah, but God wasn’t really preaching the gospel to Abraham, was He? I mean, how did he know, right?” You often wonder, “Well, they didn’t really know about while the sacrifice of Christ. How would they know about that? That seems pretty farfetched.” Well, is it farfetched?
Well, turn with me over to Galatians. Galatians 3:6 Galatians 3:6Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
American King James Version×puts that concept to rest. Was that gospel message truly being preached throughout time? Was it there right at the beginning and then even at the time of Abraham? Well, look at Galatians 3:6 Galatians 3:6Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
American King James Version×. Here, the apostle Paul is writing to God’s people in Galatians. New Testament times. Galatia had its challenges. Sometimes they got off base. They weren’t sure what to believe, and they got off. And as Paul writes them, it’s interesting that he goes back to Abraham. And notice what He says here about this very situation that we just read about. Verse 6 of Galatians 3, Paul writes, “Just as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Verse 7 he says, “Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, ‘In you all the nations shall be blessed.’”
So Paul leaves little room for doubt, God leaves little room for doubt that the gospel was preached to Abraham. He understood God’s purpose, His plan, the need for a sacrifice. He would have had to. And in that, he recognized God’s purpose and plan that, ultimately, through Abraham, Jesus Christ would be born. All the nations of the world would be blessed because a savior would be born. And ultimately, by obedience, and following God’s way and following God’s commands, Abraham became the father of the faithful, the father of the faithful. And that gospel message was right there, at the heart of what Abraham’s calling was all about.
Of course, we know the story, God ultimately began to work with a special people, a people that were supposed to be a model nation, they were supposed to live God’s way. In fact, He brought them out of slavery. And where did he bring them? To their own kingdom, to the Promised Land. It was supposed to be a model of what God’s Kingdom was all about, a land flowing with milk and honey. This physical kingdom was supposed to be a type as well. Now, we know the story, Israel had its problem. They didn’t obey. They didn’t follow Abraham’s example in that. And so what ultimately happened? And they got to a point, split the kingdom in two and then later on Israel disobeys God. They’re carried off in the captivity by the Assyrians. Judah didn’t do much better. They were carried off into captivity by Babylon. And that king with the funny long name… what was his name? King Nebby, right? That’s easy way to say it. Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar carried those Jews off into captivity and conquered them.
And in Babylon, something interesting takes place that is related to the gospel message. There was this interesting situation where he has a dream, an odd dream about a stone. Now, if any of you are carpenters or stone masons, you know what it takes. You got to sometimes form this stone to fit just right. You know, maybe as you’re putting your fireplace together, yeah, just the right size, just the right cut, just the right piece that’s going to fit in there. And how does that happen? Well, normally, it doesn’t happen by chance. Normally, that mason has to chisel that stone a little bit and fix it and make it work and then boom, it fits in the spot.
In Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, here is this stone that isn’t cut by hands. It just seems to come out of nowhere. That’s just the right stone for just the right purpose at just the right time. And Nebuchadnezzar has a scary dream and awesome dream about this very event and the Kingdom. Let’s notice it over in the book of Daniel. I’d like to read about a stone that was cut without hands. Because we saw at the beginning of the gospel all the way back in Genesis, we saw Abraham’s calling and that same gospel continuing. Well, here fast-forwarding to the time of Nebuchadnezzar, we have an interpretation of a dream that scared the pants off of Nebuchadnezzar. It wasn’t just some nice little counting sheep kind of dream.
In fact, Daniel 2:31 Daniel 2:31You, O king, saw, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before you; and the form thereof was terrible.
American King James Version×, we see this dream was a scary thing. It was troubling Nebuchadnezzar. He was really beside himself trying to figure out what does this dream mean? And it’s all connected to the gospel. None of his magicians could figure it out. So he finally calls Daniel, a man of God to interpret the dream, ultimately, that God would interpret the dream. So in verse 31, the dream is described. Daniel tells him his dream because Nebuchadnezzar wasn’t going to tell the dream. He’s so frightened of it. He wasn’t going to tell anybody. So Daniel had to know what the dream was all about in order to interpret it. And so he tells him the dream. Verse 31 of Daniel 2, “He says, ‘You, O King, were watching; and behold, a great image… a great image! This great image, whose splendor was excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome.’” I mean, this was a monster, a statue that scared Nebuchadnezzar just in its size and the way that it looked, he was scared and he wanted to know what it meant. And so Daniel comes verse 32, he says, “The image’s head was a fine gold,” that was number one. Number two, it says, “its chest and arms were of silver,” number three, “its belly and thighs of bronze,” number four, “its legs of iron, and feet partly iron and partly clay. And you watched, you watch this statue, this great image, eventually watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces.” But not the end of the story.
“Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, the gold were crushed together, it became like chaff from the summer threshing floor;” is just like leftovers. “And the wind carried them away so much so that no trace of them was found.” And here we have the fifth thing happening, “The stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.” And so Daniel explains this dream. Now what in the world does this dream have to do with the gospel? What has it have to do with the everlasting gospel? Well, we know these parts of the statue are all about different kingdoms, different empires, different world-ruling dominating powers that would come throughout history. And Nebuchadnezzar was the first. He was Babylon. And we recognize it points to Persia, and then to Greece, and then to Rome.
But ultimately, none of those are going to last. None of them did, none of them will. Because Daniel says the Most High God rules. And so he prophesied about that very thing. So despite what man’s governments may do, ultimately, this stone, Jesus Christ, is going to come and establish the Kingdom of God, because ultimately, this stone would lead to the fifth Kingdom, the ultimate Kingdom, the Kingdom that is established at the destruction of all the others. And so Daniel talks about that. Look at verse 44. Daniel 2:44 Daniel 2:44And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
American King James Version×, “And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom.” It’s all about kingdoms. It’s all about governments. And man’s governments are over. They are not going to last. God is going to set up a “kingdom that shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom will not be left to other people.” Not going to be a human thing, no men are going to run this kingdom, that kingdom, like that stone, “shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms and shall stand forever.”
So what we see here is a chain, a power… this is not just a little transition from this kingdom to that kingdom, and this ruler to that ruler, no, it’s none of that sort of thing. This is about positive upheaval, this is going to be a violent change, mankind’s not going to give it up, God is going to destroy human governments. That’s what’s going to happen. This is not what something, “Oh, it’s talking about the Jewish restoration and there’ll be this country that…” This is not talking about that. This is talking about Jesus Christ returning, that stone that was made without hands, that ultimately will establish the Kingdom of God on earth. That’s part of the plan of God. That’s His purpose that ultimately God’s Kingdom will overthrow all human governments. And His way will be the only way.
And in fact, as we consider this stone made without hands and the ultimate Kingdom to come, Christ spoke of that very Kingdom. And in fact, He added some other facets so that we can have a deeper understanding, you know, like a diamond. When you look at a cut diamond, why does it shimmer? Why does it shine? Sometimes under those lights, especially at the jeweler’s place, they glow those diamonds just stand out. I get at home, it doesn’t look quite the same. But it’s because of the way it’s cut. It has all these beautiful facets, these different edges that just make it shine. And the gospel is like that.
And Christ brought another facet of the gospel that is truly amazing. Let’s fast forward to the gospel message that Christ brought that ultimately we’re all of these things. And then maybe even just a little bit more. Let’s notice what Christ spoke about as He began preaching and teaching. You know, what did He say? You know, as He appears on the scene with the gospel, how does He start? What does He say? What does He preach? Well, we can find that over in Mark 1. So turn with me over to Mark 1:14 Mark 1:14Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
American King James Version×. Mark 1:14 Mark 1:14Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
American King James Version×records for us the very beginning of Christ preached teaching and teaching. And it’s powerful the way it records for us exactly how He began.
Mark 1:14 Mark 1:14Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
American King James Version×, it says, “Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee,” What was He doing? “Preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God.” Well, what is that gospel of the Kingdom of God? Well, it’s all these things we’ve been talking about. Like God is going to establish His kingdom, Christ is going to return. But it’s about creating a spiritual family as well. It’s about obedience in that kingdom. And we see that in Verse 15, Christ said, “The time is fulfilled the kingdom of God is at hand.” What about it? What should we do? Well, He says, “Repent, and believe the gospel.” And so as Christ begins His earthly ministry, what was His primary focus?
Wow, sounds a lot like what Adam and Eve were told, “You are to be in the image and likeness of God.” Sounds like Abraham, “Get out of your country. Believe the gospel. You’ve got to change.” And so here we find at the start of Christ’s earthly ministry. Yes, Christ focuses on the solution to sin — Himself. He was the Messiah. But He also points forward to the Kingdom that’s coming. The good news that this world is in a heap of trouble, and it is a mess, and it is bad news. But the good news of the coming Kingdom this world desperately needs, it needs the reign and rule of Jesus Christ. So Christ pointed to that very thing. And He taught about a literal Kingdom that was to be set up, but a spiritual one, that the Kingdom of heaven would come and rule on earth with Christ as its ruler.
And so Christ preached and he taught about that Kingdom. And yes, along the way, He condemned sin. He talked about the fact that you must change. You have to change your thinking, change your attitude, change your behavior, and repent. He stressed that very thing, the need for an absolute different lifestyle, a new way of life. And how is that going to be possible? I mean, the hope that Christ brought was by His death, by His burial, and by His resurrection. That was going to make it possible to live in the image of God. His death and burial and resurrection and the giving of the Holy Spirit was what was going to make it possible to overcome sin and live in the likeness of God because He was proclaiming there is a new order at hand. Now you got to have the mindset. You’ve got to have the thinking that fits that coming Kingdom.
And what does that do? For those that God calls, that’s going to be like an Abraham, it’s going to change everything. It’s going to turn your world upside down. And that’s exactly what it did as the apostles continued to preach the gospel of the coming Kingdom. I mean, isn’t that true? Well, think about that for a minute. Turn over to Acts 17. Acts 17, we find the message of Christ that was spoken right there at the very beginning continuing, after Christ has left the scene, how Christ has ascended to heaven. What did the apostles preach and teach? Well, Acts 17, right at the very beginning, verse 1. They were preaching that same good news, the same plan and purpose of God. And so here we have them preaching that word. Here the apostle Paul, it says, verse 1, it says, “When they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to…” another difficult to pronounce city name, “Thessalonica.” Try to say that one without listening. They only went to cities with difficult names to pronounce. I guess that’s just the way it was. No, that’s not really.
But anyway, what did they do? They go to the “synagogue of the Jews. And Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from Scriptures,” and so oftentimes we’ll use the Scripture to point out. He didn’t say, “Hey, you guys got it all wrong. You should come on Sunday, tomorrow.” No, he went back Sabbath after Sabbath after Sabbath. He preached the Word of God. But interesting from there, what does it say? It says he was “explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, ‘This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.’” Jesus Christ is the Messiah. He lived and died. That was all part of the plan. That was all part of the purpose.”
And of course, so many of the Jews missed it. They thought He was supposed to be a conquering King right then. But that wasn’t the plan. He’s coming back to establish that Kingdom. And so what did Paul do? Paul didn’t start right there at that time frame. He went back. How did he reason with them? From the Scriptures. Paul goes back to what we would call the Old Testament. And he showed through prophecy, show through fulfilled Scripture that Jesus is the Christ. So you can imagine how mind-blowing that would have been for those who began to understand. And this was a whole revolutionary concept to most of them because some of them were still looking for a Messiah. Some of them, they couldn’t accept that teaching that, you know, “This Man that was supposed to be Emmanuel, God with us, He died. How could that be?”
Well, Paul showed them this was God’s purpose and plan all around. And when we recognize, I mean, did that somehow say, “We better overthrow the Romans right now?” I mean, that wasn’t Paul’s message. But what did some of them take from that message? You see some of the misunderstood. In fact, some got mad. They were irritated. They were totally opposed to this message of the gospel, which they misunderstood. And they got it all backwards. They got it all wrong. Was Paul advocating the overthrow of the Roman Empire? No, he was talking about the coming Kingdom of God. But some turned it around and accused him of sedition. And so when we look down a little farther, look at verse 6, Acts 17:6 Acts 17:6And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brothers to the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come here also;
American King James Version×, “When they didn’t find them, they drag Jason and some of the brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, ‘These who have turned the world upside down have come here too. Jason’s harbored them, and these are all acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there’s another king— Jesus.’ And they trouble the crowd and the rulers of the city when they heard these things.” So they accused Paul of trying to overthrow the Romans. The crowds were accusing Paul and the others of overthrowing the kingdom of Rome. Now, that wasn’t true. That’s not what they were saying. But it sure got Paul and the others in trouble. And as we see what he was actually doing, it was a whole turnabout. It was a whole upside-down view of what man’s perspective was all about. And the reason they got it messed up is because they only got bits and pieces of what the gospel was about. Because the gospel is about a literal Kingdom. It is about that, a literal, earthly Kingdom. It is about Christ as its King.
The Kingdom is about God’s people, His children, as His subjects. That is certainly a part of what the Kingdom is all about. And there are rules and regulations. God’s law is an important aspect of His coming Kingdom. Because it’s true. That’s part of the gospel message. And they did get it right, you might say, even though, okay, they got it wrong about the timing. They did get it. They didn’t think for a minute when Paul was preaching that, “Oh, this must be about a special little place in your heart that God is coming in your hearts, that God is Kingdom is in your heart. And so you’ll just have a warm, fuzzy feeling about…” No, that wasn’t it. You see, they got it. They knew it was about something a whole lot more than that.
Yes, you have a have to have a changed heart and a changed mind, no doubt. But the reaction and the outpouring of anger and emotion was showing the fact they did understand, they were afraid of the Roman authorities, they were afraid of what Paul might be saying, and they wanted him in prison. They wanted him out of the way. And the powerful impact of the gospel message changed the world. And it turned their world upside down. And when you consider that we recognize that’s what’s happening in our world today. Our world has got it all wrong. They think “We’re going to figure this out.” “Well, the next president will figure it out. Well, the Boris Johnson will figure it out. He’s the new prime minister of England. He’ll get it figured out. Of course, he would. Well, the European Union, they’ll figure it out.”
You see, somehow we got it all upside down. We’re not going to figure it out. In fact, if you look back at Revelation 14, we get to the idea of what’s happening in our world today. We are ever closer to the ultimate climax of where man’s ways lead. Has man figured out the solution in 6,000 years? Have we been able to govern and peace and love and harmony? We can’t. And what’s happening is we’re getting to more and more confusion, deeper and deeper problems that we can’t solve. We need the truth of God. You see, the bad news is man can’t figure it out. That is the bad news. The good news is God has a plan. God has a purpose. And it’s in the midst of when we’re just about ready to destroy ourselves completely that Revelation begins to show what will take place. And to add an exclamation point on the gospel message that’s been preached right from the very beginning, that God’s Church is continuing to preach it today and into the tribulation, and into this time of destruction that lies ahead of us what happens? An angel adds a punctuation mark, an exclamation saying, “This is the gospel! And it’s been this all along!”
So in verse 6, John says, “I saw this angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth— to every nation, every tribe, every tongue, and people— say with a loud voice, ‘If you haven’t heard the message yet, what have you been missing? You should have got it. That message is being preached in the whole world.’ And that angel proclaims with a loud voice, ‘Fear God, give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come.’” In other words, time has run out. “Worship Him who made heaven and earth, and sea and the springs of water.’” And so as earth-shaking world events are taking place, we recognize this ultimate point to the good news. Have this perspective, there is victory. You can overcome.
And as we recognize this gospel message, it is that same message, the stunning reality that God is going to intervene in mankind’s affairs. And ultimately, you should choose mankind, choose God’s way, choose to follow Him, choose to believe him, because ultimately, He’s going to establish a spiritual family in His image and in His likeness. And that’s what the message is all about. And so we can conclude some amazing things. When you put all the puzzle pieces together, the gospel hasn’t changed. It’s the same message. It’s unchanging. It’s everlasting. And if you doubt that, if we go back to Galatians for a minute, Paul says, “Don’t doubt it.” You can be assured of this. Look at Galatians 1:6 Galatians 1:6I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ to another gospel:
American King James Version×. Because in the conclusion of things, we see how it all fits together, like that beautiful diamond with all the various facets.
Paul lays it out I think in unmistakable ways hear that there is one gospel, there is one purpose in plan of God. So here as Galatia was getting off track, buying into, well, maybe similar types of things that Satan threw at Adam and Eve right from the beginning. They were getting off track and Paul’s trying to help them to see. So in verse 6 of Galatians 1, he says, “I marvel that you’re turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another.” There’s no other gospel, Paul says. He says, “But there’s some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.” Notice how strongly he says this.
He says, “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you then what we preach to you, let him be accursed.” There is no other message. There is no other gospel. There is no other plan. There’s just falsehood, that are spread by man and Satan and his demons but don’t buy into that. That’s going to lead you nowhere. And so he says, “As I’ve said to you before, so I now say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel than what you have received, let him be accursed.” And so God’s plan and His purpose are consistent throughout time. And ultimately, God wants good news for all of us. And the good news of the gospel isn’t just knowing these things and understanding these things. But as we’ve seen throughout history, the gospel should be a motivation. The gospel should motivate us to act. We should act and live accordingly.
We have been called to live in His likeness right now. We’re to live in his image. We’re to put on His way of thinking and we’ve got to be like an Abraham. We’ve got to get out of the ways of this world, to God’s ways. We have to get out of our country. Our calling includes get out of where we were comfortable and come to where God is calling. Answer His call and live His way of life, in His grace, in His mercy in His love. We have to live by that way. In fact, we’ve got to ask ourselves, “Who’s in charge of my life? Am I the king of my own kingdom or is Christ my King? Does God the Father rule my life? Who rules my life? Do I know what’s best? Do I know how to direct my steps or my Creator who made me? Does He know better? Should I follow Him?”
You see the gospel points to that very thing. The gospel says, “You better turn your own world upside down because you can’t live this way and be a part of the Kingdom of God.” God’s family is going to be different and you’ve got to turn your world upside down. Well, really, we’ve got to turn our life God’s side up. God’s side up, that’s the way to live, which ultimately means repent and believe the gospel, not just to believe it, but to live it, to obey it, to live by God’s way now. Because we have the hope of the gospel, the hope, that we know this is not all there is, this life is not all there is. There’s a resurrection that’s coming. There’s a coming time that Christ will return. And we have that hope of the gospel, that God is ultimately willing to share eternity with us.
And so right now we’re in the process of becoming full-fledged members of His the divine family, immortal children in the divine family of God. And the gospel message is about just that. And of course, you look through the Scriptures, it has so many different names for that one gospel. It’s the same gospel, with many facets, so whether we call it the gospel of Jesus Christ, or we call it the gospel of the Kingdom of God, or the gospel of God, the gospel of peace, the gospel of salvation, the gospel of repentance, the gospel of the grace of God. Or we could call it the proclaiming of the forgiveness of sin. We could call it the preaching of the cross, the word of God. We could call it the word of Christ, the word of salvation, the word of repentance, the word of reconciliation, the word of truth, the word of faith, the word of life. All of those designations are about the everlasting gospel.
The Bible points that they’re all one in the same and they show the big picture about the good news. The good news of God the Father and His son, Jesus Christ, what God has done and what God is continuing to do, and what God will do. And all of this is the good news. There is no bad news. There is no bad news. So let’s be sure to continue in our duty not only to preach the gospel but to live by the everlasting gospel of the Kingdom of God now and into the future.