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The Last Message for this World

Three angels message  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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intro:

I want to ask the kids in the room a question, actually I can ask you all, but for the adults present you have to think back to when you were a kid.
Do, or did your parents ever have a final warning for you? You know that thing parents do to get you to stop doing what you were doing that was bad, or maybe it was something they would do to get you to go to bed on time.
For me the most effective final warning, was the countdown. I’m going to count down from 5 and if you aren’t in your bed, I am going to (could be take away a privilege, time out wasn’t usually threatened at bed time, or the much feared wooden spoon or paddle, reserved for more disrespectful behaviors) 5, 4, 3, 2,....she never needed to get to 1. I was the youngest of 3, I already knew what happened when Mom got to 1, and I wanted no part.
Why couldn’t those countdowns be something like, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Here is an extra desert for finishing your vegetables!! (not “no desert, because you didn’t eat your broccoli!”)
As humans we need warnings! I’m thankful for warnings on the road, (traffic ahead, or construction ahead, gives me a chance to see if there is an alternate route to my destination, or atleast mentally prepares me for the long wait that will be coming on the road.
The Bible is filled with warnings! The prophets, often ignored in the Old Testament gave warning after warning to God’s people to repent. Often they would heed those warnings right at the last second. Kind of like 5, 4, 3, 2, “Okay Lord, have mercy, forgive us!” Other times they didn’t heed those warnings, this would lead to invasions and eventually being taken into captivity. Warnings also came in the form of reminders, reminding the people of God’s faithfulness and bringing the people out of Egypt, and God’s protection to his people during famine and attacks of other nations.
My friends, there is last message in scripture that gives both warning and reminder to God’s people…some would take this message as a warning to shape up or else....I choose to see the love of God permeated as a reminder for God’s people of His faithfulness. Today we are going to explain this final message for the world, but before we begin, lets take time to pray.
Today we are going to be bouncing around . These are chapters, I know some of you longtime Adventists are quite familiar with, and for some of you who haven’t spent much time in Revelation at all, don’t feel bad, I resisted the better part of my life avoiding Revelation. Like any passage we read in scripture, it is my desire for each of us to understand the context in which it is written in. If you look at the title of the sermon, and I’ve already said, were going to explore in , some of you may guess that the last message would be found in other wise known as the “Three angels message” You would be correct, and that is what many Adventists affectionately call it. Today, I am going to call those verses, “the last message for this world.” I’ll come back to that later.
portrays the final conflict of Earth’s history. The book doesn’t read like an American novel, it doesn’t read completely left to right where the climax takes place at the end. Now for those of you who have read revelation knows, the end of the book has a great conclusion. Jesus wins, in the battle of Armageddon and the great controversy! If your the type of reader who likes to cheat and skip to the end, you will find great things at the end of Revelation and the end of Bible for that matter. But in the center, some might call the heart of the book is chapters 12-14. from onward, the last moments of this drama are revealed: God’s intervention in favor of His saints in the form of 7 plagues. Plagues 6 and 7 depict the collapse of Babylon in the battle of armageddon. chapters 17-18 describe the fall of babylon in further detail, and then chapter 19 pictures the intervention of Jesus with His army as the rider on the white horse rescuing humanity, looking every bit the king and so much more, that the disciples pictured when Jesus came the first time. This depiction is followed by millenium in Heaven, in chapter 20, and then the new Heaven and New Earth depicted in the final 2 chapters of the book. So before these final events and maybe I should say, before the new beginning for God’s people, there is warning. It is a warning for not just God’s people, but all of humanity a universal message to everyone for the last time of Earth’s history.
Let’s get into the context of chapters 12-14. (Change slide)
Chapter 12 narrates in symbolic form:
The birth (coming forth) of the Messiah (the male child) from the true people of God (the woman) and the attempt of Satan (the dragon/serpent) to kill Him. ()
-----------Much of the Bible can be summarized in verse 1-5 of . Since Lucifer became Satan, he has been our saviors greatest enemy who relentlessly has tried to destroy this world and would like nothing more than to see our Lord suffer, by terrorizing what is most precious to Him, us.
Verses 6, 13-16 depicts symbolically Satan’s war against the church throughout the centuries (1260 days interpreted as 1260 literal years) after the ascension of the messiah to God in order to destroy it.
Verses 7-12 depict as a prequel to the narrative, the heavenly battle between (Jesus/Michael) and Satan, which ended in Satan’s defeat but not destruction.
Satan’s battle at the end time is with the remnant of the woman, the true offspring of the church, who are known as keepers of the commandments of God, whom hold the true testimony of Christ.
Everything Jesus created, everything He has built, everything and everyone he has saved, the devil is opposed to. There is a reason, Satan is referred to as a dragon and serpent and destroyer. He seeks the destruction of all things Holy. He desires to see Jesus lose everything precious to Him. Thus the great controversy is real. From the world’s genesis, until the destruction of Sin, the devil does not rest in his slander, traps, and ultimately plots to destroy God.
God’s plan is sure, though, His plan has ben enacted. Jesus life, death, and resurrection.
(Change slide)
Chapter 13 in two parts:
Chapter 13 in two parts:
develops how Satan attempts to achieve his goal of destruction of God’s people.
He uses a beast coming out of the sea to wage war against those who are true to God and to enforce universal worship of the dragon and the beast. ()
In addition, he uses a beast coming out of the Earth to erect an image of the first beast, forcing the world population to worship the sea beast and to accept the mark of beast. ().
Adventist scholars have interpreted the first half of to have taken place during the 1260 days taking place largely in the middle ages and the persecution of the early protestant reformation. The second half is interpreted as a a great world power (later in revelation to be called symbolically Babylon) declaring allegiance to the sea beast WHICH is doing the bidding of the dragon.
No wonder, so many who have preached Revelation have relied on scary beastly images. While hollywood draws millions into the movies for scary monsters and horror flicks, Revelation is a book of hope. I don’t believe the inspired word uses fear as its main draw. The message is not Fear the devil…run to Jesus! The message of Revelation is, Jesus loves us so much and HAS defeated the devil. Jesus does not terrify us into being followers of Him. He wins our heart with his faithfulness and love. He doesn’t threaten, He reminds us of his unrelenting love. The imagery of Revelation is to be taken seriously, for what it represents are literal events in the past, present, and future. But it is our faith in Jesus, that allows us to live in peace and without fear, not out of naivety, but out of faithfulness.
(Change slide)
Chapter 14
Chapter 14
This chapter, not only presents the divine counter message to the evil propaganda of wickedness, but demonstrates the final outcome of the great controversy.
First this chapter portrays those who have withstood the counterfeit trinity otherwise known as the satanic trinity. (the dragon, the sea beast, and earth beast known as Babylon). Those who withstand are with Jesus Christ, described as the symbolic 144,000, the remnant. ()
Then comes THE LAST MESSAGE TO THIS WORLD, the message of three angels which is proclaimed----BY THE REMNANT ()
Next occurs Christ’s 2nd coming, which is described symbolically as the harvest of the earth with 2 groups involved, the saved and the lost. ()
Church be comforted to know there is no trap, no plan, no beast, the devil can concoct that be able to expel God’s plan of salvation and the redemption of mankind. We must also recognize our great to need to respond to Christ’s calling. We must first accept Jesus as our savior personally, and understand by accepting Jesus, we are also accepting his calling to be ministers of the gospel to others in our lives.
Lets examine for ourselves God’s last message! (Change slide)
This message comes in 3 parts proclaimed by the 3 angels. But this message, although sounding like judgment, is nevertheless the great eternal gospel!
This message comes in 3 parts proclaimed by the 3 angels. But this message, although sounding like judgment, is nevertheless the great eternal gospel!
(Change slide)
Those of you with your Bibles this morning, please turn to:
Those of you with your Bibles this morning, please turn to:(Change slide)
Revelation 14:6–7 ESV
Then 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.”
Revelation 14:16–17 ESV
So he who sat on the cloud swung his sickle across the earth, and the earth was reaped. Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle.
Revelation 14:6–7 ESV
Then 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.”
Revelation 14:
This was the first part of the message. I hope you didn’t miss this:
(Change slide)
a. the universal proclamation of the eternal gospel!
a.
a. the universal proclamation of the eternal gospel!
Revelation shares with the rest of the New testament the conviction that the gospel must be preached to all nations before the end comes (; ). The eternal gospel of the last message is by definition good news for those who accept it.
(Change slide) The prologue of Revelation found in the first chapter gives us the easy understanding of the gospel many of have spent our lives over complicating.
Revelation 1:5–7 ESV
and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.
(Change slide)
Did you catch that?
Did you catch that?
Jesus loves us.
Jesus has saved us.
Jesus has set us in a new state, being a kingdom and priests.
Jesus comes again!
Therefore, those who die in the Lord have nothing to fear (). They rest until the resurrection day.
Found still in the first part of the last message is the command:(Change slide)
b. “Fear God and give Him glory”
b. “Fear God and give Him glory”
It is good news that even in this late hour of world history, salvation is still available. People can still make a decision for the creator God, accepting redemption. They can commit their lives to Him and give glory to Him, that is, repent (;) and acknowledge Him as the most important being in the entire universe. Glory is associated with creation (), but also with salvation (; ; ).
Maybe you are someone here who has at one point in your life felt it was too late for you and you thought, to God, you weren’t worth saving. Maybe that is you right now. I hope you have or are currently discovering, its not to late. While there is hope, there is urgency to the angel’s command! The angel says next: (Change slide)
c. “The hour of His judgment has come.”
c. “The hour of His judgment has come.”
I could go into a sermon just on this statement, so I will briefly summarize: The final message is good news because the “pre-advent judgment” is in progress (). The one found worthy to sit on the judgment seat. In the Heavenly sanctuary, depicted in many places in Revelation, Christ is still working on our behalf. The work is being done to save as many as can possibly saved.
Have you ever met another Christian who felt it was his or her life’s mission to make sure it was known who all the people who would not be saved are exposed? That is not the purpose of being a Christian, in fact that is the opposite. Jesus’ work as our High Priest is about salvation, and for that reason, we find hope in the judgment. He doesn’t need our help in exposing those who have rejected Him.
The first angel commands also for us to: (Change slide)
d. worship Him.
d. worship Him.
This is good news because it calls us to worship God instead of a demonic or human made system (, , ) Counterfeit worship systems are coercive and oppressive, and cannot give peace or a real future. They do not provide meaning in life as the Lord does.
Those of you who are practicing good nutrition in the meals you prepare and indulge, know that you want to ingest good calories and not empty ones. Empty calories offer the body no long lasting positives. Counterfeit worship systems are empty calories. They are of no value to us. Worship the God in Heaven, and him alone! Worship Him: (Change slide)
e. “Who made the Heaven and the Earth and the sea and the springs of water.”
e. “Who made the Heaven and the Earth and the sea and the springs of water.”
This good news is a call to worship the creator God. Creation and salvation are linked in the NT and in Revelation. We cannot have one without the other. If there was no creation in the beginning, it does not make much sense to expect re-creation at the end of human history.
What should not be missed, but often is, is the phrasing. The phrasing is taken directly from the 4th commandment; it has in mind the sabbath commandment. During the last period of Earth’s history, faith in the creator God and keeping his commandments—including the gift of the sabbath commandment—will be challenged. The conflict will focus on how we relate to God and his law. The law and more specifically, the Sabbath will become a sign of our faith in God in full view of the rest of humanity.
(Change slide)
Now that brings me to the 2nd Part of God’s final message:(Change slide)
Now that brings me to the 2nd Part of God’s final message:
Revelation 14:8 ESV
Another angel, a second, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality.”
The first statement: (Change slide)
a. “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great.”
a. “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great.”
proclaims the spiritual fall of Babylon. This is in a sense good news because people can leave behind deception and come out of Babylon. There is a bit of a repeat in with the call to leave Babylon. Justice, vindication, and bright future will be revealed to those who heed this warnings and reminders. This call to leave Babylon is a call for saving, not simply a call of destruction and condemnation as many would place their focus. God’s emphasis is on saving as many as possible. He gives his people the freedom of choice. This is opposite of Babylon itself.
(Change slide)
b. “she has made all the nations drink from the wine of her sexual immorality.”
b. “she has made all the nations drink from the wine of her sexual immorality.”
Babylon will try and force all people worldwide to accept a system of worship, which is counterfeit. It will call God by name, but is really opposed to the true God in Heaven. It is blasphemous, idolatrous, and therefore, immoral system. Not all will follow Babylon. There will as has always been be a remnant. Revelation tells us the 144,000 (a symbolic number) will follow the lamb, Jesus Christ.
I have more to say about the “remnant” but I’ll come back to that in a minute.
(Change slide)
There is then the 3rd Part of the message:
There is then the 3rd Part of the message: (Change slide)
Revelation 14:9–13 ESV
And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.” Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”
I want to first draw your attention the message of: (Change slide)
a. False Worshippers will “drink of the wine of the wrath of God”
a. False Worshippers will “drink of the wine of the wrath of God”
I this third part of God’s final message, the angel announces the Lord’s final judgment on those who worship the beast or its image and carry the mark of the beast. It’s kind of interesting here God, in response to the Babylonian wine of wrath offered comes with his own wine of wrath. The followers of the beast—which will include many professed Christians---have made a decision against Jesus (the lamb) and have persecuted His people. God’s action is an act of intervention for His people. God’s act is not a retaliation per say, it is a rescue and intervention. It is the end of tyranny. God does not force his will on people, he allows for choice. This is a characteristic we can use between a counterfeit worship system of Babylon and truly followers of God. Allegiance is not forced but chosen.
Now I want to come back to the remnant, the ones known as saints.
() examines (Change slide)
b. the saints and their characteristics
b. the saints and their characteristics
Contrasted, are the worshippers of the beast, with the true worshippers of God and followers of Jesus. (Change slide) here are there characteristics
They are patient and persevere. They do not give up.
They keep the commandments of God with emphasis to the ten commandments and the sabbath.
They remain faithful to Jesus. They rely on His saving grace and live with the Lord day by day. They rely on him completely (which is justification of faith by grace).
The remnant characterized by humility. They recognize their need for a savior. They don’t announce their divine birthright…They recognize Jesus saving ability and bow in reverence to His saving power. The remnant are caretakers of the remnant message truth of Jesus, as Israel was in the Bible.
Lastly there are listed in verse 13: (Change slide)
c. blessings
c. blessings
The blessings pointed out are, although some have to pay for their loyalty and relationship with Christ with their lives or may die during the end time, they are counted as blessed. They will rest until the resurrection. Their deaths are not in vain.
This is God’s last message, and it is a wonderful one!
If you have had trouble following the details, here is the summary.
The first message emphasizes worship of the creator in contrast with man-made systems and worship of satan. It accents the pre-advent judgment and obedience to God, including sabbath keeping.
The second message reminds us of reminds us of Babylon’s doom and those who are caught up in it. As Lot and his family were encourages to leave sodom and Gomorrah because of its coming destruction, God calls God’s people to remove themselves from the fallen Babylon.
The third message does not only depict the judgment on Babylon but also the character, and to some extent the fate, of the faithful ones. It is a group of humble followers of God who are marked by love and follow Him no matter what happens. Like Shadrach, Mishac, and Abednego, they refuse to bow in false systems of worship no matter the earthly consequence.
So what is the take away? (Change slide)
Well there are several challenges extended to the believers and followers of Jesus.
Well there are several challenges extended to the believers and followers of Jesus.
Take God’s reminders and warnings seriously.
Let us not be like God’s people of the OT. Let us not be captivated by the world, but heed the warnings given! Jesus is coming again soon. Let us be prepared to receive Him! Let us be faithful and repent of our sins and accept the grace God offers to those who come to Him.
2. Let us not keep it to ourselves.
We are to pass on the light we have been given and recognize this as our sacred responsibility. We are to extend invitations for others to become children of God, and to be aware of the end time deception, and to let them know there is an end of suffering coming. The end will be a time where there will be no more pain, no more, fear or fighting, there will be peace. Let us not keep this news to ourselves!
(Change slide)
2 Calls
Will you commit to spreading the good news!
Is there someone who has been wrestling with committing their life to Jesus? Will you come forward!
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