Reading the Word
Revelation 14:6–13 (ESV)
6 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. 7 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.” 8 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.” 9 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, 10 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. 11 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.” 12 Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. 13 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!”
Understanding and Applying the Word
A first angel appears and proclaims the eternal gospel to all nations. Two additional angels appear with warnings to those who would reject the gospel and instead worship the beast. The warning is that God’s wrath will be poured out in full strength.
Once again, the purpose of this passage is mentioned towards the end. Verse twelve tells us that it is a call for the endurance of the saints – those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. Throughout history there have been times and places where it is difficult to stand for Christ due to persecution and rejection of the surrounding culture. Revelation describes a day when things will be at their worst and standing will have consequences for the believer. May God grant us strength and boldness in our day and situation to remain faithful to him.
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