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Last Chance for Eternal Life

God gives us chance after chance for eternal life, but each chance given might be the last chance for eternal life in Jesus.

 

Revelation 14:1-20 1 Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb, and in their mouth no lie was found, for they are blameless.

 

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.”

 

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.”

 

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!”

 

14 Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and seated on the cloud one like a son of man, with a golden crown on his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand. 15 And another angel came out of the temple, calling with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, “Put in your sickle, and reap, for the hour to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is fully ripe.” 16 So he who sat on the cloud swung his sickle across the earth, and the earth was reaped.

 

17 Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. 18 And another angel came out from the altar, the angel who has authority over the fire, and he called with a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle, “Put in your sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, for its grapes are ripe.” 19 So the angel swung his sickle across the earth and gathered the grape harvest of the earth and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. 20 And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress, as high as a horse's bridle, for 1,600 stadia.

 

How do you know that the chance you are getting is the last chance? The last chance to see a loved one. The last chance to say goodbye. The last chance to ask for forgiveness. The last chance to offer forgiveness.

 

One of my boys is a troublemaker. If you know them, you know which one to I am referring. He gets chance after chance and even when we say firmly that it is his last chance, he thinks there is going to be another chance… until there isn’t and he faces the consequence. 

 

The problem is that God gives us chance after chance for eternal life and like my son, many of us think there will be another chance until there isn’t and we face the eternal consequences. People need to know that each chance they get might be the last chance for eternal life in Jesus.

 

Mankind has and will receive chance after chance until there are none left.

 

In Revelation 13, people took the mark of the beast.

 

In Revelation 14, God gave them the last chance for eternal life before they face eternal consequences.

 

The big idea is, don’t wait for another chance to receive the gift of eternal life in Jesus because there might be none left because just as the last breath doesn’t announce itself before physical death comes, the last chance for eternal life doesn’t announce itself before eternal death comes.

 

As we continue “Uncovering Revelation,” verse by verse, in Revelation 14, God offers one last chance for eternal life to challenge the hearer to take and offer this chance to every lost person by professing, proclaiming, and preserving the truth of the Gospel.

 

Professing the Truth of the Gospel (Revelation 14:1-5)

 

First comes the profession of faith where the bad news of hell and eternal damnation generates a genuine desire for eternal life through faith alone, Christ alone, and grace alone, and not through any works of man.  After the rapture, during intense persecution, many will profess their faith in Jesus. It is necessary to profess the truth of the Gospel by standing with, for, and in Jesus.

 

By Standing with Him. Revelation 14:1 reads, Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads.” The Lamb is the crucified, risen, and coming again Christ.

 

Revelation 7 tells us that the 144,000 people are from each tribe of Israel who were sealed for God. Mount Zion in Psalm 9:11, Isaiah 8:18, and Jeremiah 50:5 refers to God’s Kingdom on earth as promised to David in 2 Samuel 7:12-13.

 

It is a reference to the Messianic Kingdom that will operate from Jerusalem. Revelation 13 revealed that with the power of Satan, the antichrist will erect a final empire with the mark of the beast. This one religion and one political global government will go against Israel. At this point, the Messiah will descend and stand on Mount Zion, and with him, will stand those marked with the name of Lord Jesus and His Father. The principle we learn here is, that when we stand with Jesus, He stands with us to fulfill His promises of eternal life.

 

By Standing for Him. Revelation 14:2-3 continues. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, 3 and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth.”

 

In Revelation 4, these elders represented all the believers, Jews and Gentiles, and four living creatures were the high-ranked angels— cherubim. There they worshiped God, day and night but here they could not learn the song of the 144,000. Singing songs is worshiping God.

 

In Revelation 13, Satan fabricated the unholy trinity to force people to worship him or be killed. The tribulation saints chose persecution and death over worshiping Satan. Probably, their faithful endurance allowed them to experience the Lord in a way that no other creature would ever experience. Thus, their worship song is unique.

 

The principle we learn here is that by standing for Jesus and worshiping Him alone in all life situations, we experience Jesus in a special way that is unique to us.

 

By Standing in HimRevelation 14:4-5 says, “4It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb, 5 and in their mouth no lie was found, for they are blameless.” 

 

They are blameless; Jude 1:24-25 says, “24 Now to him [Jesus] who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” Jesus makes us blameless. The defiling of women in Revelation 14:4 is not just adultery but idolatry. By following Christ, believers can overcome their lust for the world and worldly things. 

 

Have you ever seen purity rings? I was watching a show in which the main character wore a purity ring so that he could corrupt a small Christian group trying to be pure until marriage. God wants from us purity of mind, heart, and body but Satan brings provocative, pervasive false gospel into the Church to corrupt believers.

 

The application is, if the tribulation saints can profess the Gospel truth by standing with, for, and in Jesus we should too, no matter the cost. In Matthew 10:32-33, Jesus said, 32 So everyone who acknowledges [that is professing] me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven. 33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.”

 

Proclaiming the Truth of the Gospel (Revelation 14:6-11)

 

Many Christians profess the gospel, but they don’t proclaim the Gospel. In Revelation 14:6-11, we find that it is necessary to proclaim the truth of the Gospel by sharing the Gospel verbally, victoriously, and vividly. 

 

By Sharing the Gospel VerballyRevelation 14:6 reads, “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.”

 

God has always used priests, prophets, and preachers to preach the Gospel. Always humans, but in the end times, God will send angels to proclaim the gospel. That is a verbal proclamation of the eternal gospel that is eternal because the gospel is both the person of Christ and what He taught. Since He is eternally unchangeable, His Gospel is also eternally unchangeable.

 

To live out the gospel includes verbalizing the source of change in your life. Only by sharing verbally can we share the truth in Revelation 14:7, 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.” ” God’s love and justice must be spoken.

 

By Sharing the Gospel VictoriouslyRevelation 14:8 continues, “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.” ”

 

Ever since Genesis 10-11, when Nimrod, meaning rebel, built a city called Babel, Babylon is the symbol of adultery and idolatry. Often, Israel was called adulterous for being unfaithful to God. Revelation 14:8 declares victory over the source of adultery and idolatry. When we proclaim the gospel, we should share the Gospel’s victory over sin and its consequences.  

 

By Sharing the Gospel Vividly. Revelation 14:9-11 reads, “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. This is the description of Hell. So vivid. Too many of us feel uncomfortable talking about Hell, fire and torment. We want to present a soft image of Jesus. Listen to v.11, 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.”

 

I was listening to a pastor who said that he grew up with clear teachings of judgment, hell, fire, and torment. I can relate to him. Yes, today I follow Jesus because of His love and sacrifice for me but initially, I repented and accepted Jesus because I didn’t want to go to hell. 

 

The application for the unsaved is this that hell, fire, and eternal torment are real, and without Jesus, no one can escape them. So, repent and receive the gift of eternal life. However, if you do profess your faith in Jesus, then proclaim the gospel verbally, victoriously and vividly. 

 

Preserving the Truth of the Gospel (Revelation 14:12-20)

 

We preserve the truth of the Gospel by giving it away— by professing it and proclaiming it in all seasons of life. In Revelation 14, we see the seasons of hardships, harvest, and hostility. 

 

In the Season of Hardships. Revelation 14:12 says, “Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.” We also saw this verse in Revelation 13:10.

 

This shows the seriousness of the call to endure but not in our own strength rather by the power of God’s Word and our faith in Jesus. If we do that, the season of hardship will be a blessing. Verse 13 says, “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!” For the saved, death is a blessing because we will enter eternal life but for the unsaved it is a curse because they will enter eternal damnation.

 

In the Season of Harvest. Revelation 14:14-16 continues. “14 Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and seated on the cloud one like a son of man, with a golden crown on his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand. 15 And another angel came out of the temple, calling with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, “Put in your sickle, and reap, for the hour to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is fully ripe.” 16 So he who sat on the cloud swung his sickle across the earth, and the earth was reaped.”

 

In Matthew 13:30, Jesus said, “Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, “Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ”

 

In the Season of Hostility. Revelation 14 finishes with verses 17-20, “17 Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. 18 And another angel came out from the altar, the angel who has authority over the fire, and he called with a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle, “Put in your sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, for its grapes are ripe.” 19 So the angel swung his sickle across the earth and gathered the grape harvest of the earth and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. 20 And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress, as high as a horse's bridle, for 1,600 stadia.” This blood bath is the judgment of God against those who will reject the last chance for eternal life. 

 

The application for Revelation 14 is, if you are not saved, then repent and accept eternal life and if you are saved, then thank God that He chose to save you by the power of His word.

 

In the beginning, I shared about my son. The other day after the final chance, we sent him to his room. He asked what it will take to get out of his room. My wife said that if you lie down quietly in your bed for 20 minutes, you can come out. His consequence was limited and temporary. The consequence of not taking the last chance for eternal life is serious and permanent. Therefore, all believers in all times must profess, proclaim and preserve the truth of the gospel.

 

Commit to professing, proclaiming, and preserving the gospel of truth, love and justice, heaven and hell. 

 

Never minimize any part of the gospel. Share the love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness of Christ without minimizing God’s justice, holiness, and righteous anger against sin and the unsaved sinners.

 

Study Questions

 

1.       What is the significance of the Lamb standing on Mount Zion with the 144,000?

 

2.       Why couldn’t others in heaven learn the song that the 144,000 sang?

 

3.       Why is the antichrist's kingdom compared to Babylon in Revelation 14:8?

 

 

Deeper Study Questions

 

1.       What lesson do you learn from the endurance and faithfulness of the 144,000 in the midst of the most intense persecution that humans will ever face?

 

2.       What do you learn about God's judgment in Revelation 14:9-20?

 

3.       In Revelation 14:6-7, God gives one last chance to the entire world to receive the gift of salvation or else face the consequences listed in Revelation 14:14-20. Have you received the gift of eternal life? If you have not, what is stopping you? If you have received the gift of eternal life, share how you came to Jesus.

 

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