“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 14:6-7)
John’s vision of an angel proclaiming the vital importance of the gospel to all people occurs in the midst of visions of God’s coming judgment. The angel calls upon all those who are not marked by the blood of the lamb to come away from their idolatry and worship the Lord God who made all things. The time for judgment will come upon them and it will be too late. They will no longer be granted grace or faith only God’s condemnation for they failed to acknowledge Him as Lord and Ruler over them.
Many people in this life hesitate to follow Jesus for, as John’s visions reveal, following the gospel comes with a price. The followers of the Lamb will endure much tribulation. They will lose all that the world values, even their lives. They will seem to have been defeated while the wicked and unsaved will prosper, succeed and receive the adulation of the world. But in reality the redeemed are the fortunate ones. The success of the wicked is temporary for the eternal punishment and suffering they face is quite horrible. They will suffer God’s wrath while the redeemed enjoy eternal blessings. The contemplation of this eternal fate can drive many from their lives of immorality and materialism to the Lord for it shows them that the Lord is serious about sin and that He is able and willing to do all it takes to destroy it. Thus, while there is still time, it is up to us, Christ’s followers, to confront sin and unbelief with God’s truth in love so that all will be warned and many may come to faith in Christ.