“Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth–to every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.'” (Revelation 14:6-7)

Angels are messengers of God to mankind. They figure quite prominently in the book of Revelation, right from the beginning. An angel appeared to John and delivered to him the words and images we find so fantastic yet so very enigmatic. An angel stands over or represents each of the 7 churches that the Lord addresses. Here an angel delivers the gospel to the entire world, followed by the warning of God’s imminent judgment. It seems that this angel is the Church.

The proclamation of the gospel is the responsibility of the Church, that is, believers, not supernatural beings. The Lord Jesus commissioned His disciples, the Church, to preach the gospel of grace through faith. Yet down through the ensuing centuries that message became eclipsed by Law, a new law that transformed the gospel into a system composed of manmade rules and precepts enforced by a cumbersome, harsh, and elitist bureaucracy. This new law that was as difficult to keep as the Mosaic law, yet full of loopholes which allowed many to sin outright as well as to take advantage of or abuse the system. In 1517, Martin Luther stood up and restored the Gospel of grace through faith back to the center of the Church. The eternal Gospel which had been obscured was once again proclaimed for all the world to hear.

And it still goes forth so that despairing sinners may learn of and receive God’s mercy and grace. We Christians have a responsibility to warn sinners of the danger they face. We must share the comfort and hope we have been given with all those who are dead in their sins, overwhelmed by their guilt and despair. We must tell them of the mercy of God who is willing to forgive and transform all mankind. This message of the gospel of grace drove me and millions of other believers into the loving hands of Jesus Christ: love not fear; mercy not judgment; the blood of Christ, not my works. There is hope for this sinful world in Christ alone! And we ought to let everyone know it.