Chapter Sixteen: “God’s Last Pleading with His Children” (16:1)

I distinctly remember posting the below, but it doesn’t seem to be in the blog site, so just to be complete, here it is now.

The last of the sixty-six books of the Bible, the book of Revelation, describes the war that began up in heaven, triggered by distrust regarding God’s character and government (Rev 12:4, 7-10). A lack of trust led one-third of the brilliant and intelligent angels to rebel against God. That war is further described (Rev 14:6-12) as culminating in three final messages of warning and invitation, all sent from a heavenly Father who wants none of His children to be lost. So the same Bible book that describes the beginning of the war also speaks of its end.

The final resolution of this conflict of distrust includes the second coming of Christ and the restoration of this damaged planet to its original beauty and peace. But Revelation also tells us that some great and terrible events stand between us and that full restoration. We can trust the God we worship and admire not to leave His children unenlightened and unwarned. So He gave us a picture of three angels, bringing three messages from heaven. Each of these angels proclaims a special message of warning and invitation. I share the whole passage here:

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.”
A second angel followed and said, “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.”
A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he, too, will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name.” This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus (Rev 14:6-12, NIV).

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