16 February 2016

BSF 2015-2016: Revelation 14

Revelation chapter 14 shows the contrast between the future of believers and the future of unbelievers.

The chapter begins with John seeing the Lamb standing on Mount Zion with 144,000 people who were redeemed and sealed by God. Then John heard a new song that only the 144,000 could sing. We don’t know if this scene is taking place in heaven or on earth. But we do know that Jesus is standing in victory on Mount Zion.

The 144,000 had a distinct lifestyle. They were physically and spiritually pure. They spoke the truth of the Gospel. They were blameless because of Christ. Their redeemed lives were marked by worship and wholehearted devotion.

The Lamb saved these followers to stand out in a sin-stained world. Today, believers must stand out so we can speak out. We must be different than the world. We must speak the full truth of the Gospel – the good news of eternal life with God when people accept the Gospel and the bad news of eternal judgment apart from God when people reject the Gospel.

God gives us many opportunities to turn to Him. But when someone rejects Him, he does not force Himself onto them. There is only one hope. Jesus is the only way to escape God’s wrath.

After seeing the Lamb on Mount Zion, then John saw three angels. They were messengers from God.

The first angel proclaimed the eternal Gospel to everyone on earth. Apparently some people still haven’t decided whether to follow the Lamb or the dragon, so the angel was permitted to share the Gospel.

The second angel said Babylon had fallen. Babylon is representative of the world system that opposes and rebels against God.

The third angel promised the fullness of God’s wrath upon anyone who was marked by the beast. They will experience eternal torment and will have no rest. In the end, these people will receive what they wanted all along – eternity without God.

Next John saw Jesus use a sickle to separate believers from unbelievers. Unbelievers will be gathered away from God and His people. They will face their eternal destiny of suffering and God’s wrath. They will not be able to escape God’s wrath.

Time is running out on the Lamb’s offer to escape God’s wrath.

Things to Think About
  • How God-honoring is my worship? How wholehearted is my devotion?
  • Will you follow the Lamb or the dragon? Are you sealed with the name of the Holy Spirit, or are you marked by the beast? Will you sing a new song, or will you worship the idol of the beast?
  • If you are marked by the beast, life will be easy for you on earth. But if you are sealed with the Holy Spirit, life will be easy for all of eternity.
  • This life is temporary. Believers live with an eternal perspective.

This Week’s Memory Verse
“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 14:7 NIV