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Copr. 1997, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.

LESSON 2 - THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL (REV 14:6,7)

INTRODUCTION: LAST WEEK WE LOOKED AT THE BACKGROUND TO THE 3 ANGELS
MESSAGE. THIS WEEK WE GET INTO THE BEGINNING OF THE MESSAGE: REV
14:6.

I. BREAKING THE ICE ON THE GOSPEL

     A. IMAGINE THAT YOU NEED TO PERSUADE SOMEONE TO DO SOMETHING
     THAT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO YOU.  WOULD YOU SIT DOWN AND PLAN
     WHAT YOU WERE GOING TO SAY TO THAT PERSON BEFORE YOU
     APPROACHED HIM?
     
          1. FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOU WANT A RAISE OR IF YOU WANT TO 
          CHANGE YOUR WORK HOURS, WOULD YOU JUST WALK INTO YOUR
          BOSS' OFFICE WITHOUT THINKING ABOUT HOW YOU WILL APPROACH
          THE ISSUE?
          
          2. DO YOU REMEMBER WHEN YOU WERE DATING?  DID YOU ASK FOR
          YOUR INITIAL DATE WITH A GIRL WITHOUT PLANNING WHAT YOU
          WERE GOING TO SAY FIRST?  
          
          3. IF YOU WERE A GIRL WHO WANTED TO DATE A SPECIFIC GUY,
          DID YOU PLAN HOW YOU COULD MEET HIM AND WHAT YOU WOULD
          SAY TO SHOW THAT YOU WERE INTERESTED?

          4. HOW ABOUT WHEN YOU PROPOSED MARRIAGE?  OR TRIED TO GET
          HIM TO PROPOSE MARRIAGE?

          5. HOW ABOUT A CONVERSATION WITH SOMEONE WHO IS MAD AT
          YOU, AND YOU WANT THEM TO BE YOUR FRIEND AGAIN?  DO YOU
          PLAN THAT CONVERSATION?
          
          6. THOSE KINDS OF CONVERSATIONS CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE. SO
          BEFORE YOU ENTER INTO THEM YOU DO SOME CAREFUL THINKING!

     B. LAST WEEK WE LEARNED ABOUT THE "BIG ANGEL" FLYING IN MIDAIR
     TO GIVE THE FIRST OF THE THREE ANGELS MESSAGES.  WE FOUND OUT
     THAT WE ARE THE PRIMARY MESSENGERS.  BUT THAT WE ARE WORKING
     IN CONJUNCTION WITH ANGELS.  LETS READ REV 14:6-7.

          1. SYMBOLICALLY WE HAVE THIS FIRST ANGEL SPEAKING.  DO
          YOU THINK THE ANGEL'S WORDS WERE CAREFULLY PLANNED?  DID
          GOD JUST SAY TO AN ANGEL, "SAY A FEW WORDS ABOUT MY
          COMING TO THE WORLD" AND THE ANGEL AD LIBBED A FEW LINES? 
          DID JOHN THE REVELATOR PROPHETICALLY SEE THIS ANGEL, NOT
          REALLY HEAR IT CLEARLY, AND JUST DASH OFF A FEW LINES HE
          THOUGHT WOULD BE CONSISTENT WITH THE MESSAGE? (THIS
          SOUNDS IMPOSSIBLE, DOESN'T IT?)

     C. VERSE 6 TELLS US THAT THE ANGEL HAD THE "ETERNAL" (NIV) OR
     "EVERLASTING" (KJV) GOSPEL. WHAT DOES v.7 REVEAL IS THE "HOOK
     LINE," THE ATTENTION GRABBER FOR THIS MESSAGE? OTHER THAN
     SPEAKING IN A LOUD VOICE AND FLYING AT THE SAME TIME? (THE
     ANGEL TIES IT TO THE JUDGMENT. HE TELLS US THAT THE GOSPEL IS
     RELEVANT NOW, BECAUSE THE TIME OF JUDGMENT IS NOW.)

     D. WE WERE TALKING ABOUT PLANNING IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS. IS
     THE MENTION OF THE JUDGMENT JUST HAPPENSTANCE?  OR DO YOU
     THINK THAT CONNECTION WAS CAREFULLY PLANNED BY GOD?  MUCH LIKE
     YOU WOULD PLAN AN IMPORTANT CONVERSATION?  (THIS MESSAGE IS TO
     RECONCILE US TO GOD, AND WHEN WE WANT TO BE RECONCILED TO
     SOMEONE WE THINK SERIOUSLY ABOUT IT.)

     E. SINCE THIS PICTURE IS SYMBOLIC, AND WE ARE REALLY THE "BIG
     ANGEL" IN MIDAIR, WHAT METHOD IS BEST TO INTRODUCE THE GOSPEL
     TO STRANGERS?

          1. HOW DO YOU START THOSE CONVERSATIONS?  

          2. I HAVE HEARD PEOPLE INTRODUCE THE GOSPEL BY SAYING IF
          YOU DIED TODAY, WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO YOU?  (I HAVE FOUND
          THAT PEOPLE ARE MOST SUSCEPTIBLE TO DISCUSSING THE GOSPEL
          WHEN SOMETHING DIFFICULT, SOMETHING LIFE THREATENING, IS
          HAPPENING IN THEIR LIFE.)

          3. DO YOU THINK THAT LINKING THE GOSPEL TO THE JUDGMENT
          REFLECTS GOD'S THOUGHTS ON HOW TO INTRODUCE THIS
          IMPORTANT SUBJECT?

          4. HAS FIRE AND BRIMSTONE GOTTEN A "BAD RAP?"
          
(SUGGEST THAT GETTING A PERSON TO THINK SERIOUSLY ABOUT THEIR
FUTURE -AND THE END OF THEIR LIFE- LEADS TO A SOBERING
CONSIDERATION OF THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.)

II. SHARING THE GOSPEL

     A. ALL RIGHT!  YOU ARE STEPPING INTO THE SHOES OF THE "BIG 
     ANGEL," HAVE BROKEN THE ICE WITH A STRANGER TO SHARE THE
     GOSPEL.  NOW WHAT DO YOU SAY?  OR DO YOU JUST GET THE FEELING
     YOU ARE IN "MID AIR" AND GOING DOWN FAST?

     B. WHAT DOES REV 14:7 SUGGEST IS THE GOSPEL? WHAT ARE THE 
     ELEMENTS OF THE MESSAGE?  (LIST)
          (1. FEAR (RESPECT) GOD
          2. GLORIFY GOD
          3. HOUR OF JUDGMENT HAS COME
          4. WORSHIP THE CREATOR.) (AND v.6 SAYS IT IS UNIVERSAL.)

     C. IS THAT WHAT YOU WOULD SAY IF I ASKED YOU TO EXPLAIN THE
     GOSPEL?  

     D. APPARENTLY THIS LIST FROM REV 14:7 THAT IS NOT WHAT THE 
     AUTHORS OF THE LESSON HAD IN MIND BECAUSE THEY IMMEDIATELY
     SHUTTLE US OFF TO ROMANS 1:16-17 INSTEAD OF LOOKING AT WHAT
     THE ANGEL ACTUALLY SAYS. (THE LESSON'S AUTHORS SPEND THE NEXT
     SEVERAL WEEKS LOOKING IN DETAIL AT WHAT THE ANGEL ACTUALLY
     SAID.)

     E. LETS GO WHERE THE LESSON SENDS US, AND SEE IF WE CAN FIND
     ANY COMMON GROUND WITH THE MESSAGE OF REV 14:7. TURN TO ROM
     1:16-17. READ.  WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS OF THIS MESSAGE? (LIST
     AND LINE UP WITH THE REV 14:7 LIST)

          1. NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED ABOUT
          2. IS THE POWER OF GOD TO SAVE
          3. REQUIRES BELIEF/FAITH
          4. IS UNIVERSAL

     F. NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED ABOUT.
          1. WHY WOULD PAUL SAY THAT THE GOSPEL IS NOTHING TO BE
          ASHAMED ABOUT?  IS THAT LIKE YOUR FOLKS SAYING, "WEARING
          YOUR BIG BROTHER'S (BIG SISTER'S) HAND-ME-DOWNS IS
          NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED ABOUT? (YES.  YOU WOULD NOT SAY
          THAT UNLESS THE IDEA THAT THERE WAS SOMETHING ABOUT WHICH
          YOU MIGHT BE ASHAMED WAS PRETTY OBVIOUS!)

          2. SO WHAT WAS THERE TO BE ASHAMED ABOUT HERE? (THAT 
          THEIR KING HAD DIED LIKE A CRIMINAL ON THE CROSS.  HOW
          COULD YOU GET ANY HELP FROM A KING LIKE THAT? IMAGINE IF
          YOU WORSHIPED SOMEONE WHO JUST GOT FRIED IN THE ELECTRIC
          CHAIR! CAN YOU IMAGINE STARTING UP A CONVERSATION WITH
          THE PERSON SITTING BY YOU IN AN AIRPLANE OR A TRAIN, "YOU
          KNOW THAT GUY WHO WAS FRIED LAST WEEK, WELL, TO ME HE IS
          GOD." THE PERSON YOU ARE SPEAKING WITH MIGHT ASK TO HAVE
          A SEAT CHANGE! 1 COR 1:18 SAYS THAT THE MESSAGE OF THE
          GOSPEL IS FOOLISHNESS TO THOSE WHO ARE UNSAVED.)

          3. SO, IS  SAYING THAT THERE IS NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED 
          ABOUT LIKE SAYING (REV 14:6) FEAR (PHOBEO: TO BE IN AWE
          OF) GOD? (ABSOLUTELY. THIS IS NOT SOME LITTLE STORY 
          ABOUT A TEACHER, WHO WE DECIDED TO FOLLOW, WHO IT TURNS
          OUT DIED LIKE A CRIMINAL AND WE ARE ASHAMED ABOUT IT.
          THIS IS THE WATERSHED EVENT IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. 
          AND OUR GOD PREVAILED!  SO FEAR HIM.  BE IN AWE OF HIM
          AND WHAT HE DID FOR US.)

          4. WE ARE PRETTY FAR AWAY FROM FIGHTING THE IDEA THAT 
          JESUS WAS SOME SORT OF COMMON CRIMINAL WHO DIED IN A
          HORRIBLE WAY.  BUT ARE YOU RELUCTANT TO SPEAK TODAY
          BECAUSE YOU ARE ASHAMED?  DOES THE FACT THAT THE
          WASHINGTON POST AND ITS EDITORS THINK IT IS "OK" TO CALL
          CHRISTIANS "POORLY EDUCATED" AND "EASILY LED" MAKE YOU
          THINK THAT THIS IS A GENERALLY HELD VIEW?  AND THAT IF
          YOU WITNESS FOR CHRIST YOU ARE LIKELY TO BE CONSIDERED
          UNEDUCATED AND GULLIBLE?

     G. THE POWER OF GOD TO SAVE.

          1. WHAT DOES PAUL SUGGEST THAT WE ARE BEING SAVED FROM IN
          ROM 1:16? (DEATH, JUDGMENT)

          2. IS THIS THE SAME MESSAGE THAT REV 14:6 CONVEYS WHEN IT
          SAYS "GIVE GLORY" "BECAUSE THE HOUR OF JUDGMENT HAS
          COME?" (YES.  BOTH BRING TO MIND THE JUDGMENT AND THE
          FACT THAT GOD IS THE ONLY WAY OUT. SO WHEN YOU SPEAK TO
          OTHERS ABOUT THE GOSPEL YOU WOULD SAY THAT CHRIST'S DEATH
          IS A WATERSHED EVENT AND THAT IT PROVIDED MAN WITH THE
          ONLY WAY OUT.)

     H. REQUIRES BELIEF/FAITH.

          1. ROM 1:16 MAKES FAITH THE KEY TO SALVATION. DO YOU SEE
          THAT IDEA IN REV 14:7? (YES. YOU GIVE GLORY TO GOD AND
          WORSHIP HIM IN THE CONTEXT OF THE IMPENDING JUDGMENT.)

          2. IN SHARING THE GOSPEL, YOU WOULD CERTAINLY EXPLAIN 
          THAT FAITH IN GOD IS ESSENTIAL FOR SALVATION AND ESCAPING
          JUDGMENT.

     I. SALVATION IS OPEN TO ALL: A UNIVERSAL MESSAGE.

          1. ROM 1:16 SAYS THAT THE JEW AND THE GENTILE ARE 
          ELIGIBLE FOR SALVATION.  "EVERYONE WHO BELIEVES" IS
          ELIGIBLE. IS THAT IDEA FOUND IN REV 14:6? (YES. THE
          MESSAGE GOES TO ALL.)

     J. CAN YOU SEE THAT ALL OF THE ELEMENTS OF THE GOSPEL AS SET
     FORTH IN ROM 1:16-17 ARE SET OUT IN REV 14:7?  THAT OUR ORDERS
     ARE TO SHARE THE GOSPEL?  THEN LETS DO IT! LETS BE SURE THAT
     "BIG ANGEL" IS UP AND FLYING!

     K. (IF NEED MORE TIME, ASK WHY GOD CHOSE US TO BE THE "BIG 
     ANGEL" INSTEAD OF A REAL ANGEL(S))

III. NEXT WEEK: "FEAR GOD."  REVELATION 14:7. STUDY!