The Bible’s last book, Revelation, focuses on the culmination of the age-long controversy between good and evil. Lucifer, a rebel angel, challenged the justice, fairness, and wisdom of God. He claimed that God was unfair and unjust in the way that He administered the universe. Revelation’s final judgment is at the very center of this conflict over the character of God.
Revelation 14:7, reads: “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water” (NKJV). Why is it significant that right after we are told about the “everlasting gospel,” the first angel’s message talks about God’s judgment? What does the “everlasting gospel” have to do with God’s judgment?
The gospel and the judgment, both parts of the first angel’s message, are inseparably intertwined. Were it not for the “everlasting gospel,” we would have no hope in the judgment. In fact, as we will see, the “everlasting gospel” is, indeed, our only hope in the judgment. There is no question that part of the content of the gospel is the announcement of judgment.
During this judgment, the unfallen worlds will see that God has done everything He can to save every human being. This judgment reveals God’s justice and mercy. It says something about His love and law. It speaks of His grace to save and His power to deliver.
The judgment is part of God’s ultimate solution to the sin problem. In the great controversy between good and evil in the universe, God answered Satan’s charges on the cross, but in the judgment, He reveals that He has done everything possible to save us and to lead us to the cross.
Heaven’s infinite, minute, exact, detailed records will be opened (see Daniel 7:10). We are so precious to God that the entire universe pauses to consider the choices we have made in light of the wooing of the Holy Spirit and the redemption so freely provided by Christ on Calvary’s cross.
|Read carefully Psalm 51:1-4, especially verse 4. How do these verses help shed light on the meaning and purpose of the judgment?|