Love & Warning

“And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God's wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.”
Revelation 14:9-10 ESV

Love and warning, these two realities go hand in hand throughout the Bible. God has done everything possible to redeem us. God appeals to our hearts through a manifestation of his goodness and the infinite value he places upon us. But God does not stop here, he is also painfully honest regarding the price selfishness demands of those who cling to it.

The colorful imagery of Revelation is intended to create a dramatic contrast in our minds and hearts between good and evil. The coercive selfish power of the beast is contrasted with the selfless Lamb of God. The seal of God and the mark of the beast, in earth's final hour, are fixed upon people who have made their final choice. Some by faith in God's love have accepted the gift of life purchased at infinite cost. Others have been consumed by darkness through a refusal to acknowledge God and his desire to deliver them from sin. Love and surrender are battling against rebellion and entitlement for the hearts of men.

God appeals through his love as well as through an honest accounting of what lies ahead. Fear cannot bind our hearts to God, but honesty regarding the consequences of rebellion should give all food for thought. The appeal of the 3rd angel of Revelation 14 is for the saints to endure in the light of what lies ahead. God knows that we need reminders that our striving against sin is not in vain. We need to know there is an end in sight. We need a continual awareness that a work remains to be done. A work of loving appeal to those not awakened to God's love and the reality of a better way.

Still Seeking His Face,
Pastor Andrew

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