“Think on These Things” is a column by retired Creston pastor Ian Cotton
The gospel message proclaimed by the disciples told the good news of salvation through faith in Jesus. It pointed forward to His second coming in glory to redeem His people, and gave men the hope, through faith and obedience, of heaven.
This message is given to men today and coupled with it the announcement of the nearness of Christ’s second coming. The signs (pestilences – COVID?) which He Himself gave of His coming have been fulfilled, and by the teaching of God’s word, we may know that the Lord is at the door.
Revelation foretells the proclamation of the gospel message just before Christ’s second coming. He beholds an angel flying “in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, ‘Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come.’” Revelation 14:6, 7.
The proclamation of the judgment tells of Christ’s second coming as at hand. And is called the everlasting gospel. Thus the preaching of Christ’s second coming, the announcement of its nearness, is shown to be an essential part of the gospel message.
The Bible declares that in the last days, men will be absorbed in worldly pursuits, in pleasure and money-getting. They will be blind to eternal realities. Christ says, “As the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the son of man be.” Matthew 24:37-39.
So it is today. Men are rushing on in the chase for the almighty dollar and gain as if there were no God, no heaven, and no hereafter. In Noah’s day, the warning of the flood was sent to startle men in their wickedness and call them to repentance. The message of Christ’s soon coming is designed to arouse men from their absorption in worldly things. It is intended to awaken to a sense of eternal realities, that they may give heed to the invitation to heaven.
The gospel invitation is to be given to all the world — “to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.” Revelation 14:6. The last message of warning and mercy is to lighten the whole Earth with its glory. It is to reach all, rich and poor, high and low. “Go out into the highways and hedges,” Christ says, “and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.”
The world is perishing for want of the gospel. There is a famine for the word of God unmixed with human tradition. Though men have the Bible in their hands, most do not receive the blessing that God has offered them. The word of everlasting life must be given to those who are perishing in their sins.
Adapted from Christ Object Lessons