Revelation 14:6 “Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on earth–to every nation, tribe, language, and people.”
The message the angel proclaims is not merely traditional. It is more than ancient. By nature, it is eternal. It is a message which remains ever the same. It never wears out.
That is not the kind of message many are itching to hear. The founder of one church confesses that it was his intention from the start to replace expositions of Bible passages with “talks” designed to apply Bible principles to life. He wanted more emphasis on “now.” This is symptomatic of what modern Christians consider relevant. Relevant is seen as things which are helpful for having a successful career, a wonderful marriage, or nice children. We don’t think much about getting right with an offended God.
This is not to say that relevant is bad. God’s eternal message is always relevant. But that message is unchanging, and rather than finding that disappointing, there is comfort in knowing that the message is the same for every people in every age. God doesn’t have a different way to be saved for each individual. He doesn’t have a dozen options from which to choose. There is only one. That simplicity, consistency, and sameness is what makes God’s message to us one we can trust. It makes God’s message a rock solid foundation on which we can build our lives now and forever. It won’t shift or change when we need to be sure: Sure of what God wants, sure of his love, sure that we are saved.
That eternal message is the gospel. By its very nature it is good news. It has never been God’s intention to gather us together to hear his word so that he could tie up heavy burdens, put them on our backs, and send us home with a list of things we aren’t doing right. The gospel doesn’t focus on things we have to change, more work we have to do.
It is the good news that God has set us free. He has set us free from the judgment our sins deserve. He has set us free from uncertainty about where we stand with God. “Is this enough? Now am I good enough? Now have I done enough?”
The gospel is the good news that God did not send Jesus as a new law-giver, a better role model, a demanding Judge. He sent him to take the burden of keeping the commandments on his own shoulders. He sent him to fulfill what we daily fail to do, in our place. He sent Jesus to carry the whole burden of sin–all of it–to the cross and dispose of it for time and eternity. He sent Jesus to rise again to life, set us free from death, and live in our hearts by faith. Jesus makes us the children of God.
God has set you free from everything you owed him in his Son Jesus Christ. He declares you free from your sinful past. It is as though it never even happened. He declares you free from the sins in your future. They will not condemn you. He declares you free from your sinful struggles. They will not become your master. This good news is forever, as certain today as it was the day the Lord first announced it. It is good news that will never end.