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The Eternal Gospel: The Message of Mission

TUESDAY October 10

The Eternal Gospel: The Message of Mission

Read Revelation 14:6, 7. What aspects of God’s mission can you identify in the “eternal gospel” (NRSV) presented by the first angel of the three angels’ messages?

This is the only place in Scripture in which the words “eternal” and “gospel” are connected. The gospel is the good news of grace offered to all through Jesus Christ. He came into our world to show us “grace and truth” (John 1:14). He lived a sinless life and died on the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice to bear the penalty of our sins (Isa. 53:4, 5; 1 Pet. 3:18). He rose to life, returned to heaven, was exalted by the Father, and today intercedes for us in the heavenly sanctuary (Rev. 1:18, Acts 2:33, Heb. 7:25). He will soon fulfill His greatest promise—to return in majesty and glory and, ultimately, after the millennium to establish God’s kingdom on earth (John 14:1–4, Acts 1:11, Rev. 21:1–4). These are all essential realities of the eternal gospel.

Nevertheless, the fact that this message is eternal is remarkable. There is only one gospel that can save us. It will remain the same until the mission of God is fully accomplished. There will never be another gospel. Deceitful teachings and doctrines come and go (Eph. 4:14), but the message of salvation, the eternal gospel, is unchanging, and those who believe and live it in obedience will be rewarded (see Deut. 5:33, Rom. 2:6).

The same commission given to the first disciples also is given to us today. We must continue the task of making disciples for Christ everywhere. But what kind of disciples? Good, honest, fully devoted, loving people? These traits are essential, but they are not enough. We must make disciples focused on all biblical elements of discipleship (Luke 9:23; John 13:34, 35; 2 Cor. 5:17) with an ultimate purpose: being prepared and preparing others for the second coming of the Master, Jesus Christ.

“The proclamation of the judgment [Rev. 14:6, 7] is an announcement of Christ’s second coming as at hand. And this proclamation 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.”—Ellen G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 227, 228.

How is the concept of judgment linked to the “everlasting gospel” in the first angel’s message? Why must the gospel be central to the idea of judgment?

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