The Everlasting Gospel
Most of the Bible teachers that I've listened to sincerely believe that Jesus' church will be completely gone from the Earth when the fourth chapter of Revelation begins coming to pass, viz: the era of the so-called great commission (a.k.a. the church age) will be over; there won't be any born-again, Spirit-empowered Christian evangelists left anywhere on Earth preaching Jesus' gospel, yet according to Rev 7:9-17, many thousands of people will be saved during the church's absence. In my opinion, those numbers can only be attributed to the success of the everlasting gospel; which reads thus:
● Rev 14:6-7 . . And I saw another angel fly 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, announcing with a loud voice: Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
The everlasting gospel is a bounce from the very first chapter of Genesis. It's very elementary; pretty much all it says is:
1• There's a supreme being.
2• He deserves respect.
3• There's a frightful reckoning looming on the horizon, and
4• The cosmos— all of its forms of life, matter, and energy —is the product of intelligent design.
Giving glory to God basically requires giving Him credit where credit is due; and worship basically requires admiration, reverence, applause, and dignity.
The everlasting gospel's points are as valid in our day as they will be in the days ahead; viz: the everlasting gospel is timeless.
FAQ: How is God due glory?
A: Glory can be defined as high renown and/or honor won by notable achievements, viz: accolades. Well; speaking for myself; I have to say that the successful invention, design, and construction of the cosmos, with all of its forms of life, matter, and energy, is quite an achievement and speaks of the capability of a genius that deserves applause and admiration.
● Mark 16:15-17 . . Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
FAQ: What about the many millions of people in the past and the present who've never heard, nor ever will hear, Jesus' gospel? What's to become of them? How is it fair of God to condemn them to eternal fiery torment for unbelief?
A: Well; if I understand that passage in Mark correctly-- and also John 3:14-18, John 3:36, and John 5:24 --before people can be condemned for unbelief, they must first be given some information to think about.
Just because someone has yet to hear Jesus' gospel doesn't eo ipso make them an unbeliever. I'm pretty sure the condemnation mentioned in Mark 16:15-17 targets disbelievers; in other words: people who hear Jesus' gospel and blow it off. (cf. Heb 2:1-4)
But that doesn't let those millions off the hook because in the absence of Bible teaching and preaching, the everlasting gospel becomes the default. Everybody eventually hears the everlasting gospel because the cosmos is everywhere 24/7/365.
● Rom 1:19-20 . .What may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-- his eternal power and divine nature --have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. (cf. Ps 19:1-4)
God's "eternal power and divine nature" are clearly illustrated in nature by all the forms of life, matter, and energy; and speaks of the capability of a genius that deserves attention, if not applause and admiration.
Also in the mix is the human conscience which, when the actual law of God is unknown, becomes a law of God by default.
● Rom 2:14-15 . . Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.
So then the cosmos and the human conscience, become the basis upon which God judges people who've somehow gone through life without ever hearing the Bible taught or preached; and seeing as how the justice of God is described as righteous (Rom 2:5) then no doubt their punishment will be quite a bit more lenient than the punishment in store for gospel rejecters. (cf. Heb 10:29)
NOTE: In April of 2018, I watched a movie on NetFlix called "Come Sunday" based upon the life of a Christian minister named Carlton D'metrius Pearson, DD. He underwent a crisis of faith due to pondering the fate of the millions of people in the world perishing in genocides, civil wars, and whatnot who never heard, nor ever would hear, Jesus' gospel.
It seemed thoroughly unreasonable to Pearson that a merciful, loving God would condemn so many uninformed people to an eternal destiny in hell just because they didn't believe in a Jesus about whom many of them likely knew nothing about.
Pearson's solution to the problem was to simply rule out hell altogether by insisting that classical Christianity's interpretation of the New Testament is incorrect; which is very surprising seeing as how he attended Oral Roberts University and was mentored by Oral Roberts himself. So I'm pretty sure Mr. Pearson was aware of the everlasting gospel; but apparently he didn't know how to apply it. That's a remarkable shortcoming considering where he went to school, and who it was that mentored him.
FAQ: So there's a supreme being, the universe is the result of intelligent design, and there's a frightful reckoning coming. What am I supposed to do about it?
A: The first thing you need to do right away is get your record wiped so that on the books it appears as though you've never been anything but 100% innocent. That way you'll qualify for an acquittal. There's a way to do it.
● John 3:14-17 . . Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.
Long story short: Moses' people became sick and tired of living in the outback and eating manna all the time at every meal. But instead of courteously, and diplomatically, petitioning their divine benefactor for tastier food and better accommodations, they became hostile and confrontational.
In response to their insolence; God sent a swarm of deadly poisonous reptiles among them; which began striking people; and every strike was 100% fatal, no exceptions. In no time at all, much people of Israel died. Then those not yet dead got nervous and appealed to Moses for help. In reply; The Lord instructed Moses to construct a replica of the beasts and hoist it up on a pole in plain view so that everyone dying from venom could look to it for immunity.
Now the key issue here is that the replica, lifted up, was the only God-given remedy for the people's terminal condition-- not piety, not sacrifices and offerings, not tithing, not church attendance, not missionary work, not confession, not holy days of obligation, not the Sabbath, not charity, not good deeds, not good behavior, not purity, not Bible study and Sunday school, not catechism or yeshiva, not one's religion of choice, not self denial and/or self control, not the so-called golden rule, not vows of poverty and/or chastity, not the Ten Commandments, and not the Eucharist.
No, none of that: not even prayers. That replica, lifted up, was it; viz: it was all or nothing at all-- there was no other option. Whoever failed to look to that replica for immunity died: no exceptions.
In other words then: Christ, lifted up on the cross to satisfy justice for the sins of the world, is the only God-given option for protection from the sum of all fears. The default is terminal; no exceptions. People relying upon religion and piety, instead of putting all their trust in Christ's crucifixion, are dead men walking, no exceptions.
So, here's what you do. Find a moment of privacy and audibly inform God that you would like to take advantage of His son's crucifixion just as the Jews took advantage of that effigy to save their skins from certain death.
FAQ: I can see how Jesus' crucifixion might suffice to get my past sins wiped, but what about the days ahead? What's to prevent God from starting fresh with another indictment against me?
A: You're in luck there because God has no interest in starting fresh against you. Your case file would be closed.
● 2Cor 5:19 . . God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.
The Greek word in that passage for "imputing" is logizomai (log-id'-zom ahee) which means to keep an inventory; viz: an indictment.
In other words; were you to be called to face justice during the great white throne event depicted at Rev 20:11-15, after requesting to take advantage of Jesus' crucifixion, your case file would be blank, i.e. it would contain not one single sin-- zero --with which to condemn you. You have Jesus' promise.
● John 5:24 . . I assure you; those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.
A Hymn Of Faith