Reformation Day Rev Mark Duer
Rev 14:6-7/ An Eternal Gospel to Proclaim October 27, 2010
6Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people.
“An eternal gospel to proclaim.” That's why we're hear. That's why the church exists on earth. “An eternal gospel to proclaim.”
In a sense these are our marching orders! Our missions statement! The heart, the core, the soul, and the very fabric of the church can be summed up in these words: “An eternal gospel to proclaim.”
For years this picture in Revelation 14 has been the first reading for the celebration of the reformation, why? These words were seen as prophetic; to Martin Luther—who after hundreds of years of abuse in the church, hundreds of years of the gospel being clouded over with a shroud of all kind of man-made nonsense.
God used Luther as a messenger— (an angel-so to speak) to uncover the pure gospel and remind the church its importance and why it exists. It doesn't exist for itself! It doesn't exist for numbers and dollars! It exists for the sake of the gospel.
THE CHURCH IS TO BE ABOUT THE PROCLAMATION OF THE GOSPEL! Not just now, but for all eternity.
So here we are October 27, 2019, we are here, and the gospel must go forth. That's why God has called us, that's why we're gathered here. The gospel is not a one-time fix. The gospel is life, forgiveness, and salvation
Life that we desperately need each and every day. Life that the world desperately needs, whether it realizes it or not.
That's why it goes out to every nation, tribe and people—to the four corners of the earth.
An eternal gospel. We probably need to ask ourselves a pretty simple question. What is the gospel? What is this eternal gospel that is to go forth and be proclaimed?
The word gospel literally means: Good News. But its not just any good news. A perfect day in the fall, or snow on Christmas is good news, but that's not the gospel. When your team wins a big game—that's Good News, but it's not the gospel.
Any and every good news can make us happy, but there is only one Good News that can fill us with an everlasting joy that will overcome all happiness’s and sadness’s.
It’s important for us to hear God’s Law to remind us we are sinners and deserve only God’s wrath.
Paul declares it very clearly in the Epistle reading from Romans 3:22-23 For there is no distinction: 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
That doesn't sound like good news does it? Knowing that's what we need to hear, the Law is laid before us: Do this! don't do that! Be Holy, as I the Lord your God am Holy!
The law breaks our human sinful pride. The Law exposes all of our idols. The Law shows us that we need a Savior and that we cannot save ourselves. There is no distinction: young, old, rich, poor, male, female. We're all guilty!
None of us can save ourselves! it doesn't matter how much we pay, or how much we pray, or how much we obey, we're all in the same boat—For there is no distinction.
As humans we try to make excuses for our sins. That Old Adam inside of us convinces us if we try hard enough, we can save ourselves. We compare ourselves to other sinners! We can always find someone who is a bigger sinner (humanly speaking) than we are—at least on the outside.
So, we try to feel good about ourselves by our comparisons, and our good deeds, and our good works. We're in church—where are the rest of the people? And we feel so good and so self- righteous. There is no distinction, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
When we realize that fact, when the Law has broken us—then and only then is the Good News, truly Good News. Then and only then is the gospel our source of real joy, and hope, and peace.
Romans 3: 22-24 There is no distinction, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
There is no difference. Jesus Christ has bled and died for all; He has paid for all sins for all time. There is no difference, salvation is a gift, that is forgiveness, and life everlasting.
The gift comes at a great cost, the innocent suffering and death of our Lord Jesus Christ. His holy blood shed on Calvary's Cross for poor miserable sinners like you and me. The Good News; the eternal gospel is that forgiveness, life, and salvation earned by Jesus is as real as it gets.
Jesus suffered so we didn't have to suffer. Jesus died so we don't have to die eternally. Jesus rose to give us the hope, the guarantee of life everlasting, so you can spend eternity in heaven. It's a done deal. It's finished. He is Risen.
God says: You are forgiven! You are set free! When God says it, it's done! His Word is certain and sure.
This eternal gospel is for you! It's life each and every day because we continue to sin daily and much.
The temptation to listen to other so-called good news, and to have the false good news swallow up the Good News of the gospel—that is always before us.
God knows it and He loves us enough to tell it to the church: that is why you are here; because the eternal gospel needs to be proclaimed.
Shout it from the rooftops! live it in your homes! Believe it! Share it! Embrace it!
Today's gospel reading is a stark reminder for all of us; Jesus reminds us that where the eternal gospel is proclaimed there will be persecution and suffering—why?
Because the Devil, and the world, and our own sinful flesh don't want to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ.
It happened throughout the pages of the Old Testament, it happened in the days of John the Baptist, it happened to Jesus himself, and it continues to happen today.
The voices out there constantly want to tell the church what to do; what to be about. How did that work for John the Baptist and Jesus? They criticized John the Baptist for one thing, and they criticized Jesus for just the opposite.
The voices that oppose the gospel will never be satisfied! There's only one thing they need—the proclamation of the Gospel! The Law which shows us our sin and exposes our spiritual nakedness, and shows us our need for a Savior.
The Good News, the only Good News is that Jesus Christ is real, that his death and resurrection are for You, and for the life of the world.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, there have been many times when we have listened to the false voices, there have been times when we have taken the Good News for granted. For all these sins and more; hear this:
Your sins are forgiven! As certain and sure as Jesus has lived and died and now lives again—For You! You are free! If the Son sets you free, you are free indeed.
What should we do? We are now the messengers flying around in our neighborhoods and work places and all corners of the world (pause) with an eternal gospel to live! To believe! And to proclaim until we see our Lord face to face.
We do this through various programs in the church, and outside of the church.
The reformation reminds us that grace is given freely as a gift and not as something we can earn or that we deserve. One of the great Reformation truths is: Scripture alone, Grace alone, and Faith alone.
As post-Reformation Christians we must continue to insist that the full force of the eternal Gospel still have its way in our preaching and teaching. The only righteousness we have is not ours; it’s the righteousness of God, and comes to us as the free gift by the blood of Jesus Christ.
Justification from God is not something we can attain. It is not ours to gain, buy, or earn. It is God's and only through His Son Jesus, and the work of Holy Spirit can it be given it as a free gift. Amen