Revelation 14; Esther 5:1-6:13; Psalm 106:24-48
You’ve probably gotten advertising flyers in the mail, heard commercials on the radio, or seen them on TV where the person implores you to buy their product because this is your “last chance” to get it at such a good price. You know the shtick – this is the last time you can buy this amazing product at this great price. Or perhaps, this is the last time this product will be offered to the public since it’s going into our vaults and won’t be offered again in this lifetime! You may be tempted to go out and buy the product, but then, you hesitate, and you miss this opportunity. Then, the next week the same product is offered for less at a different place.
We’ve grown immune to those last chance deals because of “deals” like that. We may pay attention to those gas stations on the edge of the desert that claim to be your “last chance” to get gas before the long trek across the desert, but other than that, we chuckle inwardly at the idea. God still gives last chances, though, but many who have heard the date settings and the claims that people won’t have any more time to come to Him have developed an immunity to those “last chances.” John’s description of the “last chance” offer from God should make people take notice: “Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.’” (Revelation 14:6-7)
The only way to describe what’s happening on the earth is that all hell is breaking loose. The two beasts have been running rampant. The two witnesses that tormented the earth have died, and then risen again causing all kinds of commotion. The plagues of God are raining down on all mankind and the beasts are making things even worse. Babylon, whether you interpret that as Rome or Jerusalem, is about to be proclaimed as fallen, and the next announcement after that is that those who worship the Beast will feel the wrath of God. It is in the midst of these events that we see God offering the inhabitants of earth one last chance: the angel reminding people to fear God, give Him glory, and worship Him. God was revealing to the church, through John, the He still loved and cared for each of those rebellious, apostate souls and He wanted them to have one more chance to return to Him.
To be honest, I think this is a great reminder that we are called to continue to share the love of God with all people, no matter how bad they may be. We don’t rejoice in their destruction when a person all of society calls “bad” dies – we should mourn that they died without Jesus. Think of the worst person you can imagine – alive or dead. If they’re alive, God still loves them and wants them to be in fellowship with Him. If they’ve died and they died without Christ, did you rejoice in their death, or were you concerned because they lacked a relationship with God. As we read throughout the New Testament of the end for those who reject Christ, I can only ask if you really want to see that end come to anyone? God calls us to share His love with all people. Yes, even that one, or that group that you thought of earlier. God’s offer of salvation, of redemption, of a relationship with Him is open as long as someone is still breathing and we must be committed to showing God’s love and grace to all people. Jesus talked about leaving the 99 to find the 1. He mentioned the angels in heaven rejoicing over one sinner who repents. He doesn’t mention rejoicing over anyone who goes to a Christ-less eternity. Let’s make the angels rejoice.
Lord, I think of my friends who don’t know You. Help me to share Your love and grace with them.