Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
When God promised to send us "Elijah the prophet" just before the second coming of Christ ("the great and dreadful day of the Lord"), his message is not to be a thunder-and-lightning denunciation of mankind, reminiscent of his slaying the 450 prophets of Baal at the Kishon River (1 Kings 18:40).
Rather, "Elijah's" message will perform the most effective reconciliation of alienated peoples the world has ever known: "He will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers" (Mal. 4:6). That is the last message of much more abounding grace this world will hear--that of the fourth great "angel" in Revelation 18 that lightens the earth with glory (vss. 1-4).
Only one Bible message can close the great gospel commission with such glorious success--the lifting up of Christ on His cross as He predicted: "'When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to Me.' (In saying this He indicated the kind of death He was going to suffer)" (John 12:32, 33; Good News Bible).
The message of the three great angels of Revelation 14 appears superficially to be the most terrorizing ever proclaimed, the scariest fear possible for human hearts (whoever receives the "mark of the beast" "shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God ... poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation ... tormented with fire and brimstone ... in the presence of the Lamb ... forever and ever ... no rest day or night" (vss. 9-11). Could any message be more blood-curdling?
But wait a moment: it's introduced as "the everlasting gospel" of Good News (vss. 6, 7). Look more closely! It's the last effective call: "Be reconciled to God"! (2 Cor. 5:19, 20). How? By His love at last fully revealed at His cross (vss. 14, 15)!
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: November 24, 2005.
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