Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord!
Scripture reading for December 18th: Revelation 14
God is merciful and full of compassion for all He has made. He does nothing by judgment unless he warns the people created in His image. In this chapter we find God sending angels to proclaim the “eternal gospel” to all who live on the earth. The first angel proclaimed, “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 14:7) God called out to all men to honor and worship Him. He identified Himself as the Creator of the heavens and earth! A key belief of our day is evolution–a denial of a God who created and the substitution of time and chance for Him. Men will do anything to deny God so that they may do as they please.
The third angel John saw announced: “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he, too, will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of His wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. The smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name.” (Revelation 14:9-11) God clearly warns those on earth of the eternal punishment coming to those who worship the beast or receive his mark. This punishment involves smoke, burning sulfur, and complete lack of rest day or night–forever!
“Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes, says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds follow them.”” (Revelation 14:13) John was told specifically to write this statement of blessedness! Those who die in Christ rest and will surely be blessed and rewarded!