Last Chance

Posted: February 27, 2011 in Revelation

Revelation 14:1-20, “Last Chance”

We hear the words “last chance” & think of different things: a chance to buy gasoline on a desert highway – a workout on a reality TV show – a missed opportunity with a job, and more.  What we perhaps forget is that one day there will also be a last chance with God.  We’re so used to thinking of God as the “God of 2nd chances” (which He is, praise God for His grace!), that we forget the fact that one day there won’t BE any more chances.  One day, time will be up & people will face Christ for who He is.  Whether that’s at death, or at Jesus’ 2nd coming, there will come a day when there are no more 2nd chances.

There’s no doubt this is a mysterious passage, and good scholars will differ on all sorts of minor points here (the location of Mt. Zion, the singers of the song, the nature of the harvest, etc.).  Yet the overall theme is absolutely clear: Jesus will return to reward those who are His & pour out His wrath on those who are not.  On the heels of a chapter that looks at the rise of the forces of Satan comes a vision that demonstrates Satan’s ultimate failure & Jesus’ ultimate victory.

As John continues in this interlude between the judgments of God, he gets a preview of the final days of the tribulation & sees three things: the final people of God – the final opportunity from God – the final judgment of God.

Revelation 14 (NKJV)
– The final people of God…

1 Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads.

  1. John’s interlude visions continue – but where?  In Ch 12, John’s visions of the dragon appeared in heaven.  In Ch 13, John was standing on the short of the sea & saw the Beast come out of the sea & the false prophet out of the earth.  Here, Mt. Zion is seen – but is this the literal city of Jerusalem on the earth, or a picture of the heavenly Mt. Zion (the New Jerusalem)?  Scholars differ, but considering vs. 2 goes on to describe a scene in the throne of Heaven, this would seem to be the heavenly Mt. Zion.
  2. If this is the heavenly New Jerusalem, what are the 144K of the tribes of Israel doing there?  Did they die?  Of course not – they were protected by God & made to be victorious – which is the whole point of this part of the vision.  (Conversely, if this is the earthly Jerusalem, what is JESUS doing there prior to His 2nd coming?!)  Remember that John has been getting an overview of time.  He’s seen the past, when the Dragon (Satan) attempted to stop Jesus from coming (and failed).  He’s seen the present, with the rise of Antichrist & the false prophet.  Now it seems he sees a prophetic view of the future, when the 144K who were originally sealed by God to endure the Tribulation have actually endured it & now stand before God in victory. (Like Noah on the ark)
  3. Remember who the 144K are – we were first introduced to them in Rev 7. 12K were chosen out of each 12 tribes of Israel, and sealed on their foreheads for protection during the judgments of the Tribulation.  Some of that protection was pictured for us in Rev 12 when the Dragon pursued the woman clothed with the sun & moon & crowned with 12 stars (a symbol of the nation of Israel) – God had given the woman supernatural protection while the dragon continued to persecute those who had come to faith in Christ as a result of the woman (the testimony of Israel).  These are the ones John sees with the name of God written on their foreheads.
    1. Keep in mind the context here!  In the last vision, John saw all the worshippers of the Beast with a mark on their foreheads or right hand…they were sealed with the number of the Beast (666).  This was their identification with Antichrist.  They are all contrasted with the 144K who are sealed by & identified with God.  Those who are of Antichrist might have temporary power to buy & sell on earth, but those who are identified with Christ will have eternal victory & fellowship with God in heaven!
    2. The sealing doesn’t just belong to the 144K.  As the Church, WE are sealed with the Holy Spirit today! Ephesians 1:13-14 (13) In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, (14) who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. []  Just as the 144K have a promise of standing with Christ, so do we!  We have God’s own guarantee (His earnest payment) that one day we will stand in the New Jerusalem we Christ.  His own mark of sealing is upon us & we are identified as His own.

2 And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps. 3 They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth.

  1. Before we get to the song itself, there’s a question that arises in verse 2 that might look different, depending on your translation: is it the harpists who sing the song, or the 144 thousand?  The NKJV leaves the impression that there are two sounds: a voice like thunderous waters, and also a sound like harpists & perhaps the harpists are what sing the song.  Other translations make it appear that the voice like thunder & many waters also sounds like many harps – it’s just a different description of it.  Part of the confusion stems from the words “voice” & “sound”…although translated differently in various English translations, they’re actually the same word in Greek (φωνην).  Consistency would suggest they ought to be translated the same (as the KJV does “voice” or NET as “sound”); not mixed & matched like other translations.  The bottom line is that the voice/sound all seems to be ONE, which is described in three ways: (1) Many waters (2) Thunder (3) Harpists playing their harps…the voice was apparently a rich musical sound that rang out through heaven.
    1. What was it?  Good question.  Perhaps it was all the heavenly host – perhaps just the Church (the elders were described in Ch 5 with harps) – perhaps this is the voice of God Himself (which is often described as the sound of many waters & at Jesus’ baptism as thunder).
  2. So who is singing the song?  Most likely, the 144K.  John makes it clear they were the only ones who could learn the song, and apparently they were singing it to the Lord Jesus in the presence of the 4 living creatures & the 24 elders.  Again, this is debated – some scholars think there must be a different group (the “sound”) who sing the song that later teach it to the 144K.  But if the sound of harpists is merely another description of the heavenly voice of God, then we need not assume another unnamed group.
  3. Question: What song could the 144K sing that the Church could NOT sing? A song about living through the Great Tribulation.  We will have our own times of trials for sure, but they will have a unique experience of which none could sing except themselves.  (Likewise us, with the resurrection & rapture…)
    1. BTW, there’s nothing wrong with new songs!  Revelation shows old songs (the song of Moses – Rev 15:3) AND new songs (Rev 5:9, 14:3).  Our evangelical culture makes a far bigger issue of this than the Bible does.  The real issue with songs used in worship is not their age, but their doctrine.
  4. John goes on to describe the 144K.  See vs. 4…

4 These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. 5 And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God.

  1. The 144K were pure.  John is not stating that marital relations are bad or somehow defile a person (God personally instituted marriage, after all) – but the 144K of Israel were not defiled with the perversions of the world.  This could be a reference to literal virginity, but could also be a reference to general purity.  They walked in holiness…
  2. The 144K were faithful.  Where Jesus went, the 144K went.  The Lord Jesus is the Lamb of God, but He is also our Good Shepherd.  His sheep hear His voice & follow Him (Jn 10:27).  Likewise with the 144K.  They hear the voice of their Lord & Master & follow Him wherever He goes.  After enduring the hardships of the Tribulation & persevering past the lies of Antichrist, it’s no wonder that this group would want to stick close to Christ.  Being in His presence is like a drink of cool water after being in a desert!
  3. The 144K were redeemed. To be redeemed is to be purchased.  As a slave might be redeemed for his/her freedom, so is every Christian redeemed by the blood of Christ.  We have quite literally been bought with a price (1 Cor 6:20) & the place of transaction was the cross.  This will be just as true for those who come to faith in Christ after the rapture as it is for us today.  Any person who belongs to Jesus is saved in exactly the same way: by the grace of Christ through faith in Christ.
  4. The 144K were dedicated to God. The firstfruits were the dedicated offerings to the Lord.  God was the one who gave the land & the harvest to the people, so the people would bring the first of the harvest back in offering to God.  John will see the harvest of the earth at the end of Ch 14, the 144K are the first of the harvest from the Tribulation.  More than that, they were dedicated unto Christ as a holy offering, being set apart & sealed for His purposes.
  5. The 144K were faultless. Obviously isn’t not that they were sinless (that description belongs to Christ alone), but they were blameless in their sin.  They lived lives of holiness which were beyond reproach.  What sins they had were perfectly paid for in the blood of Christ, and they did not abuse the gift of grace they had been given.
  6. What will one day be true of the 144K of Israel that are sealed during the Tribulation is true of the Church of Jesus Christ today!  By the work of Christ & through the power of the Holy Spirit, each one of these descriptions could be (or at least should be) said about any Christian.

–          The final opportunity from God…

6 Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people— 7 saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”

  1. The scene changes a bit – no longer is John looking at a future people in heaven in the presence of Christ, but of an angel flying from heaven to earth preaching the gospel.  Usually we don’t think of angels taking part in evangelism; we typically think of all evangelism being given to the Church in the Great Commission…  Yet any time we see angels in the NT, they are all pointing towards Jesus Christ or proclaiming the word of God.  Gabriel spoke to Zechariah & Mary of the coming Messiah.  The multitude of heavenly hosts proclaimed the good news of peace on earth to the shepherds.  The angels at the empty tomb testified that Jesus was risen from the dead.  The angels at the ascension even spoke of Jesus’ 2nd coming.  Angels have always had an evangelistic role as the servants of God unto the people of God (in that they proclaim the things of God) – and that will seemingly continue into the Great Tribulation. 
  2. Whether the angel actually preaches the gospel to every nation, or symbolizes that the gospel is preached to every nation is secondary to the fact that every nation DOES hear the gospel at some point.  This seems to be what Jesus referred to in the Olivet Discourse: Matthew 24:11-14 (11) Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. (12) And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. (13) But he who endures to the end shall be saved. (14) And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. []  Of course, this is exactly what we’ve seen: the Antichrist & false prophet came to power & deceived many in the earth, people have rejoiced in their iniquity (demonstrated in their treatment of the 2 witnesses), and there are some saints that persevere until the end (the 144K among others).  In the meantime, the gospel goes out to the entire world.
    1. It is the “everlasting gospel.”  Because of this description, some see a distinction here between the everlasting gospel & the gospel of grace.  Yet it seems to be a distinction without a difference.  That God would invite people to be saved from the wrath yet to come is indeed good news, no matter how it’s preached!  This is the same message that has been proclaimed throughout the history of the world: fear God & give glory & worship to the One who created the world.
    2. Question: “Wouldn’t the gospel have already gone out to the entire world?  After all, there are missionaries all over the planet right now translating the Bible into every possible language…”  True – but the vast majority of the world’s population still rejects the gospel.  People STILL need to hear it & respond to it.  What we see in the Tribulation is that although the wrath of God is being poured out upon those who reject Him, God’s love is not abated towards the world.  God still LOVES the world (Jn 3:16) & God still desires for them to be saved & come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Tim 2:4).  Thus God gives every single person every possible opportunity to repent & be saved.
    3. God is giving YOU that opportunity right now – don’t waste it!
  3. How exactly does this angel preach the gospel?  There are 3 invitations & one reason.
    1. 1st invitation: Fear God.  Acknowledge God as the Creator of the universe & give Him the respect & submission He so rightly deserves.  People had reason to fear Antichrist because if they didn’t worship him, they would be killed.  Yet they had greater reason to fear God.  As Jesus said, don’t fear the one who can kill the body, but fear the one who has the power to cast body & soul into Hell. (Lk 12:4-5)  God is worthy of our holy hushed reverence.
    2. 2nd invitation: Glorify God. Obviously God will always be revealed in all of His glory in Heaven, despite whether or not any of His creation at all responds to the gospel.  So how does a finite human being glorify the infinite Almighty God?  By presenting our lives to God as living sacrifices in response to the work that Jesus has already done on our behalf (Rom 12:1).  Just as Jesus was glorified in the work of the cross (Jn 12:23), so do we glorify God when we receive of Jesus’ work in our salvation.
    3. 3rd invitation: Worship God.  We think of the word “worship” as referring solely to singing, but the idea is far greater than that.  The Greek includes the idea of kissing someone’s hand in submission – kneeling – lying prostrate before a ruler, etc.  The idea is that everything in a person’s life is laid in submission to another.  That’s what all of creation ought to do with our Creator, as we lay our lives before Christ Jesus in worship.
    4. The reason?  God’s judgment is at hand!  Objection: “Does that mean that the angel is no different than a guy wearing a sandwich board saying ‘Repent for the end is near’?  Does the angel just give a ‘turn or burn’ message?”  What exactly is wrong with a ‘turn or burn’ message if it happens to be true?  If someone thinks the message of this angel is harsh, just wait until the message of the 3rd angel in vs. 10-11!  The problem with ‘turn or burn’ messages today is the lack of love that so often accompanies them, but God doesn’t have that same problem as we do.  Given the context, God is giving people every possible opportunity to be saved: physical & supernatural warnings, the testimony 144K & the multitude of martyrs, the proclamation of the 2 witnesses, and much more.  People have already recognized it was the wrath of God (Rev 6:16-17), and yet they still reject Him.  Thus God is doing whatever it takes to get their attention so that all would have an opportunity to be saved.  What the angel proclaims is anything but cruel; it’s a demonstration of the love of God again reaching out to the world.  If it takes a harsh message to get someone’s attention, then so be it.

8 And another angel followed, saying, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”

  1. We’ll see more of Babylon in Rev 17-18, but for now Babylon is introduced to us as John continues in this prophetic vision looking forward to its demise.  There are different aspects to Babylon.  Different statements in Revelation show Babylon as a literal city – an apostate false religious system – a bloated political system.  Every aspect of Babylon is wrapped up here as the 2nd angel pronounces its fall.  Babylon has been judged by the Lord & thus is ultimately doomed.
  2. Contrast this with the invitations of the gospel that have gone out to the world.  Although the majority of the world has bought into the temptations of Babylon, God has provided grace & salvation through Christ Jesus.  What is being shown through Babylon’s doom is that Babylon isn’t even a legitimate option.  For those who want to ride the fence & try to weigh Babylon & Christ against each other, there really is no other choice.  Those who want to live will fear God through Christ; those who reject Christ & participate in the fornication of Babylon will share its fate.
  3. How timely a message for our own generation!  Every single human being is faced with the identical choice: will you serve God or the world?  Just as Joshua gave the choice to the children of Israel, so do we receive the same charge: Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… (Josh 24:15)  When we stop to think about the eternal results of each option, the choice ought to be clear!  Those who repent from sin & fear God through Christ will enjoy the presence of Christ for all eternity.  Those who choose the world face an eternal future that is far different.  See vs. 9…

9 Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.”

  1. Those who buy into Babylon – those who worship the Beast & are identified with Antichrist will drink of the undiluted wrath of God as they face an eternity in Hell.  As much as we don’t like thinking of it, the angel tells us 3 truths about Hell:
    1. Hell is utter torment.  Hell is not a place of parties, where people can finally “live it up” for the rest of their existence.  It’s a place where there is utter darkness (Mt 8:12), weeping & gnashing of teeth (Mt 25:30), where there is unquenchable thirst (Lk 16:24).  Keep in mind those are all descriptions that Jesus Himself gives us – there can be no greater authority on the matter.  Those who deny the existence of Hell deny the validity of the word of God.  It is a torturous place, and those who treat it flippantly (as so many in our culture do) have no idea of what they speak.
    2. Hell is eternal.  There are many who teach that Hell is temporary as people who are sent to Hell are eternally destroyed, but ultimately annihilated there…people simply cease to exist.  That teaching is directly at odds with vs. 11.  There is no rest for those in Hell; their torment will endure for every eon throughout eternity.  We have no problem believing Heaven lasts for eternity; the same description exists of Hell.
    3. Hell is still in the presence of God.  We’ve typically heard (and I’ve been guilty too) that Hell is simply the removal of the presence of God – but that’s not what Revelation shows.  God is omnipresent – there’s no place that He doesn’t eternally exist. (Ps 139:8 – make my bed in Sheol…)  It is true that in Hell one is forever removed from any possibility of fellowship with God, but Rev 14 makes it clear that the torment of those who worship the beast take place “in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.
  2. Objection: “But I just don’t like the concept of Hell!  It’s too awful.  Could a God who’s truly loving & truly good ever allow someone to go to an eternal Hell?”  It’s a common objection & held by many (C. Pearson, R. Bell).  Here’s the thing: you don’t have to like the doctrine of Hell.  Who would?  I’d be worried about the state of your salvation & wonder about the love of Christ you might have in your heart if you declared that you enjoyed the thought of people being tormented day & night for eternity in a lake of fire.  It IS truly an awful thought.  But the horror of Hell does not negate the reality of it.  The Bible is absolutely clear that Hell is a real place, which will be populated by real people.  Jesus spoke extensively on the matter – more than any other person in the entire Bible.  Hell is real, and yet God is still just & good.  A good God MUST have an eternal answer to sin because sin is eternally offensive to a good God.  How else can rape & murder & destruction & genocide (and all the other so-called “minor” sins) be answered except in an eternal Hell?  Think about what it cost for a moment.  The only possible payment for our sin was the life & blood of God the Son.  Jesus stepped out of heaven & shed His blood (of infinite worth) to ransom/redeem our souls from the grave.  If it took a payment THAT infinite to purchase our salvation, then it must take a payment equally infinite to measure out the wrath of God.  That payment is Hell.  The wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23), and it takes an eternity to pay the price.

12 Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. 13 Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.”

  1. Those who worship the beast spend eternity in Hell, suffering alongside the Devil, the Antichrist, and the false prophet forever & ever.  Yet those who persevere & endure in Christ (past the temptations of false worship) are blessed & will be rewarded.  Those who worship Antichrist will have no rest in Hell; those who persevere in Christ will have eternal blessed rest as they fellowship with our Lord & Savior.
  2. Are the 144K the only ones who are blessed in death?  The Greek can be taken in a variety of ways here.  “From now on” could mean from the time of the tribulation – on, or it could simply mean from the time that John heard the voice (back in the 1st century) – on to the present day.  Granted, those who finally have rest from the trials of the Great Tribulation will be truly blessed, but there’s no doubt that ALL who are in Christ & die are blessed beyond imagination.

–          The final judgment of God…

14 Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle.

  1. Of all the debates that take place over the events in this chapter, perhaps the hardest to understand is why people debate the identity of the one who sits on the cloud.  Because He responds to the voice of an angel (vs 15), some have claimed this is simply another angel.  The text leaves absolutely no possibility for this.  Aside from actually naming Him, John makes it perfectly clear that he saw the Lord Jesus Christ.  No doubt, this is a symbolic preview of the Lord’s 2nd coming.
    1. Jesus will come with the clouds (Dan 7:13, Mk 13:26)
    2. Jesus is the Son of Man (references are too numerous to mention – the phrase is used of Christ over 80 times in the NT alone.)
    3. Jesus is the one crowned in victory.  Granted, believers also wear crowns, but this is particularly appropriate for Christ at this time.  Jesus came 1st as the suffering servant; He will come again as the King of Kings completely victorious over His enemies.
    4. Jesus is coming back for a harvest.  In the hand of Jesus was a sharp sickle. [PIC]  More information is given about the harvest in vs. 15…

15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” 16 So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.

  1. An angel does give instruction to Christ here, but this doesn’t mean that the angel has equal (or more) authority than Christ.  It simply shows the angel as a messenger.  God the Father alone knew the time of the judgment (Mk 13:32), and this message was given to the Lord Jesus when the time was fulfilled.  The time was now at hand & Jesus personally takes part in the harvest.

17 Then another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. 18 And another angel came out from the altar, who had power over fire, and he cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, “Thrust in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe.”

  1. Not only do we see Christ in the harvest, but we see the angels as well.  Question: is this the same harvest as Christ, or a different one?  Scholars differ on this point.  To take the text for its plainest meaning, it seems best to conclude at the very least these are two different aspects of the same harvest (“another angel…” “also having a sharp sickle…”).  Jesus’ harvest as the harvest of wheat (those who have come to faith in Christ during the Tribulation) for which God has waited until the last possible moment (Grk = “overripe”), and the angel’s harvest as the harvest of tares (those who remained in rebellion & worshipped Antichrist).  We tend to think of the Lord’s harvest in only the positive sense, in that Jesus knows who are His & He gathers the elect to Himself.  But the fullness of the harvest goes beyond that – everyone left alive by the time of the end will be harvested.  Not one will escape the judgment of Christ.  [Parable of wheat & tares] Matthew 13:40-42 (40) Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. (41) The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, (42) and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. []
  2. Why is this harvest referred to as grapes in Revelation?  Because of the judgment that accompanies it.  See vs. 19…

19 So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. 20 And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses’ bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs.

  1. It’s a gruesome picture, but it gets the point across.  In reaping the harvest of the rebellious, they are cast into the winepress of the wrath of God (i.e. they face His judgment) & the carnage is massive.  Perhaps an allusion to the battle of Armageddon, the final judgment shows a bloodbath of souls over 180 miles in diameter with blood splattering up to 4 feet high.

Conclusion:

Seems like a tough note to end on.  The bloodshed during the judgment is sobering (at the least!) and underscores the all-encompassing extent of the judgment and wrath of God.  Yet at the same time, we simply cannot forget what preceded it: the everlasting gospel spread to all the world.  God wants people to escape the judgment & be saved – and He’s made every single provision for that already.

Ch 14 shows us an overview of the end…

  1. The final people of God: saved & sealed through the Tribulation time & forever victorious in the presence of the Lord Jesus.
  2. The final opportunity from God: the last chance of the gospel as it spreads to every tribe, tongue, & nation.  Mankind was already left without excuse before its Creator, but God goes up & beyond any expectation in His love for the world.
  3. The final judgment of God: Eventually, even a last opportunity has to run out, and that’s what will happen when Jesus returns to harvest the world.  The wheat will be gathered, and the tares will be destroyed.  In all of it, Jesus shows His righteous glory in both His grace & His wrath.

 

The bottom line: no matter what things may look like here on earth, we know that Jesus IS coming back & we will face Him for judgment of reward or the judgment of wrath.  As believers, we hold to that truth in faith.  Just as during the Tribulation, the 144K will need to hold fast to Jesus during the rule of Antichrist, so do we need to hold fast to Him during the daily attacks of the enemy we face.  We have been sealed – we have been redeemed – we can also sing a new song of praise, so persevere until the end.  Through the power of the Holy Spirit, hold up during these days of temptation until we find our rest when we see our Lord face to face.

Praise God that no one HAS to face Christ in a judgment of wrath!  The opportunity is right before you today to be saved.  Don’t turn aside – don’t harden your heart.  Hell is absolutely real, but so is the love of God that would spare you from that fate.

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