You know what adults are saying about some of you, don’t you? They’re saying that you Adventist kids don’t know much about Adventism. So in an attempt to make them eat their words at Sabbath potluck today, I am providing a crash course on a basic Adventist belief known as the three angels’ messages. Turn with me now to Revelation 14. If you are too lazy to do that, ask the person sitting next to you to slap you in the face and shout, “Open your Bible, you adolescent backslider!”
OK, I am going to make this as easy as I can for you, so if your cheek has stopped smarting from the smacking you just got, listen up. Here is what the Bible says, along with the official Good Humor Guy study notes.
“Then I saw another angel flying in midair.”1 This does not refer to a major league baseball player from California en route to an East Coast game. This angel has a message for everyone living in the end-times—sorta the bottom of the ninth inning of earth’s history. This just happens to be where you live right now, which should make you sit up and take notice. If, however, you fell asleep while reading this, pass your Guide to the person sitting next to you and sign over the rights to your heavenly mansion, because you obviously won’t be moving in.
“He had the eternal gospel.”2 Do you know what the word “gospel” means? It means “good news.” Here are examples of both good news and bad news:
Good news: “I just saved a bunch of money on my bicycle insurance.”
Bad news: “I don’t own a bicycle.”
In this case, the angel’s really good news reminds us that it is our faith in Jesus, and not our own works, that saves us for eternity. Key word: GOSPEL.
“Fear God.”3 Back in junior high, word got to me that Daryl* was thinking of beating me up. I feared Daryl. Since I had a bully friend, I asked him to teach me how to fight. Not long into the first lesson, I had another idea. “Hey, Ricky, since you are already a bully, why don’t you fight Daryl for me?” Either Ricky’s brain cells hadn’t yet fully formed or he felt really sorry for me, because he agreed to the plan. Fortunately for everyone, Daryl changed his mind, and nobody got hurt.
Fearing God doesn’t mean being afraid of Him. The angel simply urges us to approach God with an attitude of reverence.
“The hour of his judgment has come.”4 One day some years ago, in a moment of customary insanity, I ran afoul of the law. The judge didn’t actually call me “insane,” nor did he deliver a harsh sentence, such as “Get out of my sight, you stupid idiot teenager!” Now that’s a harsh sentence, and if the editor of this magazine had any sense he wouldn’t have printed it.
God’s time of judgment has in fact begun. Not to worry, though, assuming you have seen the logic in placing your faith in Jesus and living for Him. Any forthcoming verdict will be in your favor. (Does the term “good news” ring a bell?) Key word: JUDGMENT.
“Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.”5
One of my favorite hobbies is breathing; I do it regularly. If you haven’t tried it, I suggest you do so. Soon.
Breathing comes naturally to His creatures because that’s how God made us. He also made us so we could enjoy other cool “hobbies,” such as appreciating nature, along with loving, serving, and celebrating life itself.
When it comes to living things, Charles Darwin and I just don’t see eye to eye. Some of this is because he is dead, and I’m not. But mostly it’s because the Bible tells us that God, not some process of “natural selection,” is responsible for the eye-popping, mind-bending world of wonders that we see all around us. As it turns out, the Sabbath is the perfect day for enjoying nature and for loving, serving, celebrating, and worshipping our Creator. Key word: WORSHIP.
Now, I have not actually dealt with all three angels mentioned in the, um, three angels’ messages. But the angelic trio’s basic points are similar: (1) Hold to the never-changing GOSPEL; (2) live confidently in Jesus throughout the current time of JUDGMENT; (3) honor God through proper WORSHIP—in His way, on His day.
As a Seventh-day Adventist, your job is to seize opportunities to share this important information.
Now you are now officially a graduate of the Good Humor Guy School of Revelation 14 Studies. Your diploma won’t do much to help you get a summer job, but your instructor is sure proud of you!
*Not his real name, though it is pretty close.