After John sees a vision of the 144,000 redeemed ones who “follow the Lamb wherever he goes” (Revelation 14:4), he sees three angels flying in midair. The first one “had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people” (verse 6). This is the only place in the Bible where the gospel is described as the “everlasting gospel” (KJV) or the “eternal gospel” (NIV).
The word gospel refers to the good news that Jesus Christ suffered death on the cross to obtain salvation for mankind and that He rose to life again, was exalted to the right hand of God in heaven, and awaits His return in majesty to consummate God’s kingdom. The fact that this message is “everlasting” is significant.
The vision in Revelation 14 in which the angel proclaims the everlasting gospel is a prediction of something that will happen in the tribulation. Before the seven final judgments—the seven bowls of Revelation 15–16—God will give all of mankind one last opportunity to turn from their sin and trust in Christ to receive His gift of eternal life. The angel broadcasts the everlasting gospel to the whole earth, “to every nation, tribe, language and people” (Revelation 14:6). No one is left out. The angel calls out 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” (verse 7). After proclaiming the everlasting gospel through an angel, God will finish His work of judgment upon a sinful world.
The angel who proclaims the everlasting gospel is flying “in midair” (Revelation 14:6). The Greek word translated “midair” also means “zenith,” and that’s why other translations say the angel was flying “high overhead” (CSB) or “directly overhead” (NET). And the angel shouts the message with “a loud voice” (verse 7). The picture is of an angel in the highest possible place using the loudest possible voice to reach the maximum number of people with the good news of God’s salvation. God is appealing to mankind one final time to reject the lies of Satan and respond to the eternal truth of God.
The gospel is “everlasting” in that is an eternally unchanging message. False doctrines come and go, and new teachings are like wind and waves that toss the unsuspecting every which way (Ephesians 4:14). Especially chaotic and dangerous is the doctrine of the Antichrist and his false prophet in Revelation 13. Countering the lies and false teaching of the beast is the everlasting gospel in Revelation 14. The message of salvation through faith in Christ is eternal truth; it is as solid and unchanging as God Himself, and those who believe the gospel will reap everlasting benefits.