The theme of the book of Revelation can be summed in one word: overcome.
In the first three chapters of the book of Revelation, Jesus continually encourages his people and hs churches to overcome the hardships imposed by Rome. While Christians most assuredly wanted vindication and relief from Rome, Christ encourages them to overcome.
In Revelation 14, the 144,000 of chapter 7 make another appearance. They’ve paid a high price, but they’ve overcome and obtained the victory. They sing a new song, a song only the redeemed know. Only the redeemed know the song, because only they are redeemed.
Isn’t it sad there are so many people on this earth afflicted by the influence of religions that have their own idea of how to be redeemed? They act so happy because they think they know redemption, but because their teachings conflict with the word of God, they keep getting the tune wrong.
Are the dead in Christ to be pitied? No. They’re blessed, verse 13 says. That means they’re happy. They’ve overcome the world. They have fought the good fight, finished their course and kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7).
God’s undiluted wrath is ready to be poured out against Rome. The time of harvest is come. Three angels make the announcement. But even in the pronouncement of Babylon’s fall, there is a contrast. The people of verse five, the people who have been on God’s side, are far different from the people in verse eight, aren’t they?
There’s another contrast. Just as the joy of the redeemed continues eternally, for the lost “the smoke of their torment goes up forever,” (Revelation 14:11).
Which side are you on?