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Worthy is The Lamb: OK, Let’s Worship Some More! (Part 3)

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He is worthy of all of our worship for all of eternity.

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Text: Revelation 5:1-14
Date: 02/11/17 File name: Revelation_13c.wpd ID Number:
Theme: He is worthy of all of our worship for all of eternity.
Jesus is exclusively worthy of our worship. This is what Revelation 5:1-5 teaches us. God holds a scroll telling the story of end-time events. This includes the salvation of God’s people and the judgment of the wicked. As King of kings, and Lord of lords, Jesus is exclusively worthy of our worship.
Jesus is also exceedingly worthy of our worship. This is the focus of Revelation 5:5-10. He is the only One found who is worthy to open the scroll and read it. He is exceedingly worthy of our worship because Jesus outdoes, outmatches, outstrips, outclasses, surmounts, surpasses, transcends, and trumps any other person. There is no one like Jesus. There was never a time when He was not worthy, and never will there be a time when He is not worthy. He is worthy of our worship. This is the song of the ages.
Jesus is eternally worthy of our worship. ILLUS. In 1779 John Newton published what is probably the most recognizable hymn in the English-speaking world. Jonathan Aitken, a Newton biographer, estimates that Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound is sung about 10 million times annually. The last stanza of the hymn reminds us that after 10 millennium of singing praise to the Lamb that was slain, we will have just gotten started ...
When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise Than when we’d first begun.
Praising God who sits on His throne, and the Christ who reigns with Him, will never get old.


“And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.9 And they sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. 10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth. ”11 Then i_ looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they sang: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”14 The four living creatures said, “Amen, ” and the elders fell down and worshiped. ” (Revelation 5:8-14, NIV84)
1. as we enter the throne room we see heaven breaking out afresh in praise, and honor, and glory
a. 1st, it is for the One sitting on the throne — God, Himself
1) then, there is this ever-so-slight pause as someone worthy is sought out to open the scroll that announces the end of the world, the millennial kingdom, and ultimately, eternity
b. 2nd, the moment the Son takes the scroll from the Father’s hand, praise, and honor, and glory erupt once again in heaven
1) the Lion of Judah, who looks like a Lamb slain, has taken the book that He alone could open
a) immediately upon his receiving of the book the atmosphere of Heaven changes
b) weeping turns to singing
c) tragedy has become triumph
2) praise and rejoicing break out
a) the Four Living Creatures, and the twenty-four elders break forth in praise
b) the Angels, too numerous to count, break forth in praise
c) the Creatures in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and on the sea break forth in praise
c. the only ones who don’t join the cacophony of praise are the devil and his minions who tremble, and lost men who shall weep because they know their doom is sure
3. the scene before us is a picture of the character and nature of worship


1. humility and reverence will characterize our worship in Heaven
a. in chapter four the Twenty-four Elders, who represent the redeemed of the Lord, fall down before God the Father
“Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:” (Revelation 4:9-10, NIV84)
b. in chapter five the Twenty-four Elders, offer the same worship to Christ that they did to the Father in Rev. 4:10
1) they prostrate themselves face down before the throne
“And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb "(Revelation 5:8, NIV84)
c. why is Jesus worthy of such adoration?
"... because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God... (Revelation 5:9, NIV84)
ILLUS. It’s been almost 25 years since it premiered. In 2004 Mel Gibson released his film The Passion of the Christ. It depicts the last twelve hours of Jesus’ life on the day of his crucifixion in Jerusalem. Many critics panned it. What modern audience, after all, would watch a movie where the dialogue is in Aramaic, and you had to read the subtitles. It was violent (yes, much of it was). Some said it was anti-Semitic. One critic wrote, "The graphic details of Jesus' torture make the movie tough to sit through and obscure whatever message it is trying to convey." And yet the movie was hugely popular in America and around the world. After watching it, I can remember thinking, “I’ll never read 1 Peter 2:24 the same way again. ”
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. ” (1 Peter 2:24, NIV84)
1) what’s the point? ... how do we not fall prostrate in utter humility before the Lamb that was slain on our behalf?
2. in eternity we will regularly prostrate ourselves before the Lion who looks like a Lamb a. we will do so in humility and reverence for his redemptive grace


“And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” (Revelation 5:8, NIV84)
1. I’ll be honest, I was tempted to skip over the “golden bowls full of incense which are the prayers of the saints” part of this verse
a. my first question is, “Are these the prayers of the saints in Heaven, or on Earth, or both?"
1) the consensus of New Testament scholarship is pretty much split
b. my second question of the text is, “Why do the saints in heaven need to pray at all?" after all, we will be in the very presence of the Lamb
1) I consulted over a dozen commentaries on this passage ... few were helpful, because most barely deal with that part of the passage
2) so when in doubt... cross reference!
2. Psalm 141:2 is helpful here: “May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice. ” (Psalm 141:2, NIV84)
a. when in doubt, let Scripture help interpret Scripture!
b. on Earth there are three principle reasons for our prayers: confession (both confession of sin, and confession of faith), intercession (for both ourselves, and others), and worship (prayer that simply acknowledges God’s worth-ship)
1) in Psalm 141, David’s prayer is an act of worship that he likens to the smoke and sweet smell of incense wafting up to God
2) in connection with his prayers David lifts up his hands as a gesture of praise and sacrifice
c. the bowls of incense that represent the prayers of the saints in heaven represents our sacrifice of praise to God through all eternity
ILLUS. Dr. Donald Barnhouse, (Presbyterian pastor and host of The Bible Study Hour) in his commentary on this passage, writes: “When we confess, we are occupied with our sins; when we intercede, we are occuped with human needs, others; and ours. But when we worship, we are occupied with God alone. They day will come when prayer will be emptied of its need for confession. [There will be no more sin to confess]. Prayer will be emptied of its need for intercession. [There will be no needs left unfulfilled to pray about]. There will be nothing remaining but that which may be symbolized in the bowls of incense ... all our prayer shall be praise and worship. ”
3. for centuries, God’s people have been praying, “Thy kingdom come ... and those prayers are about to be fulfilled
a. as a sidebar — please understand that the “saints” in Revelation 5:8 are not an elite class of believers who are more holy than the rest
1) they are not mediators of our prayers
2) we do not ask them to pray for us
3) the “saints” of Rev. 5:8 is us — the saints are all believers in Jesus, living or dead, saved by grace through faith


ILLUS. Every year at the Academy Awards those stars up for Oscars get Swag Bags. The items for the 2010 Oscar nominees totaled over $100,000 in value and included a wide assortment of both luxury and everyday products — from destination trips to Hawaii, to ChapStick, electronics, chocolates, jewelry, and skin cream. When believers come into the Kingdom every one of us will get an eternal Swag Bag. Our Swag Bags will contain things like fruit from the Tree of Life, Hidden Manna, a White Stone, a Scepter, a White Robe, a Crown, a package of Incense, and a Harp. (Eat your heart out Leonardo DiCaprio and Emma Stone)!
1. the harp was the primary musical instrument in Hebrew worship, and was the instrument that the Psalms were sung to
a. it’s a symbol of praise and worship
ILLUS. I’ll be honest, in Heaven I hope that the harp orchestra will be part of the “early service” and that either piano or guitar will be the instruments of the “main service”!
b. in heaven music will be a key part of our worship — just as it is now
2. 1st, we will sing psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs ... we will sing old songs, and we will sing new songs ... songs like
“..., “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, 10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”” (Revelation 5:9-10, ESV)
3. 2nd, we will be singing songs about the blood of the Lamb — which is precious
a. some of the greatest hymns of the church are the “blood medleys"
ILLUS. 'His Blood Can Make the Vilest Clean', 'There Is a Fountain Filled with Bloocf, 'What Can Wash Away My Sins? - Nothing but the Blood of Jesus', 'O the Blood of Jesus', ‘The Blood Will Never Lose its Power1, and 'There Is Power in the Blood.' And yet, over the last three decades, denomination after denomination have scrubbed their hymnals clean of such hymns. The Presbyterian Church (USA), Episcopal Church, Disciples of Christ, United Church of Canada, and United Church of Christ have deleted all songs about the blood atonement from their hymnals. A good chunk of today’s Praise Music says little about the blood of Christ. Only 8 of the top 100 songs licensed by Christian Copyright Licensing International (which covers almost all modern worship sung in churches) even mention Jesus’ blood. And none of the top 100 focuses on it.
b. there are going to be a lot of surprised saints in heaven when they pick up their Heavenly Hymn Book and discover lots of songs all about the shed blood of Jesus
c. as you read the Book of the Revelation, you’re going to see the theme of the Book of the Revelation is the theme of all of the Bible, and the theme of all of the saints through all of the ages — and it is Calvary— it’s what happened at Calvary!
1) praise God ... I still believe there IS power in the Blood of Jesus Christ, and I’ll be in that heavenly choir singing for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
2) the problem with a bloodless Christianity is that it’s a redemptionless Christianity
ILLUS. In his biography, Billy Graham tells the story of when he first started preaching. A college professor came to him and said, “Young man, you’re a good speaker. If you’ll just leave out that blood business, you’ll go places. ” Billy Graham writes, “I determined then to preach more on the blood of Jesus Christ than I ever have. ”
ILLUS. I’m here to tell you that… My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus' blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesus' name. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand.
4. 3rd, we will be singing throughout eternity with a whole lot of people who don’t look exactly like us, but who have been redeemed exactly just like us
a. we will worship with brothers and sisters from every tribe and language and people and nation
1) that truth is repeatedly emphasized in Jesus’ revelation to his Church Revelation 7:9; 11:9; 13:7; and 14:6
b. I told you last week, I’ll tell you again ... racists will not like Heaven
5. 4th, we will be singing praise to the King with the angels, the Seraphs and the Cherubs
ILLUS. In this passage we’re told about myriads of angels, and chiliads of angels. John sees thousands upon thousands of angels. The Greek word for “thousands” is “’’chiliads.” John also sees ten thousands times ten thousands of angels. The Greek word for “10,000" is “myriad”. “Myriad of myriad” would mean 10,000 times 10,000. That’s 100 million! But this is in the plural — “myriads of myriads” — meaning hundreds of millions times hundreds of millions. Now were getting into the billions! But then John records that there are still “thousands of thousands” in addition to the billions. One thousand times one thousand is one million. But again, this is in the plural (“thousands of thousands”). So there are multiplied millions of angels joining with multiplied billions of angels who all worship the Lamb along with the Saints.
a. this staggering number exceeds the limits of human language and our ability to comprehend
b. together with — let’s just say “a gazillion” — angels we all sing ...
“, ‘‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”” (Revelation 5:12, ESV)
1) we’re not done yet!
6. 5th, we will be singing praise to Jesus with every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them
ILLUS. We know that birds sing and we’re told that whales sing. This week I learned that Antelope Squirrels warble, Elephants trumpet, Woodpeckers drum, and Toadfish hum. And Revelation tells us that they all will learn to sing, "... “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”” (Revelation 5:13, ESV)



“Serve the LORD with reverential awe and rejoice with trembling.” (Psalm 2:11, HCSB)
ILLUS. When I was young our family attended the Catholic Church. Worship decorum was rigidly formal — almost choreographed. You were expected to behave, and show due reverence toward the Lord and his Church.
1. in our modern society, however, irreverence is en vogue, and it has spilled over into our worship practice
a. many have come to treat worship as if it were just another gathering where crudeness and rudeness and disrespect don’t matter
2. Scripture is full of admonitions about the pursuit of reverence in our worship — Psalm 2:11 being one of many examples
ILLUS. John Calvin described reverence as the place where joy and fear are held together. Not the fear of trembling and despair, but the kind that cultivates awe and respect when contemplating God’s holiness, nearness, grace and power.
a. this is the kind of fear that Scripture calls the beginning of wisdom
b. we were built for reverence because we were built to glorify God
c. reverence in worship is that spiritual attitude and disposition of soul that humbles oneself before God’s majesty and glory
1) it’s the assumption that when we worship we’re standing on Holy Ground in the very presence of God, and that ought to affect our attitudes and behavior
3. I am not advocating for formality, but I am advocating for a return to reverence — a return to an awe of the sacred


1. I think all Christians would admit that prayer should be a part of worship a. I’m not sure most would admit that it is the highest form of worship
2. unfortunately, the Word-Faith movement has turned prayer into a self-centered superstition
a. Joel Osteen and others tell their hearers: know what you want; believe you will receive it; visualize its arrival; and speak it into existence
1) that’s stupid and boarder-line blasphemous — turning God into a means-to-an- end Who we can manipulate for our personal gratification
b. Jesus told his disciples that the essence of prayer is worship: “Father, I need You to feed me; Father, I need You to forgive me; Father, I need You to protect me, Father, I want your will to be done in my life, You are the great God, who I love with all of my heart, and soul, and mind, and strength”
3. worship aims to unite the believer with the Deity
a. worship is horizontal in that we worship with each other, but its primary thrust is vertical in that we worship before the Lord
b. in the Old Testament we hear Hanna praying ...
“And Hannah prayed and said, “My heart exults in the LORD; my horn is exalted in the LORD. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in your salvation. ” (1 Samuel 2:1, ESV)
1) do you hear the worship in her voice and words?
c. in the New Testament we hear the Apostle James teaching ...
“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you ” (James 4:8, ESV)
4. worshiping God through prayer brings us closer to Him
a. it changes us ... it changes our lives ... it changes our circumstances
b. it gives us peace ... it gives us joy ... it strengthens us ... it builds our faith


ILLUS. Christian worship has always involved music. Whether it's a praise chorus or a hymn, an anthem or an amen, whenever Christians gather together to worship God, you'll find them singing. We know that singing must matter to God, because He talks so much about it. The Bible contains more than 500 references to singing, including 50 direct commands to sing to God. But why? What's the purpose of singing? The general answer is that singing is for God's glory and our good.
1. in Ephesians and Colossians, the Apostle Paul teaches three ways to sing to the Lord: with psalms (singing the Scripture), hymns (songs that glorify God’s character and work) and spiritual songs (shorter choruses that express praise to God)
a. essentially we are to do all three
b. if Christians had actually been reading the Scriptures, we would have never had the 20-year “worship war” that split so many churches over music style — we’re to sing it all: Psalms, and Hymns, and Spiritual Songs
ILLUS. Martin Luther, the 16th century Reformer, wrote: The Devil takes flight at the sound of music, just as he does at the words of theology, and for this reason the prophets always combined theology and music, teaching of truth and the chanting of Psalms and hymns. After theology, I give the highest place and greatest honor to music.”
Let me just bring this message to a conclusion by asking you two questions. Question number one: Do you believe He is worthy? If you believe He’s worthy, what do you believe He’s worthy of? Is He worthy of your love? Is He worthy of your life? Are you willing to renounce every vain thing that brings dishonor to the Lord Jesus Christ? Worship is just simply recognizing His worth-ship. That’s why we call it worship.
The second question I want to ask is this: Are you redeemed? Are you saved?
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