In Revelation 5 there is great commotion in heaven! A lot is happening. There are 24 elders, 4 living creatures, the one seated on the throne, and a mighty angel asking a question (v. 2) ... "Who is worthy to break the seal and open the scroll?" Everyone wants to know what will unfold next. Sounds like the ending of 2020 and the beginning of 2021! What will happen next?
It is interesting when I hear people talk about John's Revelation. There are those that 'feel' it is totally symbolic, even though total symbolism allows folks to believe whatever they dream up (sounds like Facebook today!). There are those that 'feel' it is totally literal, even though apocalyptic writing in John's day would have been filled with hyperbole and figurative language. I am reminded that truth, facts, and solid study of John's Revelation are almost always trumped by people's feelings. I am reminded of the harrowing phrase at the end of Judges ... "In those days Israel had no king and everyone did as they saw fit! (21:25)." I hope my observation in this blog is solidly based on fact and the plain, true word of Scripture, appropriately held out for you inside the context of that good word.
So ... here it is. The answer to the question. Is anyone worthy to open the scroll and unveil the events of our future? Is anyone worthy to both tell us and lead us through that future to our eternal destination? Is anyone worthy to judge, proclaim and offer guidance as we turn the page on one year and look into the next? Yes! Jesus is!
In both services Sunday we will sing about this. Methodists are rightly accused of singing our theology, and Sunday will be no exception. The song is entitled "He Is Worthy" and it responds to the question posed by the angel with the mighty voice. It is not feelings-based. It is not opinion-based. It is not based on political happenings. It is not based on Facebook falseness. It is not based on cults who say follow or find your heart. The song is based on the answered question in Revelation 5:9-10 ... the lamb who was slain is worthy because He "purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation."
My question to you today is ... "Who or what is turning your page?" I am asking this because we who call ourselves Christians are seemingly confused by the scene in Revelation. It is not presented because it is strange, attention-grabbing or edgy. It is presented to show us a truth that will last through the generations all the way to the ending of the age. That truth is (as Deuteronomy 30 expresses) not vague ... "it abides on your lips and resides in your heart." God's truth is near ... it is told ... so why are we so dense that we look for our future in the patterns, places, politics, pleasures and prognostications of our time? God's word and truth are near to us. Who is worthy to turn our page and give us a hope and a future that is filled with God? Jesus is.
That truth is affirmed in heaven. John saw it and wrote it. Now, it is time ... in this watershed year ... for Jesus-followers to live it out, following the one who is worthy to follow. For there is another truth in Revelation 5. Every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea will say ... "be praise and power and glory and honor forever and ever."