Summary: We find hope in Missions when we see the fulfillment in this multi-cultural, multi-linguistic, multi-ethnic host praising God. The great conclusion of all people groups around the throne. The revelation of Jesus Christ, and his plan for all peoples.
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. (Revelation 5:9)
While I was preparing this message, I was traveling from a meeting in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I had a window seat on my flight so I was able to observe Chiang from an aerial view. I looked at the city square incased by a moat. I could see from that vantage point many of the two hundred or so Buddhist temples in that small confined area.
I looked for the temple that contained the founding pillar of the city and the tree there at the temple that represented a covenant that the founding fathers of Chiang Mai made. A covenant that they would worship the guardian spirit as long as the tree would stand. As my flight came to Bangkok I was once again struck by the vivid architecture of the many Buddhist temples. The design of the temples are unique and, no doubt, designed to give honor to some unseen power, whether that be spirits or to a god.
These grand temples are designed to give honor. It is however, a misplaced honor. It is an honor that is due to Jesus Christ alone. He is the one who created every human being, including all temple architects. Jesus is the provider of every Orchid flower and every fruit, even of those laid in their spirit house. Jesus is the one who creates and sustains. His name is whom all honor and glory is due. He is worthy!
God’s desire is that the name of Jesus, the name above all names be utterly lifted up, exalted and adored. He longs to see His name revealed in a distinct and clear way. The result of His purpose is that the name of Jesus would be distinguished from any other god, or spirit or system.
That has not yet taken place. We can look around and see so many places where God’s name does not receive the honor due. This is the condition as we have it now. We can see God is not receiving the honor due his name. This is not the way it should be. We have recorded here in scripture the clear testimony that it will not remain this way. God will fulfill his purposes. His name will be honored. We have an assurance from the Word of God that He will fulfill his purposes.
We should align our lives with the purposes of God. His purpose is to bring honor due his name in every nation. The fulfillment of God’s redemptive purpose in Jesus, not only in every nation but also among every language. Not just every language, but among every people group. He will accomplish His grand plan and we have the opportunity to be a part of this mission. "Blessed are those who hear the words of this prophecy and take it to heart." (Rev 1:3)
I) Jesus is worthy (Rev 5:9)
And they sang a new song: You are worthy
John saw the purposes of God fulfilled among every tribe, people and language. God gave John the privilege to see His future plan unfolded. He gave John a future glimpse of what it will be like when God’s purposes are accomplished.
John’s vision provides hope to us. John received this vision while being held as a prisoner on the island of Patmos. It was in this context of severe troubles that John saw the vision of Jesus getting the honor due His name. At the time of John’s vision the emperor required people to ascribe him the honor due Christ alone. Those, like John, who refused to worship the emperor, were persecuted. In the midst of the discouraging situation comes this marvelous vision!
Was John the first to see such a vision? No. Daniel was another who saw it. The scripture vividly describes Daniel seeing the same vision John saw. The words describing their vision are almost identical. Daniel saw the exalted Christ. He saw Him receiving the authority and glory and the sovereign power due his name. Daniel saw the extent of God’s purposes. God desires his name to be known and honored to the ends of the earth. Daniel saw the worship and the Glory of Christ extending to, "all peoples, nations and language." (Daniel 7: 13-14)
Since Daniel saw this vision before John, we can ask, is there anyone else recorded in Scripture, who saw this vision? Again, the answer is yes. Abraham saw it too! Jesus said, "Abraham saw my day and rejoiced." (John 8: 56)
"This is the stand out treasure of Abraham Hebraic reality, hope. There is going to be something powerful and lovely in the end. God took Abraham out into the night sky and said, ’Count those stars, if you can.’ It is going to be that extensive, that vast. Abraham believed God and saw the night sky. Jesus actually says Abraham saw my day and rejoiced. That night he actually saw the day of Christ. Not just when Jesus would come, but a flourishing among all peoples. This is the substance of hope. That there is a great finish a culmination." (SH)