Summary: The theme of heaven is the same as the theme of the church all through history. In the cross of Christ I glory. The cross and what Jesus accomplished there will the theme of endless songs in eternity.
WORTHY OF WORSHIP based on Rev. 5:1-14
By Pastor Glenn Pease
Back in the early part of this century when Billy Sunday was drawing thousands to his meetings, a new song was introduced that became very popular. It become so popular that Homer Rodehaver, the great music man of the day, wrote a history of its influence. He traveled around the world and found it being sung in the French Foreign Legion even. Missionaries reported that it was sung by children in the remote interior of Siam. From around the globe came stories of its impact on all classes of people.
This new song, published in 1918 was the simple song, Brighten the Corner Where You Are. Mrs. Ogden, who wrote it wanted to do something great for God in the world, but like most people she had to live her life in the small world of her family and community. Then one day she wrote a song that expressed her own insight into God's will for her and all His children. The first stanza goes-
Do not wait until some deed of greatness you may do.
Do not wait to shed your light afar,
To the many duties ever near you now be true,
Brighten the corner where you are.
The paradox is, she did just that and wrote her song for her own corner, but the light of it spread around the globe. You never know what a new song will do. It may die in birth, or become a giant best seller. The world and the church have this in common: They are ever looking for a new song to convey a message, and capture the hearts and minds of the masses.
As we gaze into heaven with the Apostle John we discover this goes on right into eternity, and there is ever a new song. John hears the whole kingdom of God, that is, all of the redeemed, and all of the animal kingdom, joining in a new song of praise to the Lamb. The paradox of this new song is that, though it is new, it is still a song of the old, old story of Jesus and His love. The theme of heaven is the same as the theme of the church all through history. In the cross of Christ I glory. The cross and what Jesus accomplished there will the theme of endless songs in eternity. When we experience the fullness of all He saved us for, we will never cease to sing a new song. Here we are to pray without ceasing. There we will sing without ceasing, and the one word that stands out as the defining word of all this praise is the word-worthy. Of the 7 uses of the word worthy in Revelation, 4 of them are right here.
In verse 2, the mighty angel asked the question, "Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?"
In verse 3, John weeps, for no one in heaven or earth was found worthy.
In verse 9, The new song sung by the 24 elders begins with the words, "You are worthy."
In verse 12, The angelic hosts of heaven join in the song making it completely universal, and they sing, "Worthy is the Lamb."
The theme of eternal and universal music will be, Jesus is worthy of worship. You only worship what is worth it. What is of ultimate value is what is worthy of our worship. All of life for the Christian is, in a very real sense, choir practice, for the grand performance of singing this eternal new song-worthy is the Lamb. We need to learn to do now what we will do forever, therefore, we need to understand all we can about the worthiness of our Lord. As we examine this heavenly scene the first thing we see is-
I. THE REQUIREMENT OF WORTHINESS.
The scene opens with the focus on a scroll in the right hand of God. It is a very long scroll with writing on both sides, but it is not readable because it is sealed with 7 seals which means it is so totally sealed it is as good as locked up in Fort Knox. Even that does not convey its secrecy, for there has never been a more top secret classified document in history. The only one who had access to this scroll was one who was worthy. This is the one requirement that would allow anyone to see this information.
Yet, with only one requirement there was no one in heaven, on earth, or under the earth who could even look inside, let alone open the scroll. You can't make any less than one requirement, but this one was too many for all the beings in God's creation. Gabriel or Michael, the great archangels of the Bible, did not step up and say I qualify. They were sinless beings who never disobeyed God, and they served Him faithfully, and worshipped Him consistently, and still, even these highest of holy angels could not meet this one requirement. They were not worthy to open the scroll, and if they were not worthy, then there is no point in looking on earth or under the earth. If you can't find jewelry in a jewelry store there is not much point in searching a hardware store. If none in heaven can meet this requirement, then the search is over. Worthiness at this point is the most scarce commodity in the entire universe. It is a sad lack too, for here is one of the most fascinating books in all the universe, and nobody will ever get to read it, for nobody is worthy.