I’ve been sharing some thoughts concerning the last message of warning given to a dying planet – Revelation 14:6-12. Although this message is for “those who dwell on the earth,” people who are not in a relationship with God and don’t give God glory, it raises questions for all people.
The last part of the first angel’s message is: “Worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”
A central theme in the Revelation of Jesus Christ is worship. In Revelation 13, we see a counterfeit trinity – the dragon and the two beasts – and it seeks to be worshipped. To get what it wants this satanic triple threat resorts to deception and manipulation, even to the point of murder. Look at Revelation 13:11-12, 15: Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed… He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.
God’s solution to this attack against humanity is to call people to worship him who made. Not to worship things. Not to worship people. Certainly not to worship the dragon who never made anything except trouble.
Now if we didn’t take in any context, it might seem like God is demanding worship. Those who believe the devil’s lies about God say he just a needy dictator who goes around saying, “Worship me, worship me.” Let’s be clear: God doesn’t need to be worshipped by us or anybody else. No, we need to worship him for our own good. The call to worship God is an act of love because everything else we worship is about to collapse; it’s about to a powerful vortex of destruction and God doesn’t want anyone to get sucked into it.
There’s actually a process in the passage that reveals God’s love. It begins with the everlasting Good News – God’s acceptance of us – God always takes the initiative because we are disabled, broken and lost. What happens when we accept God’s acceptance of us; when we trust in him and his desire to save us and bring us home? We begin a close, intimate, repentant relationship with our Lord and Saviour. We begin to know God and be known by God; often referred to as ‘fearing God.’ With faith in the Good News, really the truth about who God is, living in an ever-deepening relationship, we will begin to give God glory: loving God, others and even ourselves just like God loves us. When our lives are moving to the rhythm of God’s grace, we can’t help but have a life of gratitude – worshipping him who made.
The amazing thing is, if we don’t resist God’s love, this will happen automatically, moment by moment, day by day.