Sermon “Who Is Worthy?” Revelation 5
John ushers us into the heavenly throne room where God is present.
None is able to stand before the majesty of God.
All glory, honor and praise is due him, all the time.
What is this scroll? In chapter 5 we don’t know. But we know God needs to open it.
Who is worthy? Who can determine whether people should receive blessing or cursing, life or death?
better not be me
better not be based on what we are like
better not be based on what we will do, or what we have done
Example of Paul in Acts 9. Breathing out threats. What kind of reputation? What kind of past?
Example of Ananias in Acts 9. Ana Who? Seems to be a nobody.
Exactly who do we condemn? Nobody. All need to hear and receive God’s Word and Sacrament, forgiveness, life, and salvation.
Without the Gospel we are all condemned. We have no hope.
Revelation chapters 7 and 8 tell us that the opening of the seals brings the last events on the earth.
God will pour out his righteous anger against all sin.
The world will be judged.
All who are not trusting in Jesus will finally be cast out.
This idea should be very frightening. Without God’s mercy there is no hope.
Yet in this time of judgment we also see that God is avenging all the evil which has fallen upon people throughout all history. He is protecting “a great multitude from every nation” (7.9).
Who is worthy to open the scroll? Who is worthy to bring the final judgment?
Only the one who was slain to redeem humanity from the curse - Jesus
perfect God and perfect man
the only perfect sacrifice, without sin
able to rescue us from sin.
This is the message that is central to our other readings today, from Acts 9 and John 21. In both those readings God is urgently sending his messengers. What are we to do? Go and urge the people around us to repentance and to receive the forgiveness of God. This is our hope in the world. This is how God protects that multitude. It is only by faith in his name that any will stand. Jesus is the one we read about in Revelation 5:9-10 (ESV) “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.”
We can’t make that decision, the decision to rescue people, for God. We can only hear and repeat his message. Salvation is of the Lord. He has come to make us a kingdom, to make us priests, to make us reign, right here, right now, bringing him all glory.
What of those who don’t believe? More to the point, what of you if you don’t believe? Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. Trust that he is the one who has died to redeem you to himself. He is the one who is faithful and true, able to keep you in his blessing forever and ever.