An election is an occasion where we pick a candidate that is deemed worthy to hold a political office. A true story is told of Picoaza, a small town in Ecuador, where it is the only known place in the world in which its residents elected a brand of foot powder as their mayor. During the town’s 1967 mayoral campaign, a foot powder company ran politically themed advertisements to promote their product, Pulvapies. For example, on the eve of the elections, the company distributed a leaflet saying, “For Mayor: Honourable Pulvapies.“ The advertising campaign worked very well. When the votes were finally counted, officials discovered there were enough write-in ballots submitted by the electorate for Pulvapies to win the election. Foot powder was considered more worthy to be mayor than conventional, human candidates!
While people may grapple with electing their leaders on earth, we thank God that there is no such dispute about worthiness in heaven. In Revelation 5:2, the apostle John describes a mighty angel who issues a challenge, “who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” It is none other than Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.
Only He is worthy to do so (Revelation 5:5) – to execute judgement, shape the course of history, rule the nations, and receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and praise.
Interestingly, John also describes Jesus as a “Lamb, looking as if it had been slain” (Revelation 5:6). In the bible, the lamb is considered the animal of sacrifice. Through His death on the cross, Jesus became a sacrifice for our sin, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). Because of this, we are redeemed and numbered as children of God (Galatians 3:26-27). Jesus has opened the way for us to heaven, where as a famous hymn says, “When we’ve been there 10,000 years, bright shining as the sun, we’ve no less days to sing His praise than when we’ve first begun.”
As we consider the implications of the events unfolding in Revelation 5, what should our response be? Here, we can take the cue from the thousands of angels, the living creatures and the elders, who “in a loud voice they were saying, ‘Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and praise!'” (Revelation 5:12). In other words, we express our adulation and thanksgiving to Jesus. This may involve singing praises, reading God’s Word, quiet reflection and prayer. In doing so, we are brought closer to God and become more like Him. James 4:8 tells us, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you”.
Next, as children of God, we should live our lives so that we honour Him through our thoughts, words and actions.
As James 2:17 says, “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” This verse does not imply that works (i.e. action) are the cause of salvation, but are the evidence of salvation. A person professes to be a Christian but leads a life that is disobedient to God’s will, either has a false faith or one that is dead. Lastly, as ambassadors for Christ and knowing the ultimate fate of believers and unbelievers, we should reach out to the unsaved. In doing so, they may one day join us in heavenly worship, “To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honour and glory and power, forever and ever!”
By Dion Goh (YCKC Bulletin 23&24 July 2016)