“Hurricane Harvey Death Toll Hits 70”
“Hurricane Irma’s Death Toll Now 73”
“In Puerto Rico, Death Toll from Hurricane Maria Reaches 16”
“Death Toll Rises to 360 in Mexico Earthquake”
“Massive wildfires in U.S. Northwest destroyed habitats, threaten wildlife”
“At Least 59 Killed, 527 Injured in Las Vegas Shooting”
These headlines read like an Apocalyptic book on the New York Times, Best-Seller List. But unfortunately, they didn’t come from a popular page-turner. They are the actual headlines from news stories posted in the past 30 days!
Since waking up and reading of the Las Vegas shooting at the Jason Aldean concert, I’ve been at a loss for words. When finally I found a couple of them to string together, all I could manage was, “What is this world coming to?”
Honestly, it’s a little scary. It makes you want to lock the doors and stay at home. And those of us raising children right now are taking lots of deep breaths.
In my quiet time, I’ve been reading in Revelation. It is written by the Apostle John, and in it he describes some visions where the Lord has revealed some information about the end of times. In chapter 4, John sees God on his throne. You need to read the description for yourself. It’s incredible. As a fellow writer, I imagine he had a hard time using mere words to describe what he saw. As we move to chapter 5, John tells us that in the hand of the One on the throne, God, there is a scroll with seven seals.
And an angel asks, “Who is worthy to open this scroll?” Revelation 5:3 says, “But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it.” NOT ONE WORTHY PERSON.
You can imagine how excited John was to hear and see what was inside God’s scroll. But then no one was worthy enough to open it. John was so sorrowful, the Bible says, he “wept and wept.” That’s how I’m feeling about the world right now. I want to weep and weep. Are we that evil? That full of sin? That perverse?
The answer is yes.
Our world is so broken. There is sickness and sorrow beyond the grasp of my mind.
As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one.” Romans 3:10 NIV
But before we fall into complete despair, we need to read on in our passage in Revelation.
Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. Revelation 5:5-6 NIV
The Lion of the tribe of Judah is Jesus. Jesus is worthy of opening the scroll! Then John heard the voices of “thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand” angels as they circled the throne. They sang in a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” (Rev. 5:12)
Let’s stop for a minute and let that sink in because what’s coming next is equally as good. First let’s focus on that number – “thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand.” I recently attended a football game, and the stadium held 103,000. So, I imagine at least that many angels if not more. But catch that I said “angels.” It’s one thing to have that many people, but we are talking about heavenly beings.
And these heavenly beings are singing “in a loud voice,” the Bible tells us. They are singing praises to Jesus. Can you imagine if you were John and seeing all of this? It gives me chills.
Then it gets even better. Here’s what the Word says:
Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” Revelation 5:13 NIV
I need you to fully comprehend this. First we have over a hundred thousand angels singing praises to Jesus. But then John hears EVERY creature praising God (“to him who sits on the throne”) and to Jesus (“and to the Lamb”). John didn’t just leave his description at EVERY. He goes on to say, “every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them.” In other words, every man, woman and child, as well as every animal and living thing will praise God.
So first you have a huge number of angels singing praises, then you have literally EVERY LIVING THING praising God and Jesus all together.
It. Is. Amazing.
So why do I share this with you in light of these recent events?
Your enemy, the devil, would have you focus on the division between the people of this world – the blacks and whites, democrats and republicans, conservatives and liberals, Christians and Muslims. He would have you focus on everything wrong with the world. He will discourage you and incite fear. But don’t accept his lies.
Because just when you feel like there is no hope, just when you feel like there is no good person left, there is Jesus. And HE is worthy. He is worthy to save us all. And that, my friends, is good news. It’s the best news of all.
So, if you are struggling with the events in this world or just the personal events happening in your life, don’t weep and weep. There is hope – and it’s Jesus. To Him be all the praise and honor and glory and power, forever and ever.