Worship God for two reasons: His Judgment is coming and He is the Creator.
The word “angel” in the Bible literally means messenger. God has deployed angels all throughout history to communicate messages to mankind. In the book of Revelation we see angels employed for every act God is commanding against this wicked world. They are His agents of destruction and declarations. In Chapter 14 we learn about a Trio of angels who will preach, flying through the air
The First Angel: Call to Worship (v6-7)
The first angel descends from the worshipful environs of heaven into the rebellious atmosphere on earth. His purpose is to preach to all the world and give the call to worship God. Notice verses 6 and 7, “…”
This past week on my way home one night I passed a car that had a coexist bumper sticker. I passed another one this morning on my way in to Church. Coexist: all religions should get along because all religions are the same and no one has the only truth. All are equally wrong and all are equally right. Religions are the problem with the world. The problem with that message that we Christians have is that it is a call away from worshipping the One True God. It sets Jesus alongside all other religions in the world as though He is no more and no less than any other religious figure of history. But This angel calls the world not to worship anyone you want, he calls the world to worship Jesus Christ, crucified and risen, the Son of God. Jesus will not coexist with anyone else. Isaiah 42:8 says “I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols.”
The angel’s call goes out over all the world. It is global in scope. You can hear Paul again in Colossians 1, “…” You can hear Jesus again giving the Great Commission in Matthew 28, “Go into all the world…” This is the missionary ethic: no soul left behind! The whole world is the audience of the Gospel because God wants all men everywhere to repent (2 Pet. 3:9). This divine concern for man is the root that bears the fruit of preaching the message to every man. It must be what compels us at EFC!
There are two competing forces working in the world today. On one side is the Church, employed by God, trying to advance the name of Jesus Christ and the word of God around the globe. On the other side is opposition – the satanically run world occupied with stamping out the name of Jesus. One side is trying to increase the message while the other is trying to eradicate it. Its funny, I hear people say sometimes that Hitler was a Christian and so Christianity bears the guilt of the Holocaust. What did Hitler think of Christianity? Hitler quotes about Christianity, The Big Lie, pg 216, “Pure Christianity leads quite simply to the annihilation of mankind…Let’s be the only people [Germans] who are immunized against the disease.” Christianity is “an invention of sick brains: one could imagine nothing more senseless.” “The catastrophe for us is that of being tied to a religion that rebels against all the joys of the senses.” Hitler knew the Christian ethic of seeking to repress evil desires. Things like self-control, self-denial, purity and so forth that make up the virtues of Christian living were despised. So he hated Christianity, but, worked with the Church in Germany knowing it was politically advantageous.
This angel’s message is meant to produce in the hearts of men and women the same worship of God going on in heaven. This angel’s preaching is motivated by God getting glory from men on earth, sparing men from the judgment of God, and also to bid man to join angels in heavenly worship of their mutual Creator. This angel could beckon the world with the words of Psalm 34:4, “Come worship the Lord with me, let us exalt His name together!”
Notice the language in this “eternal Gospel”: Worship God, fear God, glorify God! Worship means to acknowledge God’s worth. Fear God means to reverence Him, treat Him with the highest respect, and submit to His authority. Give Him glory means to talk and live in a way that magnifies His greatness. Clearly the world is not doing this. The angel is preaching to the rebels on earth who haven’t been worshipping God. He is calling them to repentance before its too late. That is repentance Church: not just turning from sin, but, turning from sin and turning towards God. It is not just stopping a sin, but, it is stopping that sin and starting with God. It is no longer gratifying sin and turning all the way to God to start glorifying Him with your life. Simply stopping a sin is behavior modification. We are not in the business of modification as the Church. We are into glorifying God.
Two reasons to worship God are given by the angel. First, His Judgment is Coming. Be reconciled to God before this day arrives. Get right with Him now. Don’t mock it. Don’t scoff at it. Don’t This is the mega theme of Scripture. It is all going to end and it will all end with God’s judgment. There is no getting away from it. If you don’t believe that then you will take the mark of the beast. You will worship him. You will secure your destiny in the Lake of Fire. The Judgment Day is only delayed to give people time to turn. But rather than that, people scoff and mock and ridicule the coming Judgment of God. Second Peter 3 talks about this. What will the scoffers and mockers do on the day God comes? This is awful.
Application: Keep in mind, dear Christian, that God’s day is coming. Keep pursuing righteousness with your life. Keep your faith in God. Endure Persecution and injustice. The day of God’s judgment is a powerful motivator for these things. But you have to believe that day is actually coming for it to effect you as it should.
Second, the Call to worship God is given because He is the Creator (Psalm 19:1-4; Isaiah 40:21-26; Romans 1:18-21) It was the existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre who pointed the most basic philosophical problem: there is something rather than nothing. We are here. Everything is here. How did we get here. How did it all get here? We Christians answer that question emphatically with “we are created by God in His image. We are His creation, made by His will.”
Here we come again to the theme that the Creator is to be worshipped by His creation. It is His due. He is worthy. That God is Creator ought to be the substance of all our worship. Not acknowledging Him to be the Creator is a crime of cosmic proportions. To credit someone or something else as the origin of our existence is idolatrous. Think very carefully before you give any credence to the dismal theory of evolution. No believer should be replacing God as the Creator with natural causes. That is to give the glory of God to another, something God takes very seriously in isaiah 42:8 says, “I am God and beside me there is no other. I will not share my glory with another. I will not give my praises to idols.”
Think about this obligation we have and it’s seriousness to God that we fulfill it: He will destroy those who don’t worship Him.
Psalm 19:1 says “the heavens declare your glory”, sad, when contrasted with the refusal of man to give God glory.
The Second Angel: The Condemned Woman (v8)
The Second Angel preaches about a Condemned Woman, verse 8, “…”
Who is this woman? She is not actually a she. She is actually a city. But not any city. She is the notorious Babylon the Great. The most corrupt, defiled, defiant, and evil city in the whole of human history. The only way to get across the image of her wickedness is to picture her as a drunken prostitute. This same portrayal is seen in Revelation 17:1-6, turn there with me…
Notice her global influence. Her influence will be global. Just like the first angel’s preaching was heard everywhere on earth (v6) so too does this woman’s influence reach everywhere on earth.
Notice her evil influence. The phrase “the maddening wine of her adulteries” is graphic. We see it in Revelation 17:2, 4, 6; 18:3, 9. She makes the nations mad with her wine. She gets them senseless, stumbling, drunken, intoxicated by what she puts in their cup. Like addicts they get into a frenzy, out of control, obsessed with the substance she gives them. They’ll do anything for it, and, when under her influence they’ll do anything she wants. She is the Great Harlot with a cup in her hand.
What is in her cup? “Adulteries”. Is she leading people to be unfaithful to their spouses? No, although I’m sure that’s going on. Adultery here is a different kind of adultery: the kind that’s committed against God. It’s spiritual adultery. It’s worshipping other gods rather than the True and Living God. It’s abominations of the most wicked and perverse sins imaginable, done in total defiance of God’s holiness and commands. Revelation 9:20 said, “The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshipping demons and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood – idols that cannot see or hear or walk.”
Application: Who influences you? Don’t look for any help living righteously outside of the Church. Even then you must be discerning. Choose your influences carefully.
Notice the termination of her influence. “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!” read Revelation 18:2, 4-10, 15-17, 20-24. Her demise is certain. Her Judgment is determined. Her career is very short-lived. Then she will be destroyed in a most spectacular fashion.