The Focus of Worship

Revelation  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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There is only One Who is worthy of worship--Jesus Christ.

There are a great variety of ways in which we can worship. For some, it may involve all kinds of music. Others find worship quite meaningful when watching skits or a drama. Others like worship best when prayer is predominant. There there are those who are best able to worship by listening to a message.
This isn’t even looking at the variety of styles of music; different styles of presentations; liturgical, organized or spontaneous prayer; different types of preaching, expository or topical or liturgical.
I’d like to suggest that it is not so important as to how we worship. What is important is that we take time to worship. Previously, I’ve attempted to encourage us to make worship a part of every waking moment. But most importantly, is that we understand this overriding concept:
There is only One Who is worthy of worship--Jesus Christ.

The Recipe and Reason for Worship

Revelation 5:8–10 (NASB95)
When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”
Last time, you will recall John’s turmoil as the search was on for One Who was worthy to open the scroll. Of course, we learned that it could only be Jesus Christ. Today, we read how Christ takes the scroll, since He has been given authority by the Father to execute judgment, because He is worthy.
Immediately, after He took the scroll, we see worship taking front and center stage. The four living creatures, who may be angelic beings, and the 24 elders fall down before the Lamb, Who is Christ. The worship which we saw in Revelation 4.10, is also seen here. The earlier worship given to the Father is now given to the Son, Jesus Christ. Once again, this is a reminder that Jesus is God, since only God is to be worshipped.
What could cause such worship? Consider what Dr. Barnhouse states: there are four things out of place in the universe: the church, which should be in heaven; Israel, which should be living in peace occupying all the land promised to her; Satan, who belongs in the lake of fire; and Christ, who should be seated on His throne reigning. All four of those anomalies will be set right when Christ takes the scroll from His Father’s hand. When one considers that, how could anyone not worship our Lord?
It appears that the 24 elders are holding a harp and golden bowls of incense. Notice, if you will, that there seems to be three essential elements which should be in worship, since that is our theme today. One element is praise. Here it is seen in the fact that each of the elders had a harp. This harp is the type used to accompany music. In our time, we might use a guitar, an autoharp, a piano, or a violin. So we can assume that praise is found in the music. The harp was also known in the Old Testament as being connected to prophecy. Obviously, all the prophecy which had been given throughout the Bible is about to be completely fulfilled.
We also see prayer is an essential element to worship. The 24 elders are seen holding bowls of incense, representing the prayers of God’s people. Church, I am convinced from God’s Word that when God’s people pray, this can be seen as a fragrant offering, as is pointed out several times in our Bible. We are also known by our prayer requests to experience the completion of our salvation by being in Christ’s very presence.
The third element seems to be that of proclamation. Proclamation would be teaching and preaching. Here we see it is found in the biblical truths given in the words of the songs. Worship is given with that new song of redemption. We have been purchased from the marketplace of sin and have been set free through Christ’s death.
Worship is not just one element, but it should contain all these elements—Praise, Prayers, and Proclamation. The focus needs to always be on Jesus Christ. Warren Wiersbe had an uncanny ability to get right to the heart of a thought. Regarding worship and biblical exposition or preaching, he stated: the blessing is an ignited heart, not an inflated head.
That is one of the reasons our worship teams and musicians work so hard in preparing the songs for Sunday. The desire is to cause all of our hearts to be ready to ignite on the flint of God’s Word as it rubs against our souls.
Looking at verses 9-10, we see the new song of the redeemed dealing with the complete redemption experience. . . . with your blood you purchased men for God . . . The price for the guilt of our sin has been paid. It does not matter skin color, language spoken, nationality, gender, or any other normal variation. Christ’s death has purchased mankind to Himself; those who have believed on His Name. The past has been dealt with by the purchase of His blood.
But what about the present? Praise and worship continues as we recognize the ongoing privilege of representing Christ. We are called to be a testimony and witness for Him. What a glorious privilege! We have been redeemed to be a kingdom and priests to our God.
There is also a future regarding our salvation. We will one day reign with Christ when He established His reign.

The Realm and Ramifications of Worship

Revelation 5:11–14 (NASB95)
Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.” And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped.
In verses 11-12, the scene changes. John looks, while hearing countless numbers of angels around the throne area. Most translations use the words, myriad, and thousands of thousands, ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands. Even the Greek language was limited in trying to describe the number. They were basically beyond counting. The scene would have been anything but quiet and somber. They were singing and they were doing so loudly. Most likely, from a musical description, they were probably beyond triple forte. What were they singing?
Revelation 5.12 states: “saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”” Because Christ provided our perfect redemption through His death, worship must take place. That realization that were it not for Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf, our destiny would have been hell, ought to cause us all to say in a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain . . .
We might ask, is this type of worship anything new? Not at all; but it is probably somewhat rare. Take a moment and go back to 1 Chronicles 29.10-13: “So David blessed the Lord in the sight of all the assembly; and David said, “Blessed are You, O Lord God of Israel our father, forever and ever. “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O Lord, and You exalt Yourself as head over all. “Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might; and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone. “Now therefore, our God, we thank You, and praise Your glorious name.” That was a real time view of worship as David neared the end of his earthly life.
None of us dare to lay claim to anything special from that list. Whatever power I have is from Christ; therefore, it is His. Any riches I may have, belong to Him. Whatever wisdom I may accumulate, comes from Him. It doesn’t matter what it is that we might think we have or should have. It is all of God and belongs rightfully to Jesus Christ. Remember the Scriptures saying: [We] are not our own; [we] were bought with a price.
You notice that the angels seem to always be around, knowing just what to say in their worship. We read of this even in Job 38.4-7: ““Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding, Who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the line on it? “On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone, When the morning stars sang together And all the sons of God shouted for joy?” The angels were worshiping at the creation.
Look at Luke 2.13-14: “And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”” They worshipped at Christ’s first coming.
We see the Bible reminding us that they will be worshipping at Christ’s second coming, according to Hebrews 1.6: “And when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, “And let all the angels of God worship Him.””
As we move into verses 13-14 of Revelation 5, we see that every created thing, everywhere, is involved in worship. They are all singing praise to the Father and to the Son. This sounds very much like what we often read in the Psalms.
Now you may be wondering how the wicked dead and the wicked living would be able to do this. It is helpful to clarify a couple of things. First, the wicked dead will not be resurrected to be condemned until after the millenium and the Great White Throne judgment.
Plus, those who are the wicked living will recognize, as we’ll see later in Revelation, as well as Philippians 2, that the Father and the Son are the only ones who are worthy of worship. Even though the wicked will recognize this; because of their choice to reject Jesus Christ, they will certainly not rejoice.
We read that the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” This simply is another way of saying let it be so, make it happen. And the elders fell down and worshiped. Judgment is about to begin.


Worship involves differences with different people. What is the same is that all worship must have as its focus, Jesus Christ. Certainly worship may look different and contain different elements at different times. However, what worship is and how worship happens is not to be the main focus. The central focus must be upon our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
There is only One Who is worthy of worship--Jesus Christ.
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