In this book, we’ve seen some crazy things. And the whole of Revelation has been driving to the point we are at now. In the book, and in our lives. John was using the tension of the people who were suffering in the first century to drive them to faithfulness to God.
Because we’re waiting for the great judge to come and set everything right. Back in chapter 6, the question was asked, “how long, oh Lord, holy and true, until you avenge the blood of your servants.” We saw their blood avenged by God as he destroyed Babylon.
And now, we’re going to see the response of the people of God. And what we’re going to see is worship. And this is worship that doesn’t stop.
Do you guys remember that show from back in the 90s, “Lamb Chop’s Play-Along”? They had that obnoxious ending- the song that doesn’t end. Rebecca has been teaching it to the kids for some reason (ugh).
Picture that here. This is the worship that doesn’t end. And this is a directive for all of life: always be worshiping. Because worship is a lifestyle, not a moment.
And I’ll explain more about what that means in a moment.
After this, I heard what sounded like a vast crowd in heaven shouting, “Praise the Lord! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God.
See, the word here is halleluiah, which is a Hebrew word meaning “praise Yahweh”. It comes from “hallel” meaning “praise” and “Yah” a shortened form of the name of God.
And we worship God both for who he is and for what he has done, but the worship here doesn’t end, and neither should ours.
Worship is a lifestyle, not a moment.
Worship doesn’t end just because we’ve stopped singing together. In fact, I wish sometimes churches wouldn’t sing songs. Not saying it’s divided this church, but people get so hung up on their style of worship. (If we’re faithful to what I think God has called us to do, leaving a legacy for the generations that follow us, in 10 years, I won’t like the music that we sing together. But I will still worship because it’s not about me, it’s about the one being worshiped.)
Any activity that is not sin can be worship. We are created to worship. We are always worshiping. Even when we sin, we are pouring out worship. It may just not be to God. Martin Luther- the great protestant reformer who 500 years ago on Halloween nailed his 95 Theses to the church door at Wittenberg- he says that all sin is idolatry. We forget the majesty of the one that we worship and begin to think ourselves or something else important and we worship it.
Because we constantly worship, everything we do is worship.
Eric Liddell, a devout Scottish Christian who competed in the 1924 Olympics understood the relationship between worship and life. He understood that worship is a lifestyle, not a moment. Watch this:
[[Chariots of Fire Clip]]
See, worship is not only the songs we sing on Sunday morning, but it’s the life we live between Sundays. Everything can be done as an act of worship.
So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
So check your heart. When you work, what are you worshiping? When you go to school, what are you worshiping? When you sit in church, what are you worshiping? When you drive to town, what are you worshiping? When you do chores, what are you worshiping? Worship doesn’t just take place between 10:45 and 12:00 on Sunday morning.
He is worthy of worship all the time.
His judgments are true and just. He has punished the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her immorality. He has avenged the murder of his servants.”
Did you notice that God is praised here for his integrity? He is consistent with his character. He has said that he must punish sin, and he does. He is consistent with his character from Genesis through Revelation. He is the same God yesterday today and forever. He has integrity.
Because God is a God of integrity, we must strive to be people of integrity as well. Doing the same things in private as we do in public. We must by God’s grace, not be hypocrites.
Maybe that means you need to stop a private habit that is not honoring to God. Or maybe you’re trapped in it, and you need to confess it publicly. We’re all jacked up. We’re just all jacked up in different ways. If you look around in our church and think there are any perfect people, you’re dead wrong. We’re not perfect people. We’re forgiven people.
We have people here who were drug addicts, adulterers, alcoholics, abusers, victims, loners, broken, murderers, porn addicts, fornicators, haters, coveters, and the worst of all, the self-righteous. And thank God for what we are saved from! NEVER forget where you came from. NEVER forget what you’ve been forgiven. When you forget how much you’ve been forgiven, you can forget to extend the radical grace of God to the unforgiven.
Live with integrity, like God does. Don’t pretend you’re better than other people. Don’t be a hypocrite.Think of others as better than yourself. You can begin to worship yourself when you forget that you are a forgiven sinner. Our sin problems are worship problems. Worship is a lifestyle, not a moment. How’s your worship?
And again their voices rang out: “Praise the Lord! The smoke from that city ascends forever and ever!”
Then the twenty-four elders and the four living beings fell down and worshiped God, who was sitting on the throne. They cried out, “Amen! Praise the Lord!”
Do you notice the contrast between the people of God and the people of the world? The people of the world lament. The people of God rejoice. We’ll explore this more next week, but the people of God are people of joy. Do you choose joy and praise, or are you more negative? Just think about that this week. Because there’s joy in how we worship. Worship is a lifestyle, not a moment. Do you choose worship? Do you choose joy? Is there joy in your marriage? Or if you’re single, is there joy in your singleness? Is there joy in your parenting?
And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”
This is joy given to us by God and the joy that God possesses that is part of his character.
Fix your eyes on Jesus. Worship Jesus and you will know joy. Maybe not perfect joy all the time, but true joy.
I’m guilty of taking my eyes off of Jesus and putting them on myself, and I begin to sink into negativity.
One of Jesus’ disciples, Peter, in the boat- Jesus tells him to walk on water. Only begins to sink when he takes eyes off of Jesus and puts them on the obstacles.
And from the throne came a voice that said, “Praise our God, all his servants, all who fear him, from the least to the greatest.”
And the voice is talking about you. The voice is talking to you. How will you respond? Will you understand that Worship is a lifestyle, not a moment, or will you sing a song, and leave and come back again next Sunday to “worship”?
Don’t let the song we’re about to sing be the end of your worship, but the start of it. Whatever you do this week, let it be to worship God. If you go fishing, worship God. If you ride a motorcycle, worship God. If you work with cattle, worship God.
How? Simply ask yourself: “what’s my motivation for doing what I’m doing?” If your answer is the same as Eric Liddell’s: because when I do _____ (give examples), I feel his pleasure, then change the way you think about worship, because Worship is a lifestyle, not a moment.