Adrian Rogers - Worthy is the Lamb
Find Revelation chapter five and, when you've found it look up here. Revelation chapter five. The scene is in heaven right after the rapture of the church. May I ask you a personal question? Thank you. Here's the question: do you have a cause worth living for? May I ask you another question: is what you are living for worthy of Jesus dying for? May I ask you another question: when you get to where you are headed, now, listen to this one, when you get to where you're headed, where will you be? You are all headed somewhere. When you get to where you are headed, where will you be? Now, I want to talk to you about living a life that is worthy, worthy of Jesus. Many of us are shoveling smoke and plowing water. I mean, after it's all over, it will make no difference whatsoever.
Recently the reader's digest said that in order for a person to be happy, for a person to be fulfilled, for a person to have a meaningful life, they needed three things. Number one, they need someone to love. Number two, they need something to do. Number three, they need something to hope for. Someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for. Now I think they're basically right, but they didn't give the answer. Ha, ha, the answer is Jesus. He is all three of those things. He's the one that we love. He's the one that we serve. And in him, in Jesus is our hope
Now, Revelation chapter five is beyond a shadow of any doubt or peradventure one of the most glorious chapters in all of the Bible. And, I have titled our message today, "He is worthy". But I could title the message, "O what a Savior," because it means exactly, precisely the same thing. Jesus Christ is the only one worthy of my love, my life, my all, and yours. And you will never, listen, you will never have satisfaction, you will never have true fulfillment, you will never understand why you were made, why God created you, until you come to worship the one who is worthy. Now, there're three things I want to say about the Lord Jesus Christ, and I pray God will write these upon your heart today.
First of all, Jesus is exclusively worthy of worship. Now look if you will in Revelation chapter five verse one. John is in heaven now and he says, "And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book," literally folks, the word is s, a scroll, something rolled up, "A scroll written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, 'who is worthy.'" now this is the whole question, "Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders saith unto me, 'weep not: behold, the lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.'"
Now what is all of this about? Well, when God created the world, God turned this world over to Adam and said, "Adam, you're the king of the earth. Eve, you're the queen. I give you dominion". And God gave to Adam and Eve dominion over the whole wide world. He gave this to Adam. But then Satan came into the Garden of Eden, as you remember, and crawled his slimy, corroding path onto the pages of history. And he beguiled eve, and he ruined Adam. And he was, what we'd call today, a con artist. And he slicked them. And they sold the farm to him as it were. And he went away with the title deed to all creation. They took that dominion that God had given to them and they turned it over to Satan. Let me give you two or three scriptures that point that out.
For example, second Peter chapter two verse 19, the Bible says, "For of whom a man is overcome," is, eh, "Of the same is he brought into bondage". Satan overcame Adam and Eve and therefore became their, his slave. They became slaves of Satan. Now, did, uh, God recognize this slavery? Yes, he did. As a matter of fact, in Luke chapter four verse six, when the devil came to tempt, Jesus, one of the temptations was that he would give to Jesus the kingdoms of this world. And here's what he said, Luke four verse six, "And the devil said unto him, 'all this power will I give unto thee and the glory of them, for that is delivered unto me and whomsoever I will give it.'" huh, "Adam gave it to me. It was delivered to me, the power of the glory of this world. And Jesus, I have the power to give it to you.
Now if you'll just bow down and worship me, what I took from Adam, the first man, I will give to you if you worship me". Jesus did not say to Satan, "It's not yours to give". No, because, Adam, uh, lost it and he lost it legally. Paul called the devil in second Corinthians 4:4, "The God of this world," or, "The god of this age". Now it's a god with a little "g," but he's the one who has it all. It was foolishly lost. But it was legally lost. I have a friend whose father gave him a brand new car, a brand new car as a youngster. Do you know what he did with the car? He gave it to somebody else. Now how would you feel if you were a dad, somebody gave you a car, I me, and you gave your child a car, and turned around and gave it to someone else? But my friend gave his car, that his father gave him, to someone else. And when he did, it was legally that person's.
God gave Adam dominion. Adam gave it, delivered it to Satan. It was legally lost, and it has to be legally regained. What is this book, therefore, what is this mysterious book? It is the title deed of creation. It is the, it is the title to this earth that Jesus is going to gain back, or that Jesus has gained back. Now here's an interesting scripture. Over in Leviticus chapter 25 and verse 25, "If thy brother be waxen poor, and hath sold away some of his possessions, and if any of his kin come to redeem it, then shall he redeem that which his brother sold".
Now in the Old Testament, God gave the land, the property rights to the people. It was God's to give and God gave it to the people. Now sometimes a man would foolishly loose his, possession, or sometimes he would get so poor he'd have to sell it and he'd turn it over to someone else. Now God had a way that that possession that was lost could be brought back. There had to be a redeemer. Somebody who was wealthy enough to pay the price, but he had to be a near kinsman. And if he were a near kinsman related to this individual who lost his position, if he had the wherewithal to get it back, then he could redeem it.
Now this is what salvation is all about. This is what this book is all about. It is the book of redemption. It is the title deed to the earth that Jesus bought it back. Jesus is our near kinsman and Jesus bought back that which Adam forfeited and that which Adam lost. Jesus bought it back. Ah, he's our near kinsman. That's the reason he stepped out of heaven and became a man. He had to be a man to redeem us. Our, our, our, re, our her, inheritance was lost by a man: it has to be redeemed by a man. But not just any man, because this man who redeems it has to have the price of redemption and the price of redemption, as we're going to see, is the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now John sees this book and he wants this book opened. He wants the seals broken. But, an angel gives a challenge, "Who is worthy? Who is able to open the book"? Notice in verse two, "And a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, 'who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?'" in order for a person to be worthy, number one, he had to be a near kinsman, and number two, he had to have the price to pay. And so, they're looking around, there's a search for someone worthy. No man in heaven, none of the saints: Peter, James, Paul, Andrew, Moses, David, none in heaven was able. Nor in the earth: no man all around, eh, John as he looked at all of those who might be living, of all of the saints on the earth.
And if he were living today, he would see that the presidents and the kings, it doesn't say who is willing: it says who is worthy. Huh, there're plenty willing, Mussolini and Hitler and Genghis Khan, Charlemagne the Great, Napoleon, they were all willing, but they weren't able. "No man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth". There's no demon spirit, none who have died, none who have gone ahead, none in the, none in the netherworld. There's none that's able to open the book, neither to look upon. And so John begins to weep great salty tears. Is there no hope for planet earth? Yes, yes surely the redeemed are in glory, huh, there around the throne.
But what about this earth? This earth that is such a mess. This dominion that God made. Has the devil going to get it? Is he going to keep it? And John's tears represent the tears of people from the time that Adam and Eve looked down upon the broken and bruised body of their son, Abel, that was murdered by another of their sons. And, and, and John weeps and our world is filled with tears and saturated with buckets of blood and oceans of tears and John says, "Is there no hope"? Yes, we've been redeemed, but what about the earth? What about God's creation? And John begins to weep, because look in verses three and four, "No man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, and I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open, to read the book, and to look thereon".
Why could no man do it? Well, because all of those of us who are in Adam are slaves. You see, Adam became a slave of Satan. He was brought into bondage. Now, the child of a slave, the son of a slave is a slave himself. And we were all born into slavery. We were all born as slaves of Satan, eh, descendants of Adam. And not only does the master, on, own the slave, but he owns all that the slave owns. So we are slaves and we're bankrupt. There's no way that we can redeem, there's no way that we can buy back what Adam lost because we do not have what it takes. That's the reason Jesus came to earth. He came as the second Adam to undo, or to put back right what the first Adam did. By the way, that's why he was born of a virgin. Had he not been born of a virgin, he would have been a son of Adam. Being born of a virgin he's the Son of God.
Now if he'd been a son of Adam, he'd have been a slave. And all that belonged to Adam would belong to him, the slavery and the bankruptcy. But he is born of a virgin. The Holy Spirit of God generated in the womb of Mary that holy life. And now he's, though he's perfect man made of a woman, he is not a son of Adam. He is the Son of God: Son of Man and Son of God. He was born of a virgin to be what he was: sinless. He was sinless to do what he did: to die on the cross to pay our sin debt. For the Bible says, "We're not redeemed with corruptible things such as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ as a la, as a lamb without spot or without blemish". He had to be a perfect, sinless sacrifice. Uh, he could not offer any corruptible sacrifice. Only the blood of Jesus Christ, the sinless blood of Jesus Christ could pay the debt. And so the Lord Jesus Christ stepped out of heaven and the Lord Jesus Christ is exclusively worthy.
Now listen to me. Listen, there is no way, I hope you'll listen to this, I hope those of you who are listening through television will hear this. There's absolutely no way, there's not one scintilla of an iota, one half a hallelujah of a chance of anybody anywhere from the time of creation till the time of consumption ever going to heaven apart from Jesus Christ. That's it. You say, "That's narrow". You've got it. You've got it. You say, "You're bigoted". Well, don't call me bigoted, just call Jesus bigoted. He's the one who said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the father but by me". That's scripture. The Bible says, "Neither is there salvation in any other. For there's none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved".
Here's the first point of our message: Jesus Christ is exclusively worthy. No one else could do it. John says there's no one in heaven, earth, or beneath the earth that was worthy to open this book. If you were to take all the six billion people on the face of the earth today and put them in single file and put a receptacle and have each one of them pass by and put into that receptacle all of his inherent goodness and then take that goodness out and put it into one man, that one man would not be worthy to open this book. There's only one who could do it, our near kinsman, the Lord Jesus Christ who paid the price. So, here's the first point: Jesus is exclusively worthy. Jesus is exclusively worthy.
Now, here's the second point, huh, not only is Jesus exclusively worthy, but Jesus is exceedingly worthy. Ha, ha, he is exceedingly worthy. How important it is that we see this. Uh, look if you will in, verses 10 and 11, "And the four and twenty elders fell down before him that sat upon the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne saying, 'thou art worthy, o Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.'" now we're back in chapter four because we have to go back and get a running start. And by the way, chapters four and five really belong together.
Now, the chapter divisions were put there by those who, later on who printed the Bible for us and bound it. There're no chapter divisions. I've told you before the chapter divisions are only there to keep preachers from preaching too long. Huh, ha. Now, now we're going back to chapter four: we're going to talk about, why Jesus is so ex, ex, exceedingly worshy, worthy. I want to mention three reasons and they're right here in our text. Number one: he is worthy because of creation. No, notice again the, verse 11, chapter four verse 11, "Thou art worthy, o Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created". It's not about us Lord. Not about me: it's about you.
Did you think everything's all about you? Do you think you're the center of the universe? It was all created by him and for him. And he's the one who is worthy of our worship. He's the Creator. No one else can create. Ha, ha, men talk about creating life in the laboratory. You can't create life in the laboratory. Uh, you, man can take what God has synthesized and create some life-like substance in the laboratory. Suppose my father's a master builder and he can build magnificent houses. And when my father's away, I get my father's tools, my father's plans, my father's materials and I build a dog house. And then I point at that dog house and say, "You see that dog house? That proves my father doesn't exist".
That's what man does to try to, eh, say that he doesn't need God. There's a story going around about a man who got in a, argument with God and said, "Look, you're not the only Creator. I can create now". He's a scientist. "I can make a man". God said, "Well, let's see you do it". So the man says, "Well, I'm gonna take this, these elements out of this dirt". God said, "Uh, uh. Get your own dirt". Get your own dirt. There's only one, only one who can create. And friend, listen to me, his name is Jesus and he's worthy. He's worthy because of creation. Secondly, he's worthy because of Calvary. Now go to chapter five and look at verses six and seven, "And I beheld, in the midst of the throne and the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne".
The lamb, there we see the sacrificial lamb. He's the one there in the glory. And he comes and takes this book out of the hand of this mighty angel. It is the title deed to all of the earth. Now, John is weeping. No one is able. Who's able? Well, here comes the lamb. The lamb says, "I can take this book and I can open it". Well, John, really is expecting to see a lion. Huh, because, the lion of the tribe of Judah, but, there is a lamb that is there. And notice if you will, in this verse. What, what does John see when he sees this lamb? Well, first of all, he sees a redeeming lamb, a redeeming lamb. You know the Greek word for lamb is amnos. Uh, but that's not the word that's used here. Eh, the word that's used here is arnios. And what that word arnios means is a little pet lamb. Huh, John, expecting to see a, a lion, and he sees, he sees a lamb. And not even a lamb that's fairly good size. He sees the most helpless of creatures: a little arnios, a little pet lamb. You can't conceive of anything weaker than a little lamb.
You remember in the Passover when they were to take a lamb, a firstlings of the flock, and sacrifice it? Uh, God said they were not to just take any lamb off the streets. They were to go, to select a perfect lamb, a lamb without spot and a lamb without blemish. And then they were to take it and keep it in their home for four days. Now, can you imagine what would happen in a Hebrew home if you had a little lamb like that for four days in your house? You imagine how the children would feel about that lamb? Uh, this, this little lamb. Uh, they would cuddle it: they would hold it: they would pet it: uh, they would snuggle it: this little helpless creature until they had identified themselves with it. This word arnios is only used one other time in the, in the Bible where Jesus said to Peter, "Feed my little arnios. My, my pet lambs".
And so here's what John sees: he sees this one, this, this lamb, this little, tiny, innocent, helpless lamb, but wait a minute. John says, "This lamb is different". John looks at this, this lamb, and he, he finds some characteristics about this lamb that I want you to see. Uh, for example, this lamb as though it had been slain is now standing. This redeeming lamb, this one who shed his blood, he's now standing. That is, he's no longer dead. He's a lamb, as though it'd been slain, so he still has the marks, the nail prints, but now he's standing. He laid down in death, but now this lamb has risen. He is a redeeming lamb. He is a resurrected lamb.
Now watch this, and he is a reigning lamb. Look in verse six, chapter five and verse six and notice how he is described, "And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a little lamb as if it had been slain," that's a redeeming lamb, "He stood," that's a resurrected lamb, "Having seven horns". Now in the Bible, in Bible prophecy, a horn speaks of power. Seven is the perfect number. This lamb is omnipotent. He has seven horns. Now notice also, and he has seven eyes. Eyes speak of wisdom. Not only is he omnipotent, he is omniscient. He sees everything. "The eyes of the Lord to, run to and through, throughout the whole earth". And then notice also and there are, "Seven spirits of God sent forth to all of the earth".
Again, seven the perfect number, he is not only omnipotent, he's not only omniscient, he's omnipresent, "To all the earth". There's no where that he is not! What a lamb! Now in the Bible, here in the Book of the Revelation, we're going to see the devil. What is the devil? A great red dragon with a tail so long he sweeps a third of the stars from heaven. And then we're going to see the beast out of the sea, the antichrist with his militant millions. And who comes against them all? A lamb, the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus. The redeeming lamb, the resurrected lamb, the reigning lamb. And Jesus is worthy because of creation. He is worthy because of Calvary. And he is worthy because of conquest. I want you to notice also, look in verse five, "And one of the elders said unto me, 'weep not: behold, the lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, hath prevailed to open the book.'"
Do you see that word prevailed? It's the Greek word, nikao. It's the word we get our word Nike from. It speaks of victory. Some of you kids have tennis shoes, how many of you got any tennis shoes called Nike? Huh, alright, people, some of you, not kids that lifted your hand. Ha, that, that just simply is, it's the, it's the symbol of victory. It's the, it's the name of victory. Uh, this, this lamb is nikio, nikao. He is the one who has prevailed. He is the one who is the victor. So if you were to ask the Lord Jesus, "Jesus, by what right do you have? How can you take this book and open this book"? He'd say, "I'll tell you why. I'll tell you why I'm worthy. I'm worthy because of creation: I made it all to begin with. I'm worthy, number two, because of Calvary: I have redeemed it and I bought it with my blood. I am the precious Lamb of God. And number three, I am worthy because of conquest: I have prevailed".
And friend, he has. And I want to tell you, I love him with all of my heart, with all of my heart because he is worthy. He is worthy. He is exclusively worthy. And there is none other. No one else can open this book. He is exceedingly worthy through creation, through Calvary, through conquest. Now here's the third thing I want to say about him: he is eternally worthy, he is eternally worthy. Chapter five verse eight, "And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and the four and twenty elders fell down before the lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials," the word vial here is better translated bowls, "Full of odors," which means incense, "Which are the prayers of the saints. And they sung a new song, saying, 'thou art worthy to take the book, and open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation: and hast made us unto our God kings and priests.'"
And then, skip on down to verses 13 and 14, "And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that in them, a, all that are in them, heard I saying, 'blessing, and honor, and glory, and power,'" now listen to this, "'be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the lamb forever and ever.'" He is eternally worthy, forever and ever. There was never a time when he's not worthy. Never will be a time when he is not worthy. He is worthy of our worship. This is the eternal song of the ages.
Now here we enter the throne zone. And we see there in heaven, ah, this, this praise symbolized by harps and by bowls. The harps worship, is our worship expressed. You know, the Old Testament Psalms were sung to harp music. And then the bowls are incense. And, and, it speaks of our praise and of our prayers. Now, are we still praying up in heaven? Well, these prayers, as we're going to see later on in the Book of Revelation, that are, are mentioned here are prayers that have already been prayed. They may've been prayed by your grandmother or by your great grandfather, or by the apostle Paul. But now they're collected, these prayers are up in heaven, and they're sweet incense. And God has not forgotten a single prayer.
Now sometimes we don't see our prayers answered and we think perhaps they've been forgotten. Or sometimes we don't see God working and we think that God is not working. But here we see these golden bowls full of incense. When the high priest would go into the temple, he would take a, a bowl, a basin of incense. The aroma would perfume the air. And that's all, only an illustration of the prayers of the saints. Did you know that when you pray, it's a sweet smelling savor in the nostrils of God? And when you praise, the Bible calls that the sacrifice of prayer.
Have you thought that perhaps God didn't hear your prayer? Let me ask you a question: how many of you have ever prayed this prayer? And, every hand ought to go up. "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven". Have you ever prayed that prayer, let me see your hand? We've all prayed that prayer. Alright, now I want to ask you a question: has God's kingdom come? Is his will being done on earth as it is in heaven? No. Did you pray a prayer therefore that was not answered? Friend, that prayer is heard and you're going to see the answer to that prayer here in the Book of the Revelation. Because one of these days his kingdom will come and, "The kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ".
This is what it is all about. God has not forgotten. And your prayers are there as a, a sweet savor in the nostrils of Almighty God. So, now there's a song in heaven. And we must wrap this up. I want you to notice the refrain of that song in Revelation chapter five and, verse 12, "Worthy is the lamb that was slain". Do you know what we're gonna be singing in heaven? We're going to be singing about the blood. Now the Bible says they sang a new song. It's not, new in the sense that nobody's ever heard it before. It's new because we're now redeemed up in the glory. And when in scenes of glory I sing the new, new song, it will be the old, old story that I have loved so long. The refrain of that song: think of the reach of that song. It's going to echo and thunder from the highest heaven to the lowest hell.
Look in verses 13 and 14, "And every creature which is heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such are, are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, 'blessing, and honor, and glory, and power to the lamb forever and ever.'" From every possible sphere, they're going to give the, the Lord Jesus Christ glory. Everybody's going to confess it. "'As I live,' saith the Lord, 'every knee shall bow to me and every tongue shall confess to God.'" Now look up here for a moment. Reach down and touch your knees. Okay, now stick your tongue out at me. Feel that tongue, touch those knees, listen to me and don't you forget it, everyone listening to me. Those knees are going to bow to Jesus Christ. That tongue, I tell you as I'm standing here, will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Every knee shall bow: every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. Osama will confess it.
Madeline Murray O'Hare will confess it, the famous atheist. Look up here and let me tell you something. She is not an atheist now. She is not an atheist now. Jesus Christ, hear me my friend, he is exclusively worthy! There's none other! No one can open this book. He is exceedingly worthy because of Calvary, because of creation, because of conquest. And he is eternally worthy forever and ever and ever. If I had a thousand lives, I'd give every one to Jesus Christ. The wisest thing that anybody could ever do would to be to bow the knee to Jesus Christ. Because friend, you may not receive him as Savior, but I will promise you, one day you will confess him as Lord. One day you will. Why not receive him as Savior? Would you bow your heads in prayer?
Every head bowed and every eye closed. How many can say today, "Pastor Rogers, I know by the grace of God, I have repented of my sin. I've trusted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. He has redeemed me. He has changed my life. And I have a changed life as a testimony. I know that I am saved and if I should die today I'd go straight to heaven".
If you'd give me that testimony, would you lift your hand? Hold it up. Alright, now take it down. If you couldn't lift your hand, may I help you right now to get it settled? Salvation is a gift. And therefore, you can receive it by faith today. And before you walk out of those doors leaving this building, you can have the experience of knowing Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord. I'm not talking about an emotional experience. It may or may not be emotional. I'm not talking about, seeing a vision. I'm talking about receiving Christ. May I guide you in a prayer? We call this the sinner's prayer. Would you pray this prayer?
Dear God, I know that I'm a sinner. I know that I have no hope apart from the Lord Jesus Christ. He alone is worthy of my praise and my life. Thank you Jesus, as the Lamb of God, you paid my sin debt with your blood. You were slain, but you were raised from the dead. And now you reign forever and ever. And I now by an act of faith receive you into my life, right now sitting in this seat, right now I receive you. I do. Come into my life. Forgive my sin. Cleanse me. Save me, Lord Jesus. Thank you, Jesus, thank you. Now, Lord Jesus, give me the courage and the obedience to make this public. In your name I pray, amen.