Matt Hagee - Who Is Worthy?
Today, in Revelation 5, the question is asked, "Who is worthy"? John the Revelator is taken into heavenly places, and he says he sees a scroll, and the scroll has several seals. This scroll is the scroll of the judgment that God, the maker of heaven and earth, has finally rendered his ruling concerning the wickedness of the world. And the question is asked, "Who has the authority? Who is worthy enough that they could take the scroll, open it up, and declare the judgment of God"?
This issue of who's worthy is something that mankind has always struggled with in trying to define who is actually deserving. Consider in ancient history when empires, and dynasties, and kings were set up on their thrones. In those times, only individuals with royalty in their blood were considered worthy. A common man, a peasant, he wasn't able to be thought of in the same equation with someone who had the right type in their veins. The ruling class had the power and the privilege. And the peasant class had no reason to complain, because as far as man was concerned, they weren't worthy. Now roughly 240 plus years ago, some individuals gathered in this little place called the United States when it was just a set of colonies. And they decided that that ruling class thing needed to go away, because they felt like all men were created equal.
Now for those of you who might not be as sharp on your history as you should be, do you know where the idea that all men were created equal came from in the minds of our founding fathers? It came from the Word of God. So there was a time when the Bible and its truth was shaping the positions and the policies of our leaders. Not being ignored by them. And so in this concept that all men were created equal, they decided that they would form what they called "A more perfect union". Now understand the power of that phrasing, "A more perfect union". They weren't going to form a perfect union. But they were going to create a system that could constantly work towards being better tomorrow than it was today. How many of you in this room are married? How many of you have worked on a more perfect union since the day of your wedding?
The United States has never been a perfect union, because it's filled with imperfect people. But it's created that we might have a system where we can work together to become better. And in this more perfect union, we were supposed to be working on three inalienable rights. "Inalienable" meaning that no man had the power, no man was worthy to infringe upon these rights. And I don't even need a teleprompter to tell you what these rights are. They were life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These three rights were then connected to a bill of rights, which were the terms by which we would make sure we did not violate each other's inalienable rights, because we were all created equality and all considered worthy.
Now this is far better than the royal system of the days of the empires and the kings. But it's still not perfect because we still struggle with the issue, "Who's worthy"? Who's worthy to live life in these United States? I mean once you're born, we give you all kinds of ways that you can define yourself. But to the unborn, have we given them equal rights? No. They're not worthy of life, according to our political policies. We've murdered millions of them in abortion, and we call it, "A woman's right". It's not a woman's right. Ask the unborn child what they would like the right to do. And I assure you: it would be live, live, live. We're still struggling with who's worthy. The monarchs of history are gone. But mankind is still trying to figure out who has the right to tell us what's right and what's wrong. Who's worthy to lead us in the path that we should go? Who's worthy to be recognized, or qualified, or disqualified for that matter?
John the Revelator puts his pen to parchment, in revelation 5, and he himself is struggling with the question, "Who's worthy"? In revelation 5:2, he says, "And I saw the strong angel proclaiming in a loud voice, 'who is worthy to open the scroll and loose its seals'"? And then in the following verses, he says, "And no one was worthy on the earth or under it. No one was worthy to open the scrolls, so I wept much". John is grieved, because he's looking at a moment when justice is about to be administered. And he wants to know who's worthy. And he looks around the throne of God, and he can't see anyone who's worthy enough to open up the scroll. Even though the throne of God is surrounded by angels and they're supreme beings to mankind, they're not strong enough to deal with what's going on, on the earth.
And then he looks on the earth, and he says, there's no one on the earth who's worthy to open the scroll, because those who are on the earth have done too much wrong in their own life. And then he looks under the earth at the powers and principalities that had made their deal with Lucifer, the devil, before time began. And he says, "They're awaiting judgment. They're not worthy". And so he begins to grieve, because in searching for an answer, he can't find one. And he thinks to himself: this is never going to end.
And as he's weeping, he says that one of the elders, who was before the throne, he touched my shoulder, and he said, "Do not weep: for behold, the lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David (the lamb), has prevailed". He says to John, "John, you're looking in all of the wrong places. You're asking the right question, but you're looking for the answer in all the wrong places. You're not going to find the answer to this world's problems from the men on the earth. The answer is not coming from those who are standing around the throne, nor those who are under the throne. The answer is coming from the one who sits upon the throne: for behold, the lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, he has prevailed".
Did you hear that, church? "He has prevailed". He has prevailed over powers and principalities of darkness, because he is the light of the world. He has prevailed over the valley of the shadow of death, because he is the way, he is the truth, and he is the life. He has prevailed over the powers on earth, because he has risen and he is now seated, and he has been given the name that is above every name! And that name is Jesus Christ! Don't you ever forget it: the Lamb of God has prevailed! Give the Lord a handclap of praise!
So John, in revelation 5, is getting a glimpse of the worship service that's happening in heaven. And here's what's going on: the elders around the throne that represent the church, the redeemed, they're all standing there, and they're saying, "Worthy". Say that with me. "Worthy". "You are worthy because you have shed your blood and you have redeemed us out of every tribe, out of every tongue, out of every people, out of every nation". Just a few verses later, he looks again into the throne room of heaven. And he sees the angels. And he sees the angels, and he tries to count them. And he says, "There were ten thousand. And then there were another ten thousand. And then there were another ten thousand. And then there were ten thousand times ten thousand".
You can't count them all! And as many angels as there are, they're all standing around the throne of God, saying, "Worthy". "Worthy is the lamb who was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength". And then in verse 13, he sees another song that is being sung. And the song that he sees being sung in verse 13 is not from the angels and not from around the throne. The song in verse 13 is everything that has ever been created. Why? Because in the beginning was the word, and the word was God, and the word was with God, and nothing was created without the word.
So all of creation is considering its origin. And every fish in the sea, and every bird in the air, and everything that draws breath recognizes that it would not exist unless the Word of God, who sits upon the throne as the risen Son of God, would not have made them. And all of creation is doing what the angels are doing, and doing what the elders are doing. And they're saying in verse 13, "Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power be unto him who sits on the throne, and unto the lamb forever and ever and ever. Amen". It is a fulfillment of Psalm 150, when it says, "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord". Would you do it now, church?
If the elders are praising him,, and the angels are praising him, and creation is praising him, what are you saying about him? Because how you talk about somebody tells others how you feel about them. Have you ever had a conversation with someone and you're asking them about mutual acquaintances, and their body language and their tone of voice tells you how they feel about the people you're talking about? You see an old friend. You say, "How's bill"? Bill's fine. How's tom? Tom's great. You don't have to ask him who he likes better. Bill's fine. Tom's great. Because how you speak about someone tells others how you feel about them. And oftentimes, the way that people who have been redeemed by Jesus Christ speak about him, does not reflect what we owe him.
We owe him everything. Yet, we act as if he's not given us enough. All of the creation in heaven and on earth is praising him. Why? Because he was slain. And in his blood, he redeemed. They're praising him because they've seen the splendor of heaven, and they're aware of the terror of hell. And they want the lamb to know how thankful they are that he has made a way where there seemed to be no way. They're saying, "Thank you that you rescued us when we were lost, and you ransomed us when we were captive. Thank you that you broke the chains and the bondage of sin, and you shattered every yoke of the enemy. Thank you that you have made a way. Thank you for the power of your shed blood. Thank you for all that you have done".
Child of God, let me ask you this question: when is the last time that you allowed the goodness of God just to overwhelm you? When you allowed the joy of your salvation to overcome everything that you were frustrated with? How long has it been since you just stopped counting everything you're worried about and started considering your blessings, and let the goodness of God drown out all of the other noise and the nonsense that you're listening to? Some of you in this place today and some of you watching need to sing a new song. You've sung about your sorrow long enough. Start singing about the joy of the Lord that is your strength. You've sung about your problems long enough. Start singing about the God who moves mountains of impossibility. You've sung about your past.
Start talking about the fact you're a new creature in Christ Jesus, and sing a new song unto the Lord! Because while he's witnessing this worship service, John the Revelator begins. He says, "And they sang a new song". Say that with me. "And they sang a new song". You need to know something about a new song. Just because it's new doesn't make it bad. In our modern church, you say, "We're going to sing a new song," and everybody goes, "Uuuh. I like the old one". We hadn't even told you what the new one is yet. It says, "They sang a new song".
Now the reason that John calls it a new song is not because it's new. This is what the angels have been doing since before time began. This is just the first time that John's heard it. Just because something is new to you doesn't make it new. And what John is communicating to us is that his perspective has changed. You see, he was looking for an answer around the throne. And he was looking for an answer on the earth. And he was looking for an answer under the throne. But as soon as his perspective changed, as soon as he looked up to the one who sat upon the throne, he heard a new song. He was no longer searching for an answer: he had found the answer. And he recognized that, that God was more than enough.
Many of you in this place today, you're looking around for the solution instead of looking up to the one who has already solved the problem. You can weep like John did or you can turn your sorrow into dancing and praise the lamb, who is worthy, because he will always be more than enough. He's more than enough to meet your every need. He's more than enough to forgive you of your sin and iniquity. He's more than enough to set you free. He's more than enough to carry the weight of your burden. If you're broken today, you should praise him, because he's more than enough in your brokenness. If you're filled with sorrow today, you should praise him, because in his presence is the fullness of joy.
If you're surrounded by your enemies, you should praise him, because he's an ever-present help in a time of trouble. I don't care where you've been. I don't care what you've been through. Everything that hath breath, let it praise the Lord, because he is great and greatly to be praised! When you read on in what they're saying in revelation, it tells us several things that he's supposed to receive. It says, "You're worthy to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing," seven things Jesus Christ is to receive from us because of what he has done. But how much power do we keep back for ourselves when we refuse to allow the Lord's power to work in us? We always want God's power for the things we can't do. But we don't want God's power in the things we like to do on our own. Lord, I need your power for salvation. Wash me white as snow. But I don't need your power to go to work with me tomorrow: I got that.
We get a diagnoses from the doctor, we need God's power to heal our bodies. The preacher says, "Give in the offering". No, sir, not me. When you decide where you engage in God's power, every place you disengage is a place where you're keeping it for yourself. He deserves power. The Bible says, "He deserves riches". We get uncomfortable talking about riches, because as soon as we think riches, we think about our modern currency. We measure riches in insignificant things like nickels, dimes, quarters, and dollars. The Bible says that as the heavens are above the earth, so are the ways of God above man. So he doesn't measure riches in currency. He has a different accounting system. And the riches that he's speaking of, they include your financial resources. But the riches he's speaking of are a matter of the heart. Because Jesus said, "Where a man's treasure is, there will his heart be also".
Jesus doesn't want your bank account. He wants your heart. He wants your heart account. This is why Jesus said, "Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all of your soul, with all of your mind, with all of your strength, and your neighbor as yourself". Love is the currency. And your heart, your soul, your mind, your strength, and your neighbor are the accounts where you get to deposit things in the kingdom. And at the bottom line of every one of those accounts, signed in lamb's blood is the signature of Jesus Christ. And it says it all belongs to him. I'll take you to a place in the Bible where we get to see this played out in living color. It's John 12. If you've read the verse, you're familiar with the scene. Jesus is sitting at the table at the house in Bethany where Mary, Martha, and Lazarus live. In John 12, they're sitting there having dinner. And the Bible says in John 12:2, "And Lazarus was with them".
Now why is this significant? Because in John 11, Lazarus died. Let me tell you something. If you're having dinner with a guy who was once dead, that's significant. Because it either means he came back to life or you changed your definition. So here they are in John 12:2, and they're having dinner. And Lazarus is there having dinner with them. And the Bible says that Mary comes to Jesus, and she has what cost her a year's worth of wages. It's a precious box of perfume. And the Bible says that she breaks it, and she anoints Jesus, and she washes his feet with her hair. Now there were some in the room who looked at what she did, and they said, "How careless can you be? You could have done a great work with that". But Jesus said, "She has anointed me for my burial. And wherever this gospel is preached, her name will be spoken".
Why did she give so much so quickly? Because she took a little time to remember where she was in chapter 11. She took a little time to remember: my brother, who's sitting next to Jesus, was dead just a few days ago. She took a little time to consider how it felt when she was desperately waiting on Jesus to arrive and he didn't come. You see, Mary in chapter 11, she's singing one song. But in chapter 12, she's singing a new song. In chapter 11, she says, where were you? Why did you wait? You knew he was sick. Why didn't you come? You knew he wasn't going to make it. Where were you three days ago? Where were you yesterday? Why did you come now?
If you would have done what I wanted you to do, I wouldn't hurt like this. If you would have been here when I needed you, I wouldn't be offended like this. If you would have done everything I asked for, I wouldn't cry like this. And if you're honest, there's a lot of people in this room and there's many of you who are watching, who have chapter-11 conversations with Jesus. Where were you? Where were you when my marriage was falling apart? Where were you when the doctor told me it was cancer? Where were you when they said, "You're fired and we're not hiring any longer"? Where were you when everything went bad?
But Mary walks into the room, and she sees Lazarus. And she says, I remember. I remember what it was like to pray for him and cry over him. I remember how sick he was. I remember how desperate we were. I remember when he stopped breathing and we started sobbing. I remember how hard it was to wrap him up in those grave clothes and lock him up in that tomb. I remember it all! And I can't forget who's worthy to be praised, who's worthy of riches, who's worthy of honor, who's worthy of glory, because I remember where I was with Lazarus when Jesus showed up and changed everything. Some of you are stuck in your chapter 11. You're stuck in a place where you didn't get what you wanted, and you didn't receive your answer, and you didn't get what you were expecting. Listen to me. If you're still in chapter 11, he's still worthy to be praised, because his blood is still working on your behalf. His hand is still moving. His plan is still in progress. His promise is still enduring. You need to sing a new song today. Don't talk about where you are. Talk about where he's taking you. You need to sing a new song today and declare:
You are worthy. You are worthy because you've never failed me yet. You're worthy because you've never forsaken me. You're worthy because you've been faithful to me. You're worthy because your promises have never failed me. You're worthy because your mercy endures. You're worthy because your grace is sufficient. You're worthy because your power is from generation to generation. You're worthy because you're mighty to save, you're able to deliver. You're worthy, because when I gave up, that's when you showed up. You're worthy because you made a way where there seemed to be no way. You're worthy, because many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers them out of them all. You're worthy because you provided my every need. You're worthy, because when I was lost, you found me. You're worthy, because what the enemy meant for evil, you've turned it for good. You're worthy of all power, all glory, all honor! It's all to you!
Give the Lord a handclap of praise! I want you to raise your hand. And for just a moment, I want you to open your mouth and tell the Lord what he's worthy of today. Thank him for his goodness in your life. Thank him, because in every hour that you've ever had a need, he's been there and he's met that need. Thank him because he's been a banner that has been your shield and your protector, your provider, your comforter. Thank him that he is your Savior: that his shed blood has paid the price of every ransom and is speaking to God the Father on your behalf today. Thank him, in spite of the storm, because he's the God who calms the winds and the waves. Thank him, in spite of the mountain, because he's the God who holds the mountains in a scale. Thank him because he is the God who gives you victory and he's worthy. He's worthy.