He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.” – Rev. 14:7 NIV
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The biblical book of Revelation is basically the account of John about all that he was shown, when he went into spirit on the Lord’s Day – Rev. 1:9-11. The twenty-two chapter book was initially written to the seven churches in Asia at that time, namely Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea, but the message in the book remains relevant to all people and more specifically, to all the churches of Jesus Christ, through all generations.
It started with specific messages to each of the churches in reference, identifying their positive actions of worship and highlighting actions that will limit the reward that they should get from their dedication to the worship. Surely, all of those limiting acts exists in several Christian Churches and among several Christians today, and whoever is desirous of getting rewarded by Jehovah for positive works done will be expected to take a cue from the suggested corrections sent to the churches through John – Rev. 2:1-3:22.
It was after these series of messages to individual churches that he began to reveal other visions that he was shown, which mostly was about the events of the last days, and which many have come to regard as the Apocalypse.
In the event that is the foundation of today’s Devotional, as documented in the fourteenth chapter of this book of Revelation, John reported seeing the Lamb of God (Jn. 1:29), standing on Mount Zion and surrounded by a group of people, one hundred and forty-four thousand in number, with each one, having, the name of Jesus Christ and his father who is Jehovah written on their fore-heads – Rev. 14:1. They were singing a new song that they only could sing, before the throne, the four living creatures and the elders, and the song was accompanied by very loud harp and trumpet sounds from heaven – Rev. 14:2-5. He identified these number of people as those who have been redeemed from the earth – Rev. 7:1-8. This means that they were earthly beings too but were able to attain this enviable status because they
- Did not defile themselves with women, as they remained virgins. With the above assertion, it may be concluded that sexual interaction between human beings, irrespective of their relationship, could actually be a source of spiritual contamination. John was told that the celibate life style of these set of people was what qualified them for the double marks that they had on their fore-heads.
- They followed the Lamb wherever he goes. Not only did they live a celibate life, but also lived their lives, adhering strictly to the directives of the lamb. It was not just about their being celibate, but their also knowing his wish for every situation and operating strictly in it.
- They were purchased from among mankind and offered as first fruits to God and the Lamb. It was not a lifestyle that they chose to live by accident, but a destined act since some form of transaction had occurred, that had pledged and dedicated them exclusively to the service of God and the Lamb.
- No lie was found in their mouths. They were able to overcome human frailties that would normally steer men away from divine path, and successfully resisted all forms of temptations that carnality attracts. That must have required a firm decision on their part, to live a spiritually disciplined lifestyle.
- They are blameless. As a result of all the above, they went through life and were found to have lived a perfect life.
Going by the above standards, everyone should be able to determine how he/she rates. It is not impossible that many amongst men will not be able to live up to these standards, even if they were also purchased, as the lure of carnal desires will always pose a huge temptation that many will not be able to overcome.
It is thus, near impossible, for man to meet this standard required for anyone to attain the state of these group of people, who have been marked out for salvation hence the need for man to be given a second set of standards.
Jehovah provided this second chance through the message of the gospel which was sent to man. John reported, sighting an angel in mid-air proclaiming a gospel that was meant for every nation, tribe and people, to save them from the judgement of God which is very imminent – Rev. 14:7; 7:9-17. So it is not a case of lost hope as Jehovah had another plan with which every other person on earth can escape being found guilty during the imminent judgement, which is the foundation scripture for today’s Devotional (Rev. 14:7), and enumerated below;
- The one who desires to take this second chance should Fear God. To fear God is to consider what His views will be about every action that is to be taken, and have the mind to avoid doing anything contrary to them. The one who does not know the view of God in a situation has little or no chance of expressing fear for God, no matter how well intentioned such may be. Regularly reading and meditating in His Words, and willingness to act on them, will signify the intention to fear Him as He will then, with the Holy Spirit perfect subsequent acts. Read, meditate and act on His Words regularly and you will be on the path to fearing Him.
- The one who desires to take this second chance should always give glory to God. To glorify God is to see Him in all activities, positive or otherwise, including the expression of gratitude to Him for sleeping and waking up, eating, breathing, etc. One who does not glorify God will either be glorifying self, another creation of God or a man-made object. Whichever way, such act will be an act of Idolatry that will only incur the wrath of Jehovah. The one who intends to avoid the second death must glorify Jehovah in all things and in all ways.
- The one who desires to take this second chance should only worship Jehovah who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water. Jehovah desires and deserves to be worshipped exclusively, especially since He it is that created all things, living and non-living. It will be wrong all day long, not to worship the Creator and instead choose to worship what was created. He will simply not entertain any form of competition, no matter how little when it comes to who man must worship. No idolater will avoid the second death – Rev. 21:8.
These no doubt should be very easy conditions to observe for the one who earnestly and honestly desires to avoid the second death. It is true that you may have all those reasons why you cannot qualify on the basis of the first set of standards, but you can qualify through this second opportunity of relying on His Grace that is available to all who follow the second set of standards. It is definitely not an unaffordable price to pay in order to assure your self of a peaceful life in eternity. You should grab this second chance with both hands as there will be no other route into living a peaceful life in eternity. May God find us qualified to be admitted into His kingdom in Jesus name. Amen.