Worship War

By Pastor Dev Menon

In Revelation 13, we were introduced to Satan’s tactics. He created two beasts – one with great power and authority, and another (later referred to as the false prophet) whose function is to deceive. Together they form an ‘unholy trinity’, and coerce the nations to worship them.

Their goal is to turn us away from worshipping the Living God, to take us away from seeing His worth (which is what the Lamb & the saints display). Worse still, to eventually make us blaspheme and curse Him: to say that He is the evil one, causing all our pain and suffering.

Interestingly, the 2nd beast sets up an ‘image’. This reminds us of the repeated Old Testament warning not to worship any carved or graven image that resembles God (think golden calf). These images may look like God – but in fact take us away from Him. It is where we get the idea of idolatry – something good that becomes evil, turning us away from the God who created it. 

Imagine the scenario: God created relationships, love, sex & marriage as good things to help us know Him (in fact marriage is a chief sign of the gospel). But under the influence of the dragon, these good things become an ‘image of the beast’. Idols to turn us away from the Living God. As we pursue love and sex or family and relationships under the devil’s guidance, we put more importance on them than the gospel. We ‘worship’ them. We end up even hating God because He is restricting our relationships, our sex lives, gender identity, etc. We begin to see God as intolerant & cruel. We now agree with Satan and rage against God.

Those of us who hold to the commandments of God find ourselves lost and confused, as we come under scrutiny and accusation by a world advocating free love and radical individualism. Then comes the persecution & exclusion. Wow, that escalated quickly…

This is why the saints will face crushing pressure if we hold to the testimony of Jesus. We will seem like the wicked ones, and the world will think it’s doing itself a favour to get rid of us. As Jesus said: “those who kill you think they are offering a service to God” (John 16:2).

In light of that, there is always the temptation to compromise or to capitulate. Agree with the world or just give up trying – either way becoming an ineffective witness. Yet the call and encouragement of Revelation from beginning to end is: ‘Endure – the Lamb wins’.

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