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The Call to Unconditional Worship: Revelation 11:14-19

On September 2, 1945, officials from Japan met with allied representatives on the deck of the battleship USS Missouri. They were there to surrender to the allied forces and formally bring an end to World War 2. At the conclusion of the document was the following statement: “We call upon the government of Japan to proclaim now the unconditional surrender of all Japanese armed forces, and to provide proper and adequate assurances of their good faith in such action. The alternative for Japan is prompt and utter destruction.”

Can you imagine what it would be like to surrender unconditionally? Here, the Japanese were laying down their weapons of war and trusting their lives into the care of the allies, with no assurances of having a say in anything. Their surrender was without conditions. They were fully putting themselves, their people, their nation, and their future at the mercy of the nations against whom they had committed brutal atrocities against over the past eight years. Remember Pearl Harbor? Nanking? What would lead a nation to surrender unconditionally? They had no alternatives- the alternative was as the document said, prompt and utter destruction. Weighing heavily upon their minds were the lives lost through the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. How many more lives would be lost? How many more bombs dropped? They were effectively powerless before the might of the allied forces at that point.

We read in Revelation of a time where all hostilities between good and evil will be brought to an end through the prompt and utter destruction of sin and death. All the time prior to the 7th trumpet has been a case for humanity to unconditionally surrender before the awesome power of the LORD. In the seal judgements, a quarter of the world was impacted, in the trumpet judgements, only a third. While that is overwhelming for us to think about today, the restraint shown by the LORD by only affecting a portion of the world is striking. Yet here with the third woe, the 7th trumpet, the entire world will be brought under complete judgement. We look at the hard heartedness of these wicked people and shake our heads in wonder. How could humanity be so foolish and stubborn?

But one of the frustrating things about being a Christian today is to look around at our brothers and sisters and see something similar: a lack of unconditional surrender before the LORD in every area of our lives. The lack of the fruit of the Spirit in Christ’s Church- of love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, is appalling, to put it mildly. Remember, Jesus told us in John 13:35 that the world will know that we belong to Him by the love we have for one another.

We must also be willing to look in the mirror at our own selves and allow the LORD to convict us of areas where we have only given Him a fraction of our hearts. Have you conditionally, or unconditionally surrendered your life to the LORD? Or perhaps, we could phrase it differently: What areas of our lives are we withholding from the LORD?

I invite you to join with us this weekend as we look at an unconditional call to worship in Revelation 11:14-19. Our socially distanced service is Saturday afternoon at 3:30, and our Sunday morning service is at 10:15, where you can join us online or in person. You are also welcome to join us for our Sunday School classes at 9.
Have a great weekend and I look forward to pursuing Christ, Community, and the Great Commission Together with you soon!

-Pastor Nathan Rice

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