One of the 5 principles of the Protestant Reformation is Sola Deo Gloria, which basically states that all glory and praise belongs unto God (Psalm 115:1). No place in Scripture makes this point more clear than the heavenly scenes in Revelation 4 and 5.

Think of all the precious saints from Hebrews 11 and other places of Scripture. Think of all of those beloved saints who lived and died for The Lord Jesus throughout the history of the Church. Not a single one of them is mentioned in the heavenly scene, and that is for the simple reason that the main theme in Scripture is not the redemption of man, but The Redeemer of mankind (John 5:39; Luke 24:44; Hebrews 10:7). The heavenly hosts explode with affirmations of praise: “Blessing and honor and glory and power be unto Him who sits upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever!” (Revelation 5:13). No man is being exalted. No denomination is singled out. The entire focus is on The One Who sits upon that throne and The Lamb.

One of the tragedies of modern evangelism is making little of our God and much of fallen man. The purpose of the Church is to exalt The Lord and magnify His holy Name (Psalm 34:3)! The redemption of man is God’s plan, not man’s (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). It is God’s work (John 17:4), not ours. Ours is to receive and believe and surrender (Romans 12:1,2). There is no room for boasting at all (Ephesians 2:8-9). The key to fruitful living is to make much of Jesus and less of ourselves. “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30).

In a day and age where gimmicks and games are being used to draw people to Christ, have we forgotten that Jesus said, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.” (John 12:32)? Jesus of course was talking about the preaching of the cross (1 Corinthians 1:18). That message of repentance and trust in Jesus is not a popular one today, but it is the gospel nonetheless (Mark 2:17; Luke 24:47; Acts 20:21). You see my friend, the gospel is not a philosophy of life. Neither is it a religious system per se. The gospel IS Jesus Christ. In fact, Paul calls it “the gospel of Christ” (Romans 1:16).

As we “leave” the heavenly scene today, may we never forget that: “…of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:36) Sola Deo Gloria!