Life can feel like a never-ending series of decisions at times. One after another, decision after decision. It can be exhausting.
One of the reasons decision making can be tiring is because you must discern the relative importance of each choice. Evaluating which are small decisions and which ones deserve serious thought and consideration takes time and thought. Decisions also weigh on us as we attempt to discern right from wrong. Or in even harder decisions, discerning what’s best from great from good.
In our reading of Revelation 13:1–10 this week, we see a representation of a decision every person will make. It’s a decision of importance. It’s a decision of right and wrong. It’s a decision between Christ, who loves you and died for you, and the Antichrist, who represents all that is evil and against Christ.
The Big Decision
Like many decisions, the choice of Revelation 13 isn’t explicitly stated. It doesn’t give a question and then list multiple choice options. However, a close reading of the text that sifts through the metaphorical language reveals the possibilities for who we can choose to worship. The first is seen throughout the first seven verses, but we’ll look at just verse 1 and the first half of verse 8 for now.
“Then I saw a beast rising up out of the sea. It had seven heads and ten horns, with ten crowns on its horns. And written on each head were names that blasphemed God…”
“And all the people who belong to this world worshiped the beast.”
When this passage is read in full, the evil depths of this beast, also known as the Antichrist, become even clearer. This beast is given power straight from Satan himself. It blasphemes against God. It wages war against God’s holy people. And finally, it is given authority over the world and is worshiped by those that belong to the world. The Antichrist will promise peace but will only bring chaos and death. Everything about this beast is wicked and conflicts with God’s character and vision for this world.
But thankfully, the Antichrist isn’t the only option. And not only is there another option, but rather that option is the prefect option—the perfect Lamb of God. Let’s go back and read verse 8 in its entirety now.
“And all the people who belong to this world worshiped the beast. They are the ones whose names were not written in the Book of Life that belongs to the Lamb who was slaughtered before the world was made.”
And just like that, all of the evil that’s reigned throughout Revelation 13 is put back in its place. Yes, the beast will have the allegiance of this world, but that is nothing compared to Jesus who is not only the Word that created the world but also the Word that sustains the world and the Lamb who was sacrificed before the world was made. This means that from the beginning of time, God made a way for us to be brought back to Himself. He’s a God so powerful and so loving that He made sure redemption was possible and that wickedness wouldn’t be the only option for mankind. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, we can have our names written in the Book of Life.
The (Seemingly) Small Decisions
Phrased like this, the choice seems simple. And in some ways, it is. Yet people still choose to follow people and things other than Christ every day. The choice of the world over God is because Satan is a master of deception. His goal isn’t only accomplished when people choose to worship the Antichrist. He’s rarely that obvious. Instead, he also accomplishes his goal by convincing us that there are things in this world worth treasuring more than Christ.
And that’s exactly why the small decisions of our life are so important! Every day, you must choose, time and time again, whether the Lamb sits on the throne of your heart or if the occupant of that seat is subject to change.
We can rest assured that we have been redeemed by the salvific sacrifice of the Lamb before the creation of the world, our names are written in the Book of Life, and nothing can remove our names from those pages.
However, sanctification must be lived out in our daily lives as we are constantly faced with seemingly mundane decisions that actually serve as a reflection of our overall choice between what is antichrist and what is Christ our Redeemer. It’s in these decisions, both hidden and public, that we determine how much we look like Christ and reflect Him to those around us.
Jesus chose us and secured our salvation. Again, nothing can change that. But, following Christ is about more than just choosing Him once. We must sacrificially and joyfully choose Him every single day. We must wake up every morning prepared to take up our crosses. If, and when, we do so, that’s when we will fulfill our purpose in life of glorifying God and enjoying Him forever.