Summary: A healthy church, no matter the set up, the music, the leader, the words, or the atmosphere... will be one that worships in the Spirit, in Holiness, At All Times, and in Humility.
A HEALTHY CHURCH: ONE THAT WORSHIPS
INTRODUCTION... God I Wish You Had Been There
After attending church one Sunday morning, a little boy knelt at his bedside that night and prayed, “Dear God, we had a good time at church today—but I wish you had been there!”
READ REVELATION 4:1-11
I. THE AWESOME GOD DESCRIBED
The first description we see in this passage is the throne room described (verses 1-6). That makes perfect sense considering God described Himself in Revelation 1:8 as “the Alpha and Omega, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. In verse 3, John begins to describe what he sees, and does his best in human language to communicate.
The colors and look of the throne room would have been indescribable, but the Apostle John does his best. Jasper is a kind of quartz that most likely clear and John looks at God and cannot make out HIs true form, but can see clearly that it is God. Maybe you have looked through a clear crystal.. What you see is on the other side, but not clear. The carnelian mentioned was usually red in color and interestingly, was used for royal seals. A rainbow surrounds the throne full of ever kind of green imaginable (color of the emerald).
The Apostle John did not just see in the Throne Room of the Universe, but he heard songs by two groups as well. He first heard the song of the four living creatures (verse 8). They sang a song about the Holy nature of God and the Eternal nature of God. The second song he heard was the twenty-four elders song of praise (verse 11). The exalted God. They sang about the Worthiness of God, and the fact that He is the Creator and He is the Sustainer .
It is specifically the items mentioned in the two songs that I would like us to focus upon. They describe God so well:
1 of 5) Holy nature of God [expand upon]
2 of 5) Eternal nature of God [expand upon]
ILLUSTRATION... Just A Second (getfed.com)
A young man once asked God how long a million years was to him. God replied, "A
million years to me is just like a single second to you."The young man asked God what a million dollars was to him. God replied, "A million dollars to me is just like a single penny to you."Then the young man got his courage up and asked, "God, could I have one of your pennies?"God smiled and replies, "Certainly, just a second."
3 of 5) Worthiness of God [expand upon]
4 of 5) He is the Creator [expand upon]
ILLUSTRATION... Get Your Own Dirt (www.ozsermonillustrations.com)
God was once approached by a scientist who said, "Listen God, we’ve decided we don’t need you anymore. These days we can clone people, transplant organs and do all sorts of things that used to be considered miraculous."
God replied, "Don’t need me huh? How about we put your theory to the test. Why don’t we have a competition to see who can make a human being, say, a male human being."
The scientist agrees, so God declares they should do it like he did in the good old days when he created Adam."Fine" says the scientist as he bends down to scoop up a handful of dirt."
"Whoa!" says God, shaking his head in disapproval. "Not so fast. You get your own dirt."
5 of 5) He is the Sustainer [expand upon]
II. THOSE SURROUNDING GOD
The two groups that John saw surrounding God are the same two groups that were singing. Let’s look at each of them a little closer and look at how they worshiped God.
Verse 4 describes for us the twenty-four elders. Their identity is not so important as what they are wearing. They are clothed in white and have crowns of gold on their head. The color white in the book of Revelation always speaks to purity and one wearing white is holy and forgiven. These elders in the midst of God were holy. I do not know if you realize this or not, but because God is Holy, those in His presence must be holy as well. All of the angels that serve Him are holy. When we are in His presence in Heaven, we will be holy as well.
The second group of course is the four living creatures (verses 6-8). They are a strange looking bunch to say the least. They had eyes all over their body, even under their wings. The most important aspect of this group is in verse 8. They never stop praising God. They praise God continually day and night.
I hope that you have seen that our God is a God that is worthy of all our praise and thanks and song. Part of being a healthy church is knowing all these things and acting on them in our worship. A healthy church is one that worships God with all their heart. A healthy church is one that worships God with all their strength. A healthy church is one that worships God with all their mind. How do we go about doing that?