Summary: We humans strive to create an extravaganza that blows us away ie. Olympic opening ceremonies. Maybe we’re trying to create our own experience of heaven’s spectacle. But even Hollywood couldn’t recreate what we hear about in these chapters of Revelation, w
Probably the most spectacular sight I have ever seen was in Disney World this past winter, and it was a show called Fantasmic. Fire, music, water, lasers, holograms, lights, dragons, fireworks, battles. You couldn’t take your eyes off it, it was so spectacular.
We humans strive to create an extravaganza that blows us away ie. Olympic opening ceremonies. Maybe we’re trying to create our own experience of heaven’s spectacle. But even Hollywood couldn’t recreate what we hear about in these chapters of Revelation, we can’t even imagine it, only God himself could show it to us, and John got a glimpse. What a life changer that must have been as he got a preview of where he would shortly be.
John seems to be describing here what heavenly worship looks like. He’s probably describing what will happen to God’s people when the church age on earth has run it’s course: heaven will open; there will be a voice with the sound of a trumpet; and those who believe in the redeeming work of Christ will be caught up to heaven.
Notice something very important here. The word church is “ekklesia” which means ones called out of the world. Revelation uses another word for the saved in heaven, “saints”, and this word means holy, or sacred ones. Remember we are never holy or sacred in ourselves only by accepting the justification of Jesus death on the cross.
The Bible is pretty clear that just because people are in this institution called the church does not mean they’re all included in heaven. These are only the holy ones who have been saved out of the world, not the entire church. Going to church never saved anyone. The church is then never called the church again in Revelation.
This is important because there will still be an apostate organization that calls itself the church, left on earth to go through the tribulation. But true saints and called out ones will be taken to heaven prior to the Great Tribulation as we will see later. So from now on through Revelation all true Christians are in heaven, but the church as an organization will still be on earth. However there will be converted saints coming out of the tribulation as we will see in chapter seven.
I want to tell you right now that my most fervent prayer is that none in this building today or any day get left behind. Yet I know that in every church there are some who will be. I plead with you today to take heed of this and give your life completely to Christ because it would break my heart to know that any of us are left behind as the rest of the saints are in heaven worshipping, while the world goes through the horrible events to come.
Chapters 4 and 5 of Revelation are about worship. They give us a brief glimpse of heaven and the worship that’s going on there, and will go on for eternity. We have tended in church to be very focused on programs, teaching, and witnessing, but worshipping has not received as much attention, especially our personal worship outside of Sunday morning.
The main task of every being in heaven will be to worship. Here John gets a preview. Let’s start by looking at:
Chapter 4. God and His sanctuary
John hears the voice like a trumpet telling him to come up here and I will show you what must take place after this, after what? Well, the last chapter ends with those who let Christ in and conquer, being allowed to sit on the throne with Him. So he’s talking about after the true church has been removed from the earth and the end of history begins to take place through the systematic, righteous, cleansing wrath of God. The throne of grace becomes the throne of judgment.
The throne is very important because it indicates that God has always been in control since creation. The word is used 14 times in this chapter alone. John actually sees the throne and the one sitting on it who is the Father. Now Father God can never been seen because he has no physical body, so John describes his glory. The best he can do is speak in comparisons because there are no human words to describe the glory of God.
He sees these luminous colors that remind him of precious jewels that form a sort of emerald rainbow around the throne. That makes sense considering that the rainbow reminds us of the covenant God made with Noah that he would never again destroy the earth with a flood. Here we see the rainbow before the storm reminding us that even in His judgment God is merciful to those who put their faith in Him.