3-Week Series: Double Blessing

Sermons

Summary: Any ability or talent or appearance or power or fame we receive is entirely derivative-an expression of His goodness imputed to us for a short while. Satan wanted worship for himself. Saints seek to bring worship to their God.

And around the throne, twenty four thrones, and on the thrones twenty four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and on their heads, golden crowns (of victory)

And out of the throne came lightnings and voices and thunders, and seven fiery lamps burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

And before the throne was a glassy lake, like crystal, and in the middle of the throne and encircling the throne four Lives full of eyes in front and behind,

And the first Life was like a lion, and the second Life like a calf (young bull), and the third Life having a face like a man, and the fourth Life was the same as a flying eagle

And the four Lives in each them having six wings, all around and within full of eyes

. . . and without having a pause day or night saying “Holy, holy holy Lord God Ruler of All, which was and which is and which is to come”.

And whenever the Lives give honor and gratitude to Him who sits on the throne, the One who lives forever and ever

The twenty-four Elders fall on their faces before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and throw their crowns before the throne, saying

Holy art Thou, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, because You created all things, and through Thy will they existed and were created.

Revelation 4:4-11

What do People do in Heaven?

I’ve often wondered this. What will our job be in heaven? CS Lewis, in a few of his most popular books, The Last Battle (the 7th in the Narnia series) and The Great Divorce, portrays heaven as a kind of adventure as we are called by God to move, running much faster than we possibly could on earth, “further up and further in!” Heaven, in his stories, is like an ongoing eternal adventure of discovery as we learn more of our Lord moment-by-eternal-moment (if the concept of moments has any meaning in the timeless multi-dimensional existence of God’s presence). I like Lewis’ thinking. Surely the picture we get of heaven in Revelation 4 and 5 is fantastical and wondrous and mind-bending. It is also focused almost entirely on the One on the throne.

The Living Ones-these creatures that seem to be the heavenly voices of which the Cherubim of Isaiah 6 are the echoes-are magnificent. They are impressive. They live in the middle of this throne which shines with verdant glory. They occupy pride of place, closer to the center of Power than any other creatures. They are frightening and majestic. And the story isn’t about them.

The Twenty-four Elders are glorious. Any one of us might aspire to have the honor of sitting on one of their thrones. Their crowns are earned by victory. We may all wish to gain such a crown, and Peter tells us this is something much more than a mercenary pursuit (1 Peter 5). It’s right for us to want to be in such a place in the Kingdom of God. Yet those who have achieved such status and notoriety are not focused on themselves. The story isn’t about them.

The Living Ones never rest. They constantly proclaim the holiness of God. The 24 Elders always join in, and if the Living Ones never rest, the Elders don’t either. They are constantly worshipping the One sitting on the throne. This is the reason for their existence. The Living Ones use the eyes all over their fronts, backs, and wings to look to Him. The Elders use their crowns to throw at His feet and honor Him.

What honors have you received? Do you have a drawer or closet or wall or room where you keep your certificates and trophies? Do you have a web page, or Instagram account where you keep your followers abreast of your achievements and activities? Do you have a YouTube channel where you present your best for anyone who might find it interesting? I have a few. But these things are useless if the only purpose they serve is to make us feel important, or to proclaim our own impressive greatness. The hosts of heaven have, according to the Bible, honors much greater than this earth has to offer; yet they are unimpressed with themselves. They give all glory and honor and praise and thanks to the Lord on the Throne. They don’t spend much time on their own thrones (sitting has been proven to be bad for your health). They invest, instead, in worshipping God.

I believe this is our greatest achievement in life-to honor God. Any glory or honor or recognition meted to us belongs to Him. From Him and to Him and for Him are all good things. Every good and perfect gift comes from him. Any ability or talent or appearance or power or fame we receive is entirely derivative-an expression of His goodness imputed to us for a short while. Satan wanted worship for himself. Saints seek to bring worship to their God.

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