Heavenly praise and worship

March 27th, 2019

Revelation 5:11-14

One of the great joys of my life is that once in a while God gives me a glimpse of heaven. Each glimpse has been an experience of great joy and wonder.

Some years ago several friends and I went to a special event, sponsored by the City of Chicago, called “The Taste of Chicago” and held on the shore of Lake Michigan during a weekend in July. It was a huge event with more than three hundred thousand people in attendance. The Taste of Chicago was simply awesome and wonderful.

During the weekend, hundreds of restaurants, large and small, famous and not so famous, set up booths and sold samples of superbly delicious food. There was a vast variety of national, international, and ethnic foods. We started at a Greek booth and tasted fine breaded veal. Then we had mouthwatering roasted corncobs. Next we went to a Hungarian food booth and ate something that was hot and spicy. On and on we went. We did not eat much at each stop; we tasted a sample. Some samples were small, most were good-sized, and once in a while we got a large sample. We tasted different kinds of luscious breads and pastries. I felt as if I were in food heaven.

The Taste of Chicago is an amazing event. We did not get to all the booths—there were too many of them. I was surprised by the variety of nationalities and ethnic groups that participated. I saw people from different countries of Central America, South America, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, the Far West, India, and the various regions of the United States. I smelled different kinds of foods; some of the smells were absolutely wonderful and others were strange. I saw people drinking various beverages including drinks I did not recognize. I heard many languages spoken.

Another surprise was the relative peace at the event. Everyone was relaxed. As big as it was, a sense of joy pervaded the entire event. I heard many kinds of music: mariachis, polkas, Caribbean music, salsa, blue grass, rock and roll, several John Sousa marches by high school bands, and music from India and Asian countries.

I had a thoroughly grand time. Later, when I thought about The Taste of Chicago, I realized God had given me a glimpse of heaven.

If you have ever wondered about what goes on in heaven, John gives us a glimpse in Revelation, chapter 5: “Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels surrounding the throne and the living creatures and the elders; they numbered myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, singing with full voice” (vv. 11-12). The book of Revelation is about glimpses of heaven.

I also find frequent references to what heaven is like in cartoons or comic strips, but they are usually wrong. Most do not show praise and worship in heaven—heaven is all about praise and worship. The millions of angels and all other living beings, “every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea” (v. 13), praise and worship God.

When we get to heaven, we will be joyfully praising and worshiping God, and we will be doing it forever. That is why it is so important to come to worship, because when we worship with a grateful heart and an open mind, and with joy in our souls, we get a glimpse of heaven. In our worship services we are getting ready for eternity.

Another thing evident in John’s vision of heaven is that heaven is for everyone, every age, every time period, every nationality, every ethnic group, every tongue or spoken language, every tribe, every country. God loves everyone and wants all of his children to be with God forever.

In John’s vision, the heavenly hosts are praising and worshiping the Lamb who was slaughtered. That Lamb is Jesus Christ, who suffered, was crucified, died, and was buried. The Lamb of God was sacrificed on our behalf that we may be forgiven and have new life. On the third day, Jesus Christ was resurrected, ascended into heaven, and now sits at the right hand of God. Because of Easter, Jesus Christ is now in heaven waiting for his followers. What great assurance!

John’s message is one of hope for troubled times. In Revelation, chapter 5, we get a glimpse of heaven, and we see that in heaven all creatures—above, here, and below—praise and worship God. We see a heaven where there is an eternal abundance of love, joy, and peace. The Lord Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). You get to heaven by having a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Come to praise and worship God as often as you can, and do it with a grateful heart, with much joy, and with a sense of peace and assurance that even as you worship and praise God, God loves you and is blessing you! Come to worship and catch a glimpse of heaven!

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