Messages

The Church in Heaven

Date:9/19/21

Series: Revelation (2021)

Passage: Revelation 4:1-11

Speaker: Jeff Thompson

After being raptured in Revelation 4:1, John finds Himself in the Throne Room of Heaven with the Church, where he witnesses the indescribable glory of God.


Transcription (automatically-generated):

If you're on Facebook, you've probably noticed that over the past several months they've begun aggressively doing what they call fact checking. If you post something that these fact checkers say is false, they will put a little warning at the bottom of your post. And this has gotten a lot of people upset because these fact checks don't seem to be consistent or accurate much of the time. For example, you might post something true like Pineapple doesn't belong on pizza, and you will get fact checked. But at the same time, there will be no fact check in sight when somebody posts something that is clearly false, like the claim that the book of Revelation is hard to understand.

But poppycock say, we for you see, the word revelation means something has been revealed. And the first words of this book tell us exactly who it is that's being revealed. It's the revelation of Jesus Christ. And God wanted us to read this book so much that he promised those who take the time to read it and respond to it a special blessing. And we find that in Revelation, chapter one, verses three, let's claim it together.

Blessed is he or she who reads, and those who hear the words of this prophecy and keep those things which are written in it for the time is near. But God knew there would still be those who would claim Revelation is hard to understand. So to make the book easy to understand, he also included an easy to follow outline. And we find that in chapter one, verses 19, where Jesus gives John these instructions right, the things which you have seen that was the resurrected and glorified Jesus.

In chapter one, write the things which are that's a reference to the Church age, which began around 32 Ad, continues to the present day, and his prophesied in chapter two and three.

And then lastly, write the things which will take place after this. John is told to write about future events that will take place after the Church age ends, and those future events make up the third act of Revelation. And they begin in chapter four. Verses one, let me read that verses to you. After these things, I looked and behold a door standing open in heaven.

And the first voice which I heard that was the voice of Jesus in chapter one was like a trumpet speaking with me, Amen saying, Come up here and I will show you things which must take place after this. And up John goes, serving as a picture of the Church which will be taken up to be with the Lord. When the Church goes up, what comes down, the wrath of God. And we find that in Revelation, chapter six, verses 16, where the period known as the Tribulation begins, and we're told the response of those who are still on the Earth at that time, they said to the mountains and rocks fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne, that's God the Father, and from the wrath of the Lamb, who is the Lamb, it's Jesus.

Chapter One introduces the focus of Revelation Jesus Christ.

Chapter two and three take us through the Church age up to the present day. Then the Church goes up to be with the Lord in chapter four, verses one and wrath comes down in chapter six, verses 16, there will be seven years of tribulation that continue all the way up to chapter 19, when Jesus will return to the Earth with this Church in the event known as the Second Coming. And there'll be even more revealed later in those final few chapters of this incredible book. But here's what you need to know for now.

If you love Jesus, then your story ends with the words and they live happily ever after.

As we discussed in the previous chapter in our previous study, the Church is taken to be with the Lord in heaven before the wrath of God is poured out on the world that has rejected Him. To understand this, all you have to do is remember the outline of Revelation chapter one, verses 19 and understand that for the most part the rest of the book unfolds literally and chronologically. It's that simple. No master's degree is required in Revelation. Chapter four and five, we see the Church in heaven.

Can you say Amen to that? In chapter six, God begins to pour out his wrath upon the Earth. And here's the amazing thing in both Greek and English, four and five come before six. Always have always will. Jesus devotes two full chapters to driving home the point that the Church is in heaven before His wrath is poured out on the Earth.

Say, Amen one more time. Over the next two chapters we're gonna be treated to a glorious preview of heaven, the hope of believers living in a broken world. Ever since Adam and Eve removed from the Garden of Eden. And I urge you to soak in these feel good chapters because we know what's coming down in chapter six, the wrath of God. And it goes on for a while.

So enjoy these two chapters and comfort yourself with the reality that they relate to the believer during the tribulation. And we will watch chapter six through 19 unfold from heaven. Thank you, Jesus. Now let's revisit those first couple of verses in chapter four again, take a look at it with me. After these things I looked and behold a door standing open in heaven.

And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, Come up here and I will show you things which must take place after this. Immediately I was in the Spirit and behold a throne set in heaven and one sat on the throne. As chapter four opens, the Church is raptured to heaven, specifically the throne room of heaven. The center of not only the universe but everything. I'm very skeptical of people who claim to a visited heaven and then be sent back by God to write a book and make a bad movie about it.

And one of the reasons I'm skeptical is because their testimony is usually focused on themselves. It's about the cool stuff they got to do. It's about their amazing new found abilities in heaven. It's about the fuzzy feelings they had. It's me, me, me.

But when you read Revelation chapters four and five, when you read the visions of John, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Makaia, and Daniel, the glimpses of heaven they had were consumed by one thing. The glory of God. Heaven is all about him. And that's what makes it so wonderful. So would you write this down?

This is your first filling. Everything in heaven is centered around the throne of God, the throne of God. And now John, with his limited human vocabulary, attempts to describe what he sees. Verses three, and he who sat there on the throne was like a Jasper and a Sardius stone in appearance, and there was a rainbow around the throne in appearance, like an Emerald. Remember that when John uses the word like in Revelation, he's telling us that he's not speaking literally.

He's doing the best he can to describe something that is otherwise indescribable to him. He's not saying the one on the throne was a Jasper and Sardius stone. He's saying that something about his appearance resembled a Jasper and Sardius stone. Jasper was a precious stone that could be one of several colors. Most scholars consider it to be what we would call today a clear diamond, while some others believe it to be a blue Ople.

The Sardis stone, also called the sardine stone, was mentioned in the letter to the Church at Sardis. Some speculate it's a Ruby, but what we know for sure is that it was blood red in color. Readers with a Jewish background would he recognized these two stones as the first and last stones found in the breastplate of the high priest mentioned in Exodus 28. Similarly, we've seen Jesus identify himself as the first and the last, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. Exodus 28 21 tells us that each of the stones in the high priests breastplate was engraved with the name of one of the twelve tribes of Israel who were founded by the twelve sons of Jacob.

The first and last sons of Jacob were Ruben and Benjamin. And I love this. Ruben means behold a son, while Benjamin means son of my right. And that's the scene here in Revelation four in the throne room of heaven. Jesus the Son of God, seated at the right hand of his father.

As John looks at the throne and the one who seated upon it, he's seeing things in dimensions that we can't even perceive in our current bodies. And all John can say is it was radiant and beautiful and colorful, like a diamond and a blood red stone exploding with color. In Greek, the word translated rainbow is Iris, and the word around doesn't mean over. As we think of an arched rainbow, it means roundabout from all sides all around. The idea is a spectrum of color radiating in every direction from the throne of God.

Light, light and more light. And John alluded to this in his first epistle when he said, this is the mess which we have heard from Him and declare to you that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. When John refers to the Rainbow's appearance being like an Emerald, he's likely referring to the way light reflects off and refracts through an Emerald because he describes the colors as a rainbow. So write this down. God's appearance is light.

God's appearance is life. That it's defining characteristic. Everything will be illuminated in the presence of God. Everything, including our understanding. We will instantly grasp the reason behind every yes and every no that we receive from the Lord.

During our earthly lives. We will grasp the full plan of God, how our joys and sufferings were all woven into it and all of our wives will fade away in His presence as our understanding is illuminated and we are left with the inevitable conclusion. God, you're so good and you were always so good when we trust the Lord in the absence of answers, it's only a temporary trust. We won't need to fill in the blanks with faith forever. All we're saying is, I'm okay waiting to get the answer, because I know my moment of illumination is coming, and when I have it, I know that I'll be satisfied by the answer.

I know I'll be satisfied by the explanation. Verses four around the throne were 24 Thrones. And on the Thrones I saw 24 elders sitting clothed in white robes and they had crowns of gold on their heads. Big question in Eschatology, who are these 24 elders? Time for some Detective work.

The Greek word used for elders is presbyters presbyters, from which we get our English word Presbyterian. And this has caused some scholars to suggest there may only be 24 Presbyterians in heaven. I'm kidding. I'm kidding. I'm kidding.

There may be as many as 30. I'm joking again. I love my Presbyterian brothers and sisters. That was just a freebie. It was right there.

Remember, everything in the Book of Revelation seems difficult to understand until it is explained somewhere else in the Scriptures. Let's look ahead a little bit to Revelation. Chapter five, verses eight and nine. We don't have to go far. I'll explain the context in the next study.

But for now I just want you to notice the lyrics of the song the elders are singing, they say, and it's on your outlines. Now, when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the TwentyFour elders underline 24 elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the Saints. And they sang a new song saying, you are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals for you were slain and have and then underline this redeemed us to God by your blood.

So clearly the TwentyFour elders are believers. They're not Angels.

They're not supernatural creations that are not humans. Because Jesus didn't die for Angels. He didn't die for Cherubim or anything like that. Jesus died for people. He redeemed people.

The next line of the song gives us another important detail, and you can underline this whole next line, they say, out of every tribe and tongue, people and nation that reinforces the fact that these are people. But it also means that these elders cannot represent or be only Israel or only Old Testament Saints. They can't just be only believers who died before the death and resurrection of Jesus because they're from every tribe, every tongue. That means every language, every people, every nation can't be. Israel can't be only Old Testament Saints.

At a minimum, their identity must include the Church. Additionally, their white robes and crowns of gold on their heads were both mentioned as being given to believers in the letters to the seven churches in Revelation two and three. But why 24? What's the significance of that number before the death and resurrection of Jesus, Jesus and the Lord and God worked on the Earth through Israel. After the death and resurrection of Jesus, God works on the Earth through the Church.

God established Israel through twelve tribes. God established the Church through twelve Apostles and twelve plus twelve equals. 24 While ethnic Israel has her own destiny that will emerge in chapters to come in Revelation spiritual Israel is now comprised of Old Testament Saints and the Church we've been grafted in. As Paul would say, that's why in Revelation Chapter 21, we see the creation of a new Jerusalem. That's what it's called.

And the New Jerusalem is the home for the New Israel, of which the Church is apart. And in that New Jerusalem, guess what we find. I put these verses on your outline from Revelation 21. It says she had a great and high wall with twelve gates and twelve Angels at the gates and names written on them, which are the names of the underline this twelve tribes of the children of Israel. Two verses later in Revelation 21, it says the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the underlying this twelve Apostles of the Lamb, twelve tribes, twelve Apostles together in the New Jerusalem as the New spiritual Israel.

And if we go back to the Old Testament in First Chronicles 24 we read of King David, who's a type of Jesus dividing the Levitical priesthood into 2004 teams. Each team was to serve in the temple that Solomon would later build on a rotating basis. And when the King wanted to communicate with the priesthood, he would summon the TwentyFour elders who represent the entire priesthood. Why doesn't the Church have a separate priesthood? It's because every believer is a priest.

As our brother Peter wrote, you are a chosen generation, a Royal priesthood, a Holy nation, his own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of him who called you out of darkness and into his marvelous light. And that's what we see them doing in Revelation chapter five. And when we read One Chronicles 25, we find David appointing 24 singers and musicians to lead the praise and worship of God at the temple. For me, the picture is absolutely clear. You can make a note of this.

The TwentyFour elders represent the Royal priesthood of believers. They represent the Royal priesthood of believers consisting of Old Testament Saints and the Church. I'll say it again. The 24 elders represent the Royal priesthood that Peter spoke about, the Royal priesthood of believers, which consists of Old Testament Saints and the Church. And in Revelation four and five, you see this Royal priesthood serving in that capacity as priests, ministering to the Lord.

Did you notice what the elders and believers are also doing before Jesus in Revelation five? In that section we just read, they each have a harp, and they're worshipping him with whatever the heavenly version of music is. They're also pouring out these bowls, which John describes as being full of incense. And so the image we're supposed to get is a type of smoke that's filling the throne room of God and enveloping the proceedings. Except in some mystical way that we can't fully grasp this incense.

And this smoke is the prayers of the Saints. How do you think God perceives your prayers? They're not annoyances. They're not tiresome to the Lord. They are like incense rising around them because every prayer testifies that we believe he is the only one who can help save, deliver, rescue, redeem, and restore.

Our prayers are worship to the Lord because they reveal our trust in Him and he is surrounded by our prayers in his throne room. Not even one of your prayers has ever been cast aside. They linger in heaven like incense, blessing the Lord. If we can grasp this reality, it will dramatically change the way that some of us pray well, actually believe God's Word when it says that we should come boldly to the throne of Grace, that we may obtain mercy and find Grace to help in time of need.

The Lord is blessed by your prayers.

He's ministered to by your prayers and that should bless and encourage you. We don't have time to dig into it today, but I want to share something I just stumbled across. It's a fascinating parallel in Scripture as I was prepping this message, this scene with the 24 elders on Thrones around the throne of God brought to my mind the scripture where Paul tells us that we've been seated with Christ in heavenly places. And that phrase is found in Ephesians two, and I discovered that the whole chapter, all of the fees options two parallels the scene in Revelation chapter four and five.

Incredibly.

And so I want to encourage you to dig into that this week in your own studies and just see how many similarities you can find between Ephesians chapter two in Revelation four and five, and I think you'll find it a rewarding time in the Scriptures. Verses Five going back to Revelation chapter four, it says, and from the throne preceded Lightnings, thunderings and voices. We see this theme of light radiating from the throne, continuing along with the sounds of Thunder and the incense of the prayers of the Saints.

This is an intense scene. And if you want to speculate about why it says voices plural, it could be because Jesus is on that throne with his Father.

And we'll see that the Holy Spirit is before the throne, as well mentioned before Jesus will take his own throne. The throne of David during the Millennium on the Earth. And for millennia mankind has observed the wrongs of the world, the innocent being slaughtered and abused and cried out, God, aren't you going to do something? The answer is yes, he is. And that's what's going to play out in Revelation, chapter six through 18, the day of God's wrath is coming.

It's coming soon. And now that the Church has been raptured, we see a storm brewing on the throne of God. Write that down. Now that the Church has been raptured. Now that the Church is safe with the Lord in heaven, we see a storm brewing on the throne of God.

In Psalm 73, verses three and 17, the Psalmist writes, I was envious of the boastful when I saw the prosperity of the wicked until until I went into the sanctuary of God. Then I understood their end back to Revelation. Chapter four, verses five, it says, Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God. You'll recall from chapter one that the seven spirits of God is a reference to the Holy Spirit and Isaiah. Chapter eleven, who, as I mentioned, is also before the throne of God and included in this scene.

Verses Six before the throne, there was a sea of glass like Crystal. Again, we see Johnny use the word like so it is not a Crystal sea or a glass sea. It's just the best way that John can describe it. What we should take from this is that there's apparently this beautiful, open and serene expanse before the Lord's throne. And what a contrast this must create.

You have this rainbow of light exploding outward from the throne, smoke the incense of the prayers of the Saints. The sounds like Thunder and voices just opposed with an ocean of peace. The Prophet Jeremiah summed up this contrast beautifully. When he wrote, A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary. This place of God's overwhelming and awesome glory is also our place of sanctuary.

It's our refuge in the temple. The sea was a Basin of water used by the priests to wash before ministering in heaven. The sea is like glass. It's like Crystal, because Jesus is our high priest. He is completely without sin, so he doesn't need to be purified before ministering on our behalf.

We keep reading and it says, and in the midst of the throne, and around the throne were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf. The third living creature had a face like a man. And the fourth living creature was like a flying Eagle. The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within.

To make sense of this seemingly bizarre description, we need to begin by remembering the scene is unfolding. In heaven. We've left the three dimensional universe we're familiar with and are now in a place with literally God knows how many dimensions. In fact, there's a little hint of this inter dimensionality or extra dimensionality in the phrase. In the midst of the throne, you see, we can understand something being on the throne or before the throne.

But in the midst of the throne, you see clearly the full nature of the throne of God is beyond our comprehension and dimensionality. In the same way we're told that the four living creatures were full of eyes around and within. Now, what in the world does it mean to have eyes within could be a reference to wisdom or knowledge or understanding or perception. But again, my earthly brain has no real idea of how John could see something and describe them this way. If your Bible says beasts instead of creatures, just know that these are not beasts.

They're not evil beings. They are awesome and glorious. Very, very literally. Before we reach heaven, each of us will undergo a dramatic change when we are translated and receive a new, resurrected, eternal body. Before Puberty hits, we see people kissing, and we think, oh, gross codes.

And then suddenly, when Puberty hits, there's this awakening, there's a revelation as once something was disturbing, and it now becomes beautiful and intriguing and amazing. I'm confident that our translation from our earthly bodies into our resurrected bodies will unbelievably be an even greater awakening than what is brought on by Puberty. That's why, as John looks at these creatures in his temporarily translated body, he's just in awe. These four creatures are likely described in greater detail in Ezekiel chapter one and in Isaiah chapter six, verses two. From those accounts, we understand that these are most likely not four different creatures with four different faces, but rather four identical creatures who each have four faces, a lie on a calf, Amen, and a flying Eagle.

As John looked at them most likely is seeing each of them from a different angle, revealing a different face. Now there's not a consensus view on the meaning of the four faces, and it's not central to the narrative of Revelation. And so for that reason, I would suggest that we be content to know that these creatures are high level angelic beings created by Jesus who worship and serve him and take a look at what they were doing. It says, and they do not rest day or night saying, Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God Almighty, who was and is and is to come.

Some suggest the reason they say Holy, Holy, Holy is because they're worshiping the Triune God, Father, Son, and Spirit.

They also specifically praise God for His eternity. The fact that He's always existed. Most of us are familiar with the idea that God is omnipresent in the sense that he's everywhere simultaneously. But we're less familiar with the aspect of his omnipresence that he is in every moment simultaneously. He's omnipresent throughout time.

He is the Alpha and the Omega. He's the beginning and the end. He who was and is and is to come simultaneously. Please note that we are clearly seeing the Church with Jesus in Heaven here in Revelation chapter four and also chapter five. And yet the Church is still singing.

The creatures are still singing that Jesus is to come. He is yet to come. Now, what is that a reference to? It's a reference to the Second Coming when Jesus will return to the Earth with the Church to rule and reign on the Earth for a thousand years. The Church is with Jesus in heaven.

But what we see here is that the Second Coming has not happened yet. Verses Nine Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him, who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever. The 24 elders fall down before him, who sits on the throne and worship Him, who lives forever and ever and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, you are worthy, oh Lord, to receive glory and honor and power for you created all things and by your will they exist and were created.

We're going to spend a considerable amount of time in heaven wearing out the word. Wow.

I reckon I'll spend at least the first thousand years grabbing whoever happens to be closest to me and yelling, Are you seeing this right now? That's what's going on here is the Church and the Angels and the creatures praise God together. It's not a chore. It's not a burden. It's a higher state of joy and glory and ecstasy than we can possibly imagine.

It's the result of God allowing us to see Him as he truly is the best word we have. For this is awesome. Heaven is going to be quite simply awesome in Scripture, there are two judgments that take place in the end times the judgment seat of Christ and the great white throne. Judgment. The judgment seat of Christ is for believers only.

It's not to determine Salvation, but rather eternal rewards. The Apostle Paul described it this way in Second Corinthians 510. We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ that each 1 may receive the things done in the body according to what he has done, whether good or bad now, good or bad, there doesn't mean evil or righteous. It means acceptable or unacceptable. Paul described this judgment in greater detail in one Corinthians 311 to 15.

For no other foundation can anyone lay, then that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now, if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, would he straw? Each one's work will become clear for the day will declare it because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test each one's work of what sort it is. If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss, but he himself will be saved.

Yet as through fire, everything we've done in our lives will be passed through the fire. Everything we've done out of selfish motivations will be burned up. Everything we've done in sincerity, for the Lord will come out the other side, and those are the things we will be rewarded for. It'll be a moment of great joy for every Christian who has endeavored to live their life for Jesus, and a moment of profound regret for every Christian who has wasted their life primarily living for themselves. When will the judgment seat of Christ take place?

Jesus said the Son of Man will come in the glory of his Father with his Angels, and then he will reward each according to his works. I believe that Jesus was telling us that eternal rewards will be given to the Church shortly following the Rapture. Because Jesus doesn't come with his Angels at the second coming, he comes with his Saints with the Church, and that fits with the fact that we see the 24 elders who I believe represent the Church and Old Testament Saints wearing crowns in heaven.

How did they get these crowns? Well, the judgment seat of Christ has clearly already taken place, and I suggest the text also tells us that they only recently receive these crowns.

Why do I say that? Well, let me explain. There are two Greek words that refer to a Crown. One is a diadem, something a King would wear. The other is a Stephanos, something given to the Victor in a competition.

Verses Ten refers to the latter. It refers to a reward, something that has been on by overcoming. There are likely more variations of heavenly crowns than the Bible records, but here are the ones the Bible does reveal. The Crown of life for those who have endured temptation, trials, and suffering. For Jesus, the Crown of righteousness for those who lived and longed for the coming of Jesus.

The Crown of glory for those who discipled the Church, the Crown of Rejoicing for those who share the gospel. You see with a Stephanos, the Crown is not the actual reward. The actual reward is something else. The actual rewards for us in eternity will include things like greater responsibility when we rule the Earth with Jesus in the Millennium and other privileges in eternity that we're not currently aware of. Rather, these crowns that we see here represent the glory associated with the rewards.

And what do we see these believers, these 24 elders, the priesthood, the Royal priesthood doing with their crowns, even those who earn these crowns by being martyred. What do we see them do since the 24 elders fall down before him, who sits on the throne and worship Him, who lives forever and ever and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, you are worthy, oh, Lord, to receive glory and honor and power. You see, that is the ultimate destination of all glory that exists. All glory that exists in the universe is destined to return to Jesus.

That's where it finds its terminus.

And apparently, when we see the Lord, our instinctive reaction, instinctive reaction will be to cast anything that we have a value at his feet. The greatest reward you can receive in heaven is having something to honor the Lord with because it's all about Him. This is also why I believe the elders here only recently received their Crown, specifically at the judgment seat of Christ shortly following the Rapture the day's coming when we will bow before the throne of God. And when Thrones are being cast at his feet, will you have anything to offer?

That moment is going to be incredible.

And the rewards that Jesus is going to distribute will be more wonderful than we can fathom. I know there are many believers who say I'm not worried about crowns. I'm not worried about rewards. As long as I get into heaven, that's good enough for me. I don't care about any of that other stuff.

You will. I promise you will. Decades before John received this revelation, the Apostle Paul was shown a vision of heaven. It's fascinating because Paul says that the Lord forbade him from sharing what he saw. A few decades later, it was revealed why Jesus wanted John to have the assignment of writing about heaven.

But if you read through the writings of Paul, you'll notice that is tone changes dramatically after his heavenly experience, and he becomes obsessed with living for eternity. He writes things like to live is Christ and to die his game. He writes things like brethren. I do not count myself to have apprehended. But one thing I do for getting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.

I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God. In Christ Jesus. Therefore, let us as many as our mature have this mind. And if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. You see, learning about heaven and eternity is not a distraction to the Christian.

It's fuel for the Christian. And dear brother, precious sister, hear me when I say this, don't waste your life. Don't waste your life. Spend it all on Jesus.

The other judgment. The Great white Throne judgment is for non believers only. And we'll study that more when we reach it. In Revelation chapter 20, recall that in his letter to the Laodiceans, Jesus has to remind them that he is the beginning of the creation of God, aka the Creator because they're buying into the idea that he isn't really the Creator of all things. With that in mind, notice what else is being sung in heaven by the TwentyFour elders by the Royal priesthood.

For you created all things and by your will they exist, were created. You see, heaven is not confused about who it is that created and sustains all things. And while we're here, I want to quickly highlight something that every person needs to know. And on the chance there's someone watching this who's never heard this before or needs to hear this again. I want you to recognize that verses eleven tells you you are here.

You exist because God created you, and he created you because he wanted you to exist. It was His will that you exist. You were created by God and for God, you were created to know Him and be known by Him. You were created to love Him and be loved by Him. You're not an accident or the result of chance to paraphrase Augustin, you have made us for yourself.

Oh, Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you. You have a Creator and you will find the meaning of life in loving Him and being loved by Him. Let's talk some more about the sea of glass that is like Crystal. Did you see in verses ten where refers to him who sits on the throne who lives forever and ever. You see, that's a clear reference to the resurrected Jesus.

And it's significant that he's sitting on the throne because in the Holy of Holies in the earthly temples, there was no throne. In fact, there was nowhere for the high priest to sit because the high priests work was never done. People were always sinning. So there was always a sacrifice that needed to be made until Jesus Hebrews 414 tells us we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens. Jesus, the Son of God.

Jesus was and is our high priest. And in the throne room of heaven, the temple of Heaven. He's sitting down. Why? Because, as he said just before he died for us on the cross, it is finished.

The work is finished. And Hebrews 1012 it says, but this man after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God. When your life hits a storm. Remember what Jesus is doing in heaven right now? He's not pacing back and forth frantically.

He's not yelling. What are we going to do at his father? He's not anxious or stressed. He's sitting beside his father on the throne of heaven with a perfectly calm sea of glass before them. Because the work is finished.

Jesus has it all figured out and he is orchestrated an ending where you and I come out more blessed than we could possibly imagine. Paul would say it like this, being confident of this very thing, that he, who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus, if you're a parent, then you know that kids can read fear on your face. They can hear it in your voice and they can read it in your body language. I'm scared of heights, but I didn't want my kids to be.

So when we would cross the suspension bridge at Lynn Canyon, I would always go in the back when they were little so that I only have to hide my fear for the few moments when they would turn around.

And I just have to smile and give a thumbs up. Because we train our kids to look to their parents, to know if something is okay or not, to know if it's safe or not. And when we're in the middle of a difficult season in life, we're supposed to look at Jesus, who is the direct reflection of His Father, our Heavenly Father. We're supposed to look at him and they're both sitting on the throne. They're at peace.

And that tells us, as children of the Father, we should be at peace too, you see, because unlike me with heights, they're not faking it. They really are at peace. They're really not afraid. Do you remember when the disciples were caught in a deadly storm on the Sea of Galilee? The story begins with Jesus telling them how their journey is going to end.

Jesus says, We're going to the other side. And when the storm hits, what is Jesus doing? He's sleeping. He's sleeping. He's at rest, not losing his mind and fear.

The truth is, the disciples should have just followed his example and lay down next to him for a quick nap. Because that's what Jesus was doing. Instead, they cry out, Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing and listen to Jesus's response? Then he arose and rebuked the wind and said, to the sea, Peace be still and the wind ceased. And there was great calm.

You see one way or another in this life or the next. Jesus is going to calm every storm in our lives, in heaven and in our lives. Now, before the throne of God, the wind ceases. The storm abates and chaos gives way to peace. After calming the storm, Jesus said to His disciples, Why are you so fearful?

How is it that you have no faith? If your life is in a storm? Look to Jesus. He is at rest. But here's the key.

So are all who come before his throne.

Revelation Four reminds us that Jesus is at the center of everything. It all revolves around Him. And that leads us to ask ourselves, the critical question is Jesus at the center of my life? Does my life revolve around God? If not, ask the Lord to show you what changes you need to make to have Him truly at the center of your life?

Are you anxious? Are you fearful about anything? If so, Jesus is asking you, why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith? Jesus questions are not to shame you there to invite you to do two things.

Firstly, there to invite you to look back at His perfect track record of faithfulness in your life and recognize that He's always been faithful. Therefore he will always be faithful. Secondly, those convicting questions of Jesus are an invitation to come before His throne and receive the peace that only he can offer. Let me remind you of Hebrews four verses 15 through 16. Again, we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses but was in all points tempted as we are without sin.

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of Grace, that we may obtain mercy and find Grace to help in time of need. I wonder who among us today needs to come before the throne of Grace and find help. Find peace in their time of need. If it's you don't let your pride or your apathy cause you to miss out on the peace of God. The peace that passes.

Understanding, humble yourself and say, Jesus, I need you. I just need you. And I'm looking to you for help and for peace. If you'll do that, you will not leave your time with the Lord disappointed. His Grace is available to all who are willing to come before is thrown and say, I need it.

I need it. Let's pray. Would you buy your head and close your eyes? Jesus, thank you for your precious word and for what it reveals to us. Thank you for the glory that awaits us when we get to see you face to face and Lord, when we're in heaven, looking straight at you will cast anything of value we have at your feet.

But Jesus, we asked that we would not wait until then to do that, that we would offer our whole lives in that same way right now to you that as we would cast a Crown in heaven, we will cast our lives before you and say, you alone are worthy Lord. You deserve all of my life. You deserve to be at the center of my life. You deserve to be on the throne of my life. And so, Lord, if there's any changes we need to make to do that by the power of your spirit, would you just reveal them to us right now?

You shine a light on in our life because, Lord, we do believe and we do declare you are worthy you and you alone, Jesus. And then, Lord, I pray for anyone who just needs help. Be at peace. Anxiety. Whatever the issue is, whatever the need is, Lord, would you stir in them a conviction to come before your throne and find help?

Fine Grace. And even as we pray together right now in Jesus, Amen, would you just release your peace to those who are watching and listening to this? Not a piece that comes from having every question answered or from all our circumstances suddenly becoming perfect, but a piece that comes from knowing you are seated at the right hand of the Father, that you are in control of all things, that you hear, every prayer. We pray that you have a plan and that you are good. You are faithful.

Fill us with that peace. Jesus, we love you. We bless you and we can't wait to be with you face to face in your name. We pray, Amen.

back to list