Is heaven a place to practice your favorite hobby, go fishing, relax on a cloud, golf, or party with your friends? Some have talked about flying with angel wings. Others have said their dead loved one was the new star in the night sky or the wind in the trees. A few even claim to have been to heaven and written books about it; they sell well. Popular concepts of heaven are often silly and far from the Biblical descriptions.
The picture of heaven in Scripture is not narcissistic and man-centered but focused on the worship of God. Consider the enduring picture of heaven revealed in Revelation 4-5.
First there is God's throne with flashes of lightening and thunder coming from it. Around it are 24 smaller thrones on which elders sit in white with golden crowns worshiping. Seven lamps representing the Spirit are before the throne and four magnificent angelic creatures are around it in constant worship saying "Holy, Holy, Holy..." In God's right hand is a scroll that no one can open except Christ, the Lamb. Hear more detail in my message from last Sunday in the Livestream. Don't miss the last part.
One lesson here is that heaven is a place of worship. It is not about us but about God who alone is worthy of worship. The first commandment tells us our first priority is worship, "You shall have no other gods..." That is the message of the last book of the Bible too.
While heaven is future for the believer, it ought to be present here and now too. The church today is that primary place of worship in covenant relationship with other believers. The elders around the throne picture perfect worship in absolute harmony. Yet we get distracted from worship here by the cares of life or a wrong focus and quickly pursue things of lesser importance. But the church is a taste of what heaven is to be like even with all her imperfections. Let us not forsake this most important assembly (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Our worship this week will have an emphasis on Mothers Day. Several parents will be dedicating children to the Lord in worship. We'll also welcome the Reids to talk about foster parenting as a ministry. Watch the video below for details.