The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four 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, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.” (Revelation 4:8-11)
Heaven Is Not About Me
The description of eternal life from God’s view is very different than the carnal view most people have about heaven. Describing what it will be like to be in Heaven from the viewpoint of man sounds more like a family reunion where folk who have not seen one another for ages rekindle friendships, new babies are introduced, food flows in abundant rivers of variety surrounded by music, laughter and good times. Questions are posed whether individuals will know one another creating an atmosphere of worry or fear of being in a place not knowing those who have been companions for a lifetime. Fanciful ideas are put forth that when eternal life is gained there will be many questions for Noah and how he built the ark or David and what it was like to stand against the giant in the valley of Elah. There is a need to sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and discuss the promises made by God or have Moses give an oratory on the wilderness wanderings. Perhaps the apostles of Christ can give lectures on how the New Testament church began and the struggles they faced. Of course the ever popular belief there are really streets of gold filling a city that is 1500 miles square housing mansions where the saved will dwell. The concern is raised on how the righteous can live in heaven knowing their loved ones are in eternal perdition. For many souls, eternal life is nothing more than sitting around on a cloud playing a harp eating grapes all eternal day. The descriptions of heaven and eternal life fill more pages in the fanciful mind of man that God reveals in the only authoritative message of what heaven will be like. And that is where the mind of man separates from the mind of God.
Heaven is described in the Bible but at best all the words that fill the pages of holy writ are limited to ideals that are difficult for the human mind to digest. The apostle Paul described going into a place where he heard inexpressible words which he could tell no man and was unable to elaborate on what he saw in what he called the third heaven. John’s revelation is lite on words that explain the real emphasis of what eternal life will be and yet, for the most part, gives the only details about what lies beyond the vale of death. There is one thing that is found in the Bible that is true about heaven and until man grasps the full knowledge of how God has revealed himself will always miss the real meaning of heaven. Eternal life is not about the man – eternal life is everything about God and the Lord God alone. Near the end of the revelation, John describes the great city of God that does not need the sun to shine on it because God is there. Throughout the book of the Revelation the core teaching is how great the Lord God Almighty is and that regardless if it is Satan, world powers, false religions, saints, angels or heavenly beings, one responsive chord is heard throughout the message: everyone will worship God and God alone. He is the one on the throne. His glory fills the heavens. All of the creatures great and small stand before Him and give honor to His presence. There is no power greater than His power. When the final day of reckoning comes, the devil and his angels will bow before the great Almighty and by the authority of God alone will be cast into Hell. No man will stand before God as all will bow before Him. There will be no slapping God on the back and having long discussions with Him about the world and creation. He will not be a friend that goes for long walks hand in hand with His buddies. God is God and everyone will prostrate themselves before His eternal glory.
Understanding heaven is removing the trappings of this carnal world and seeing eternal life for what it is. Heaven is heaven because God is there and that is the only reason heaven is heaven. It is easy to think that life is so good here on earth that heaven will be a lot like our life of prosperity transferred to the eternal realm. There are millions of people in the world that live in poverty oppressed by the burdens of life that see heaven more clearly than the satisfied, content and wealthy people of this land. We want to sit on the front porch of our mansions feasting at the table and talking to the patriarchs as if we own the place. Most people live so far below the spiritual bar of reality it would take a seismic catastrophe to awaken them to their senses that heaven is not about them. Heaven is about God. He is the center, the focus and the only reason that men will be allowed to enjoy eternal life. These words will mean nothing when eternity begins because when heaven happens there will be no more questions. We will understand it all by and by – in more ways than we know.