Our current studies in the book of Revelation have caused me to take a new look at our worship and praise to God, both publicly and privately. Don’t worry, I am not proposing wholesale changes to our worship services. I am simply trying to revisit scripture, meditate on it, and make sure I GET IT when it comes to the worship of God the Father and Christ the Son here on earth and in Heaven. In all my reading, studying and thinking, I concluded that the best DEFINITION of Heaven is “Worship Without End”. In fact, the term “Worship Without End” is both a DEFINITION and a DESCRIPTION of Heaven itself!
Worship was part of God’s eternal plan from the beginning. Four of the reasons God created man are:
1-To PRAISE Him – “PRAISE God in His sanctuary; PRAISE Him in His mighty firmament! PRAISE Him for His mighty acts; PRAISE Him according to His excellent greatness”. (Psalm 150:1-2).
2-To HONOR Him – “Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God; You are very great; You are clothed with HONOR and majesty! (Ps 104:1). “HONOR the Lord with your possessions, and with the first fruits of all your increase”. (Prov 3:9).
3-To GLORIFY Him – “O Lord, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth; Who have set Your GLORY above the Heavens”! (Ps 8:1). “Hear the word of the Lord, you who tremble at His word…Let the Lord be GLORIFIED, that we may see your joy.” (Is 66;5).
4-To WORSHIP Him – “Give unto the Lord, O you mighty ones, Give unto the Lord GLORY and strength. Give unto the Lord the GLORY due to His name. WORSHIP the Lord in the beauty of holiness. The voice of the Lord is over the waters; The God of GLORY thunders; The Lord is over many waters; THE VOICE OF THE Lord is powerful; The voice of the Lord is full of majesty”. (Ps 29:1-4).
In the Psalms, the terms PRAISE, HONOR, GLORIFY, and WORSHIP are found more than in all the rest of Scripture combined, save Revelation. The collection of Psalms has been called “INSPIRED EXPRESSIONS OF WORSHIP. While the pattern of our WORSHIP found in the New Testament is not revealed here, we do read of several aspects of WORSHIP in this book: The Object of our WORSHIP; Importance of WORSHIP; Preparation for WOSHIP, Assembling to WORSHIP; True versus False WORSHIP; and Improving the WORSHIP.
Also the book of Revelation provides much information on WORSHIP in Heaven through the WORSHIP scenes revealed to John by Christ Himself:
Rev 4:8-11. A throne scene involving WORSHIP of the Creator. “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, HONOR, and POWER; For you created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created”.
Rev 5:9-14. The setting is before the throne of God; The Lamb that was slain is WORSHIPPED and PRAISED. “ 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 redeemed us to God by your blood; Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth’. Then I looked and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice: ‘WORTHY is the Lamb that was slain to receive POWER and RICHES and WISDOM, and STRENGTH and HONOR and GLORY and BLESSING!’ And every creature which is in Heaven and on earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in Heaven, I heard saying: BLESSING and HONOR and GLORY and POWER, be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb forever and ever!”
Rev 15:3-4. John saw another sign in Heaven which was great and marvelous. “They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb saying: ‘Great and marvelous are your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! Who shall not fear You, O Lord and GLORIFY Your name? For You alone are HOLY. For all nations shall come and worship before You, For your judgments have been manifested.”
Rev 19:1-6. What John saw and heard as WORSHIP and PRAISE is ascribed to the Lord our God who reigns. “After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in Heaven saying, ‘Alleluia! SALVAION and GLORY and HONOR and POWER belong to the Lord our God! For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her. Again they said, Alleluia! Her smoke rises up forever and ever! And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and WORSHIPPED God who sat on the throne saying, Amen! Alleluia! Then a voice came from the throne saying, PRAISE our God, all you His servants and those who FEAR Him, both small and great! And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent Reigns”!
After seriously considering the beautifully written and illustrated passages in the Psalms and the remarkable scenes of worship in Heaven as revealed to the apostle John in Revelation, let us draw some conclusions and make some personal applications for us all.
Heaven: Worship Without End!
When the REDEEMED of all the ages, the FAITHFUL SERVANTS from every generation, all those GOOD BRETHREN who have gone on before us, and the LOVED ONES that we currently LIVE WITH and SERVE WITH; finally see the Lord God Almighty face to face; what should we expect but a virtual explosion of WONDER, PRAISE, and ADORATION wrapped in SONG.
When each one of us holds the nail scarred hands of the Lord in our own hands up there, and as we loudly proclaim, “My Lord and my God”, what feelings and emotions will freely pour from our hearts, our lips, and our eyes!
The WORSHIP WITHOUT END found only in Heaven among those who have OVERCOME through Jesus Christ will be beyond any mortal description. The Scriptures give us glimpses of it to encourage us to live so we may attain the GRACE and MERCY available to each of us and then live eternally in that home of the soul. One thing we do know – For ever and ever, we will be doing what comes natural to the SAINTS of God!
Don’t we want to thank God? Don’t we want to thank Jesus? Don’t we want to be there? Have we made our preparation to be in Heaven for all eternity?