After this I looked, and there was a great crowd that no one could number. They were from every nation, tribe, people, and language. They were standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They wore white robes and held palm branches in their hands. They cried out with a loud voice: “Victory belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” …
Then one of the elders said to me, “Who are these people wearing white robes, and where did they come from?”
I said to him, “Sir, you know.”
Then he said to me, “These people have come out of great hardship. They have washed their robes and made them white in the Lamb’s blood. This is the reason they are before God’s throne. They worship him day and night in his temple, and the one seated on the throne will shelter them. They won’t hunger or thirst anymore. No sun or scorching heat will beat down on them, because the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them. He will lead them to the springs of life-giving water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:9-10,13-17 CEB)
Let me ask us all some questions.
- What would be heaven to you?
- What would be heaven to you if your life had been great hardship?
- What would be heaven to you if your life had been great hardship because you believed the Lord?
What would you want heaven to be?
- Would it be to wear a white robe?
- Would it be to wear a white robe and never know hunger or thirst?
- Would it be to wear a white robe and never know hunger or thirst and never be at the mercy of the elements again?
Or in light of this passage, should the questions more nearly be:
- Would heaven to you be simply to be in the presence of the Lamb?
- Would heaven to you be simply to be in the presence of the Lamb who shelters you and shepherds you?
- Would heaven to you be simply to be in the presence of the Lamb who shelters you and shepherds you and to sing his praise day and night, ever worshiping him?
You see, the question is not, “What do you want heaven to be?” The question is, “Who do you think heaven is about?
- Heaven isn’t about us and our receiving great blessing, but heaven is about God and our blessing him.
- Heaven isn’t about our finally being served, but about our finally being privileged to serve him without hindrance.
- Heaven isn’t about enjoying good things for ourselves that we were denied on earth, but about God being our complete enjoyment so that things no longer have any real existence to us.
The business of heaven is about worshiping God and those who will experience heaven are those who worship God here and now, be it through hardship or ease, want or sufficiency, trouble or comfort. These are the ones who will experience heaven and enjoy God fully and forever.
For to worship him is why we were made. Those who get that, get it. There can be nothing greater and we must not settle for anything less. Here and now. Until we can take it up an octave in heaven.
Our Father who is our heaven, holy is your name. Bring us into your kingdom and let us do your will. May you be our bread. Forgive us when we forget this and bring us back to our rightful mind. Deliver us from anything less for you are the King, the glory and the power forever. Amen.