“After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:
"Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb." All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying:
Praise and glory
and wisdom and thanks and honor
and power and strength
be to our God for ever and ever.
Cliff Barrows and Billy Graham were in conversation on one occasion concerning what they would do in heaven. Cliff Barrows was the song leader for the Billy Graham Crusades. He said to Billy: "I'll have a job in heaven, but what will you do?" He was inferring that because Billy is an evangelist, and everyone will be a Christian in heaven, there will be no one to win for the Lord, but there'll be plenty of praising of God to get on with through eternity.
That little story raises a number of questions for us concerning how we imagine what we will do in heaven.
If popular understanding of heaven is anything to go on, one would be forgiven in thinking that heaven must be a pretty boring place. We'd be left wondering how we're ever going to put the time in or, if you like, the eternity in.
WE WILL WORSHIP GOD
In the book of Revelation Johngets a glimpse behind the curtain at what is happening in Heaven and the one picture that we see above all others is that Heaven is a place of worship.
“Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing:
"To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!" The four living creatures said, "Amen," and the elders fell down and worshiped.”
What does worship mean? Singing to God? Going to church? Some people have an idea that worshiping God is boring, something you have to do. They think of Heaven as a long church service.
Some might wonder if all we’ll do in Heaven is worship God. Well, yes and no. No, because the Bible says we’ll be doing many other things—eating, working, relaxing, etc. And yes, because all that we do will show our appreciation for God in an act of worship that will never end.
Worship will be a normal part of everyday life, like breathing – not a separate spiritual activity we do a few times a week.
Even as we are busy doing all the other things which God has prepared for us – central to it all will the an unending stream of worship and praise flowing from hearts inspired by the glory of God and the wonder of what we see around us.
WE WILL SERVE GOD
“No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him.”
While it is true that Heaven is a place of rest, “a rest for the people of God,” it will not be the rest of inactivity or idleness. We will not merely lounge within the pearly gates to gaze forever on the eternal beauty of our heavenly home.
When the Bible records the work of God in creation, it says: “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all the work which He had made” (Genesis 2:2). Does this mean that God has been inactive and idle since creation? Most assuredly not! “Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working." (John 5:17).
This work may reflect something of the work we did and skills we had while here on earth.
W. A. Criswell in his book on Heaven makes a very interesting point that is worth considering.
“We shall be the same person there as here…our traits, abilities, personalities will be the same only redeemed and glorified…Our lives, talents, gifts, and abilities shall continue to be developed throughout all the ages. In heaven we shall be permitted to finish tasks we dreamed to do but have had no opportunity or time or strength or ability to finish on earth”
The bible also teaches that part of our work will be to REIGN WITH GOD & HELP ADMINISTER THE KINGDOM:
“To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations”
“...with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth."
“Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.”
Tomorrow we will see what else the Lord has in store for us.