Worship Redeemed: Part 2
In the book of Revelation the apostle John receives a vision of heaven and the return of Jesus. First in his vision of heaven he sees a picture of worship in heaven. He writes:
Worship in Heaven
8 And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” 9 And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”
I included this here as a good example and resource for you to equip in giving adoration to God. Finding the words to express our adoration to God can be a little awkward at first because it’s not vocabulary we employ often. So feel free to use some of the language expressed here in your private time of prayer and adoration to God.
At the end of Revelation we see a beautiful picture of creation being restored to it’s initial Eden-like state, only better.
The New Creation, Return to Eden Worship
1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” 5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
22 And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. 23 And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, 25 and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. 26 They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. 27 But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life. 1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
The presence of God is fully with humans in the new creation yet again. Worship, in the former sense, at the temple, will be no more because God’s presence is fully with us. Here again our worship will by “working and keeping” the creation as it was in Eden. Humanity will once again experience a creation without the curse, worship undefiled by sin and existence in harmony with God and creation once again. This God will accomplish and bring to completion.
Be sure to check out any content that you’ve missed from this week’s conference.
Reflect on the hope of the new creation. Especially in light of our proclivity to misplace our worship this image of pure worship sounds pretty good. My prayer is that as we struggle with the idols in our lives, the people, places or things that draw our worship from God, we will be filled all the more with a sense of hope and longing for the fulfillment of this promise of God. He is trustworthy and true. We can have full confidence that he will bring this hope to completion.