Our 3rd message in our series of studies in Revelation chapter 4 - What is heaven like?
So far for the student of the Bible our studies of heaven in the book of Revelation has yielded few surprises!
Heaven we can see:
- Has a door (Rev 4:1) - with this we are familiar from John 10:9 - we know the door; "I am the door"
- There is a voice (Rev 4:1) - a voice as a trumpet, the same voice John heard in Revelation chapter 1. In fact the first voice John heard in heaven was the last voice he heard upon earth - the voice of Jesus.
- There is a throne (Rev 4:2) - a throne we know well of even from the Lord's prayer we are well aware that heaven is the domain of God's rule; "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
- Upon that throne there reigns the Son (Rev 4:3) - symbolised by the Jasper and the Sardine stone. An explanation of this is given in the video above.
- There is a rainbow - the symbol of a covenant keeping God from Genesis chapter 9
- There is a crystal sea - the echo of which we find in the temple of Solomon. Here there is no need for cleansing. Purity and holiness is a condition for entering into heaven, nothing that defiles and can enter.
For those who miss the door of heaven and the provision of the cross work of Jesus Christ, heaven is a tragedy!
Here in Revelation chapter 4 we glimpse the character of God in the 4 living creatures.
In character God is:
- Lion like - sovereign, powerful and in control - ordering the world and the lives of all that are in it, ordering each of the circumstances of our life.
- Calf like - He is the one who has made the provision for sacrifice and reconciliation, He has made the sacrifice for the sinner. Six times in the New Testament we will read of the calf. Three times it is slaughtered in Luke chapter 15 for the prodigal son and twice it is used in reconciliation and sacrifice in Hebrews.
- Face of a Man - He is the God who became man, incarnate, no one has seen God at any time, the only begotten who is in the bosom of the Father He has declared Him.
- Eagle like - aerial, air born and soaring as the Spirit of God does (cf John chp 3). He is the one who convicts of sin, righteousness and judgment to come. He is the Spirit who reveals Christ and sanctifies the believer.
What is heaven like?
For those who never reach it heaven is tragic.
It is the place we do not reach but ought to have reached for the God of heaven was active in revealing Himself and seeking us all of our life; revealing Himself behind the scenes, sovereign as the lion, providing for teh salvation of teh sinner as the calf, incarnate as Jesus Christ and active as the Spirit of God.
Grace in Christ
Dr J Stewart Gillespie