A Door Opened in Heaven: Rev 4:1 :: By Donald Whitchard

Revelation 4:1; John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51-58; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Summary: John’s testimony of what he witnessed in heaven shows the glory, majesty, and power of Almighty God over the affairs of His creation and His Sovereignty over the course of human history.

In Chapter 4 of Revelation, we come to the third and final great section of the Book as outlined by the Spirit of God in Chapter 1:19 -“Write the things which you have seen [Section 1], and the things which are [Section 2], and the things which will take place after this” [Section 3].

The first section dealt with John’s vision of the exalted and glorified LORD. The second section dealt with the seven churches whom Christ addressed (Revelation 2-3), and the third section deals with what will happen after the church is removed from the earth and the period of great tribulation and judgment commences for seven years (Daniel 9:27). This is fully described in Chapters 4-19 just before the glorious appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ and the start of His eternal rule over what will be the new heavens and earth (Revelation 19-22).

Notice that the word “church” never appears again after Chapter 4. Why?

The “church age” that started with its birth in Acts 2 will come to an end. This does not mean that the world, the flesh, and the devil get the last word and that God has to withdraw in some sort of defeat of the Gospel message. On the contrary, Scripture tells of a time when those who “profess” faith in Christ and who “belong to a church” will be spewing nothing but empty, false words that reek of religion but fall woefully short of the truth concerning the condition of their souls (Matthew 7:21-23; 2 Timothy 3:1-8).

More and more “churches” in the last days have done away with the truth of Scripture. They have chosen instead to intermingle with the corruption and rot of the world system in a foolish effort to appease sinners who will not surrender their lives to the saving grace of Jesus Christ. But they insist that the church welcome them with open arms and shut mouths concerning their wicked lifestyles and beliefs.

Many so-called “believers” have abandoned the promised riches of heaven and have chosen instead to follow the words of “preachers” who twist Scripture in order to make the glorified and almighty Lord Jesus Christ look not like the wonderful Savior that He is, but instead reduce Him to nothing more a divine “sugar daddy” who bestows wealth, health, and “prosperity” for a “seed-faith gift.” The naive lambs who follow these false shepherds end up disillusioned, bitter, and most tragic of all, lost in their sins, heading for hell (John 10:8, 12-13; Acts 20:28-31; Jude 1).

The Sovereign, Almighty LORD God will not be mocked, neither by the wicked of the world nor by the corrupt lips of those in pulpits who disgrace and demean the authority of His Word. He will not put up with the rambling and outlandish claims of people who talk about their varied “trips to heaven” that include bizarre descriptions of beings and locales that are in complete violation of what Scripture gives to us concerning the holy, sacred, and blessed dwelling place of our LORD (Isaiah 6:1-8; 2 Corinthians 12:1-10).

I am sick of hearing from women with pink hair on “Christian media” and from men with more imagination than reverence concerning the sacredness of eternity and what awaits the redeemed when they take their final breath and enter into the presence of God (2 Corinthians 5:10; Hebrews 9:27).

A day is coming, and I believe it is soon, when He will call His true followers to meet Him in the air and go to be with Him forever. I believe that when John heard the words, “Come up here” (4:1), it refers to the prophetic event known as “the Rapture” (Greek: HARPAZO) of the church (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51-58; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 3:10). Those who have truly followed the Lord Jesus (not a lot of people, unfortunately) throughout history and have surrendered their lives to Him (Romans 10:9-10, 13) will be part of this event.

When the Rapture does occur, there will be “churches” left on earth that are nothing but hotbeds of infidelity and rank unbelief. They will be full of people who were warned about the coming of the LORD yet chose to reject this teaching and, sadly enough, the offer of salvation He provides for us. The Lord Jesus will take His true “church” out of here, for He will not have it be covered in the sewage of the world and its corruption, nor will He have His bride be subjected to the living hell that describes the Great Tribulation and the horrific period of Divine Judgment promised by God upon a world, both natural and supernatural, that has decided to reject and rebel against Him.

The book of Revelation is not some product of a vivid imagination but a blunt look at what will occur at some point in time. It is a written warning that this world and its fallen nature will come to an end and that we are not to put our faith, trust, or vision upon its fading and insufficient abilities. It is a picture of the wonder, majesty, and glory of our great and awesome LORD, who has all things under His control and who will bring all of the evils and maliciousness of the world, the flesh, and the devil to its appropriate conclusion (John 5:28-29; Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:11-15).

This chapter on heaven and the activity which occurs there was written to get our eyes and hopes off of the politics and perversions of this world and instead to focus upon Him and the wonderful plans He has for those of us who love and follow Him.

It is my prayer that upon reading this message, you will repent of your sins and place your faith in Jesus Christ for salvation and peace (John 14:6; Acts 4 12), or that you stop and rededicate your life to Him, be faithful and obedient to His direction, and to remember what the Lord Jesus told His disciples: “Look up, be watchful, for your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28). Heaven is too wonderful to miss, and I want to see you there.