Before the Throne of God :: By Dr.Donald Whitchard

Isaiah 6:1-8; John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 2:8-9; 2 Corinthians 12:1-10; Revelation 4:2-11

Summary: How can anyone describe, with our limited human vocabulary, the glory and wonder of God’s heaven? John’s vision shows that God is in control of the events here on Earth and will bring all of history to a conclusion on His terms.

Revelation Chapter 4 opens with the apostle John being commanded to “come up here” (v.1). He is brought to the throne room of God Almighty in all of its glory and majesty. It is far more beautiful and magnificent than any kind of palace built for kings and emperors here on Earth.

What John sees is a place of both wonder and worship that words cannot adequately describe. He saw heaven’s perspective as it pertains to the troubles and evils of this world. When we focus exclusively on what is happening in our world today with all of its events, trials, and debauchery, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that for the child of God, this world “is not our home” (1 John 2:15-17).

Nothing of this present world system is going to last. Despite some people’s misguided efforts to “save the planet,” Scripture tells us that the earth will be burned up, along with the universe, with a “fervent heat” at some point in time in order for the LORD to create a new heaven and Earth free from the corruption of sin and its evil consequences (2 Peter 3:10). God is in control of His creation (Genesis 1:1; John 1:1-4; Colossians 1:16-17), and no power on Earth or elsewhere will change that fact.

John sees God Himself seated upon His throne (vv.2-3). To see the King of Creation, the Sovereign Almighty LORD, is a privilege and honor that surpasses any invitation to the palaces and mansions of the monarchs and rulers in this world and have an audience with them.

For the majority of British citizens, meeting with King Charles would be an honor. Many Americans would love to meet and talk with former President Trump. However, all that pales in comparison to having an audience with the LORD. The wonderful news is that we have that privilege anytime we want through the finished work of redemption by the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:6-11, 6:23).

Unlike a modern king who is limited in his powers, Almighty God rules and reigns with absolute authority (Psalm 2:1-12, 103:19). This world may refuse to recognize God’s authority for now (Romans 1:18-32, 3:10-13, 23), but there will come a day when everyone faces Him, either as Savior or Judge, and will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father (Matthew 25: 31-46; Romans 14:12; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 9:27).

Around the throne are magnificent jewels such as jasper, a hard stone that is firm and unchanging, a symbol of the unchanging and fixed nature of God. He does not need to make alternative plans in dealing with the affairs of creation. The plans He has for us are certain and sure. This included the plan He had made before the foundation of the world to redeem fallen humanity from the curse of sin and death (Isaiah 53:4-6; Ephesians 1:3-4).

Our fall into sin did not catch Him by surprise. He knew that the free will He gave us to obey or disobey Him would result in rebellion against Him. Yet, in His mercy, He did not leave us alone to bear the consequences and end up in hell as a result. The Lord Jesus Christ, God Incarnate, came to this world to live among us and take upon Himself the sins of the world that we cannot in any way, shape, or form do on our own (Isaiah 64:6; John 1:29, 3:16, 20:30-31).

Without the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, the entire narrative of Revelation would not exist. The entirety of the New Testament would not exist. The Bible would be just another book, and we would still be dead in our sins with nothing to look forward to except an eternity in hell.

As the apostle Paul wrote, “If Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:16-19), and our “faith in Christ” would be nothing but a pitiable waste of time, effort, and reason.

Because He lives, the vision that is presented to John as He describes the indescribability of heaven is the result of God’s promise of salvation and mercy made a reality by the Lord Jesus Christ.

This wonderous description of heaven and the glory of God will continue with the next message. Now, I want to ask you this question: Are you prepared to meet God? Be honest. If you were to die today, and you stood before God, and He asked you, “What right do you have to enter into my heaven?” how would you answer? If it is by your works, that will not suffice. You can only enter the glory of heaven by asking the Lord Jesus to forgive you of your sins and to be your Lord and Savior this day (Romans 10:9-10, 13; 2 Corinthians 6:2). God’s heaven awaits you. I do not want you to miss it.