I'M IN HEAVEN, NOW WHAT?
Intro: Verse 1 of this passage shows John hearing the sound of a trumpet
and of a great voice calling him up to Heaven. Immediately, the transition
is made from the earth to the heavens. John is then given a view of what
Heaven will be like.
This first verse is a clear picture of the rapture of the Church. John
pictures for us what it will be like to be snatched out of this world and taken
directly to Heaven. That will be a thrilling experience! However, the
question that is often asked by people regarding Heaven is this: "What will
we do when we get there?" That is a good question! It is a question
people have asked for centuries and it is a question that this passage
answers for us. For, in the 11 verses that make up this chapter, we are
given an opportunity to look into Heaven so that we can see some of the
things that are going on there. The things going on there are thrilling, but
what makes them so special is the fact that they involve us!
So, tonight, let's take a few minutes to join John in that Heavenly city.
Let's take this time to peek behind the curtain to what will be going on in that
place called Heaven. Tonight, I want to preach on this subject: I'm In
Heaven, Now What?
I believe this text gives us some of the answers to that question. Just
remember, if you are saved today, we are looking into your future! If you
are not, then give your life to Jesus so you too can do what we are going to
do! I'm In Heaven, Now What? Good question! Let's see if we can answer
it right now.
I. V. 2-6a YOU CAN EXAMINE THE SCENERY OF HEAVEN
A. V. 2-3 You Can See The Sovereign - Of course, the most
magnificent feature of Heaven, the centerpiece of that city, will be
God Himself. The One no man can see and live, Ex. 33:20, will be
visible for all the citizens of that place to see! Rev. 22:4 says it as
clearly as it can be said: We will see God some day!
1. His Stability - A "throne set" this speaks of His Government!
Our God rules an everlasting kingdom! His kingdom is
established and stable! No one can overthrow God, Psa. 47:8;
2. His Symbolism - John tries to do the impossible: He tries to
a. The Jasper Stone - Like a diamond! Brilliant and clear, yet
hard, inflexible and firm! This speaks of the moral law of
God! There are certain fixed laws in the universe, i.e. The
Law of Gravity, The Law Of Thermodynamics. These laws
are fixed and unbreakable, except by God Himself! God's
moral Law is just a fixed and stable - Rev. 2:9; Psa. 119:89.
b. The Sardine Stone - Blood red, flashing and fiery. This stone
speaks of the holiness of God and of His anger against sin!
This serves to remind us that God is holy and that He hates
sin! Just as the fires on the sacrificial altars of Israel we
never to be extinguished, as long as sin inhabits the
universe, the fire of God's hatred will burn against it, Heb.
c. Just as a side note: These stones can also speak of the holiness of God (Pure white) as well as His redemption
(Red). For while God is a holy God Who hates sin, He is
also the same One Who loved us so much that He sent His
Son to die for us on the cross!
d. But wait! The Sardine and the Jasper stones were also the
first and last stones in the breastplate of the Old Testament
High Priest, Ex. 28:15-30. The Sardine stone represented
the tribe of Reuben. His name means "Behold a son". The
Jasper stone represents the tribe of Benjamin who's name
means, "Son of the right hand". In these two names we
see a portrait of our Savior, the Lord Jesus in His humanity.
He is the divine son, Isa. 9:6 and He is seated at the
Father's right hand, Heb. 10:12. These stones picture the
completed work of the Lord Jesus for sinners. They remind
us that even though judgment is sure for those who are in
their sins, there is grace and salvation for those who will
embrace the Gospel!
3. His Serenity - An emerald rainbow encircles the throne. The
color speaks of serenity and calm. The rainbow is a symbol of
mercy, Gen. 9. In Noah's day, he could only see half the
rainbow. He did not understand all that had happened and why
God did all that He did in the flood. Such is life for you and me.
We go through the trials and struggles of life with only half the
story. We see God's grace and experience His mercy in this life,
but we don't have the complete picture. One day, we will be in
His presence and it will all make sense then, 1 Cor. 13:12; Eph.
2:7. When the storm has passed, the rainbow appears! One
day, in Heaven the storms will have passed forever and we will be
at peace in the city, where all the mysteries of life will be made
B. V. 4 You Can See The Saints - Heaven isn't just a place for the
Redeemer, it is also a place for the redeemed. These 24 elders are
a picture of the redeemed of the ages. 12 representing the O.T.
saints and 12 representing the church age saints of God.
1. Their Position - They are seated! Note: They too occupy
thrones which indicates that they are rulers too, Rev. 1:6. The
fact that they are seated lets us know that they are rest. The
battles are over and they find themselves seated before the
throne of God at perfect rest and peace! Thank God a day of rest
awaits the heaven bound saint today! One day we will actually be
where we are positionally now, Eph. 2:6.
2. Their Purity - These elders are robes in "white raiment". This
is always a symbol of holiness and purity Rev. 19:8. Thank God,
the day is coming when the saints of the Lord will be in His
presence free from the stain and blight of sin!
3. Their Prize - Each of these elders wears a "crown of gold".
This crown in not like the crown that Jesus wears, Rev. 19:12.
His crown is a "diadem" which refers to a king's crown. The
elders wear the "stephanos" which is the "victor's crown". It
was given out to those who had earned it on the field of battle or
in the athletic games. It was presented for a job well done, Heb.
12:1-2. There are at least five crowns named in the New
Testament that believers can win. The point here is that these
elders have already been before the Judgment Seat of Christ and
have been judged and have received their reward. (Note: There
is coming a day when your service for Jesus will be recognized
and rewarded. You may not receive the accolades down here,
but you can rest assured the He will sees all will give you a crown
over there! Therefore, carry on, Gal. 6:9, for the glory of God
knowing that one day He will say, 'Well done!".
C. V. 5a You Can see The Sights - John speaks of "lightnings and
thunderings". These point to the judgment which is about to be
poured out upon the world. Heaven is not just a place of glory, but
it is also a place where the power of God and His judgment on sin
will be displayed as well!
D. V. 5b You Can See The Spirit - The Holy Spirit, who has indwelt us,
taught us an lead us will be there in Heaven for us to see and glorify.
It will be an exciting time to be in the physical presence of One Who
has meant so much on this journey!
E. V. 6a You Can See The Sea - John says that there is a sea of brass
before throne. This sea refers to an article in the Tabernacle and
the Temple known as the "Laver". The laver was a bronze container
that was placed outside the entrance to the Tabernacle and the
Temple. Before the priests could enter, they were required to stop
at the laver and wash themselves, Ex. 30:18-21. The laver was a
place that reminded the priest that he was a sinner and had to
cleanse himself before he could come into the presence of the Lord.
(Note: We have a laver too! It is called 1 John 1:9! I wash there
several times daily. In fact, we cannot enter into the presence of the
Lord to worship or pray until we stop by the laver to wash up, Psa. 66:18.) But, in Heaven, the sea has turned to crystal. This signifies
two important truths.
1. For the sinner, the time for repentance has passed. Judgment
is set and the time for the execution of God's sentence is at hand.
2. For the saint, the time of sinning has passed! In heaven, we will
have repented for the last time and we will be capable of sin no
longer. The time for repentance is now!)
II. V. 6b-8 YOU CAN ENJOY THE SOUNDS OF HEAVEN
A. V. 6b-8a The Source Of The Praise - John describes four beasts
who are engaged in the ministry of praising the Lord. The four
beasts are some type of angelic creatures. Many people have tried
to figure out what they represent. Some say they represent the four
Gospels. The lion represents the Gospel of Matthew, or the Gospel
of the King. The calf represents the Gospel of Mark, or the Gospel
of the Servant. The man represents the Gospel of Luke, or the
Gospel of the Son of Man. The eagle represents the Gospel of
John, or the Gospel of the Son of God. Others say the beasts
represent Jesus. The Lion shows Him to be King. The Calf shows
Him to be a Servant. The Man shows His Humanity. The Eagle
reminds us of His Heavenly origin.
Now, I might as well tell you what I believe about these beasts.
I believe they represent the totality of creation. The lion represents
wild life. The calf domesticated animals. The man represents
intelligent life. The eagle represents bird life. This is just creation
doing what it was designed to do: bring glory to the Lord. These
beasts, whoever or whatever they are, are in the business of
praising the Lord!
B. V. 8b The Sound Of The Praise - They lift their voices and they
praise God for His holiness and for His immutability! They declare
Him to be the righteous One and the One Who is self-existent. They
glorify Him as the "I AM". On that basis alone, He is worthy of all the
praise of all men!
C. V. 8 The Span Of The Praise - "they rest not day and night."
Their anthem of praise will continue unabated throughout all eternity!
Heaven will be a place filled with the praises of the angelic hosts!
Imagine the praise from countless voices as these beings, who were
created for the sole purpose of glorifying God, exalt Him!
(Note: It has been said that this world is the quietest place in which you
will ever live. If you die without the Lord and go to Hell, you will hear the
screams, the curses and the cries of the damned through eternity. What
an awful thought! If you are saved and go to Heaven, you will hear the
sound of the angelic praise and you will hear the redeemed as they
shout and sing the praises of their Redeemer!)
III. V. 9-11 YOU CAN EXALT THE SOVEREIGN OF HEAVEN
(Ill. Remember those 24 elders? They are a picture of us. Here is what
we will be doing in Heaven! We will be worshiping and there are a few
things we can learn about heavenly worship in this passage.)
A. V. 9-10a Your Worship Will Be Visible - When the beasts praise
the Lord, the saints will rise from their thrones, they will bow before
Him, they will cast their crowns at His feet and they will shout praises
to the Lord. (By the way, every time you see these guys in
Revelation, this is what they are doing, 4:10; 5:8; 5:14; 7:11; 11:16;
19:4.) That is pretty visible praise! In fact, it seems perfectly in
order too! The Lord doesn't rebuke them for their praise. By the
way, this is the kind of thing we are to be involved with while we are
here! Too many want to try and worship God in their hearts. How
does He receive glory from that? Praise is something that glorifies
God and that points out His worth to others!
B. V. 10b Your Worship Will Be Valuable - They take the golden
crowns from their heads and they cast them down at His feet. Why?
Because the only reason they have them is because He loved, He
extended grace to save them, He kept them, He gifted them to
serve, He equipped them for victory, He did it all and He deserves
all the glory and the praise. Down here, we try to keep some for
ourselves. Over there, every selfish motive will have vanished
forever and all that will matter is praising the One Who made
salvation, service and Heaven possible. (Note: While we travel this
world, there is nothing more valuable that we can give the Lord than
ourselves. In fact, that is exactly what He wants, Rom. 12:1. As we
yield ourselves to Him in service, He will use us for His glory and
then in Heaven, He will reward us for what He equipped us to do!
Then we can take the rewards He gives us and we can offer them
back to Him so that He can be glorified for what He has done for us!
Therefore, live you life in such a fashion that you earn many crowns
to cast at the Savior's feet!)
C. V. 11 Your Worship Will Be Vocal - In Heaven, the saints actually
praise God out loud! I know that is hard to believe, but it is true.
You may never shout here, but when you get there, you will shout to
the top of your lungs. You will join your voice with all the redeemed
and you will praise the Lord Who sought you, bought you, kept you
and delivered you home to glory. Notice what they praise Him for:
1. His Worth - He is worthy of our praise this evening simply for
Who He is!
2. His Work - He is worthy of praise for all that He has done down
through the ages, from creation, to redemption, even for His
judgment. He is worthy of praise for His works. (Note: Think of
how the Lord has worked in your life!)
3. His Will - The elders recognize that which we will understand
some day too; namely, that everything that has happened, is
happening and will happen is part of God's perfect plan. He does
it all for "His pleasure." When we get there, we will see it as it
should be and we will praise Him for it! Would to God we would
get a grasp on that now and praise Him while we were still in
(Note: There is nothing wrong with getting in on a little of that vocal
praise right now! He is just as worthy today as He will ever be.
Therefore, let the "redeemed of the Lord say so!" Let us render
to Him the sacrifices of praise and the fruit of our lips, Heb. 13:15.
We might as well get in practice now!)
Conc: Sounds to me like Heaven is the kind of place I want to be! It sounds
like it is better than the best service you have ever attended all the time!
Thank God, I know I'm headed there and I know when I get there some of
the things I'll be doing. And, I like the sound of all of them. What about
you? Are you going? Is it settled that you are saved and headed for glory?
If so, then praise the Lord for what He has done for you. If you are lost or
if you are not sure about your spiritual condition, then I invite you to come
to Jesus Christ. Trust Him as your Savior and you can go to Heaven when
you leave this world!