Heaven is for Real

OPENING PRAYER

Father, expand my expectation and let me not be satisfied with drab trinkets.

 

Read: REVELATION 11:15-19

[15] The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.”  [16] And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God,  [17] saying: “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign.  [18] The nations were angry, and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your people who revere your name, both great and small- and for destroying those who destroy the earth.”  [19] Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a severe hailstorm.

 

Reflect: WHEN IS GOD’S KINGDOM TO BE ESTABLISHED IN FULL?

Throughout Revelation the scene shifts between earth and heaven as in John’s vision the same events are seen from a different perspective. The devastation on earth with the sounding of the seventh trumpet is seen from heaven as the moment of victory, as it puts an end to the rebellion that has torn God’s creation away from him. Praise erupts and loud voices celebrate the establishment of God’s kingdom. Heaven does seem to be quite a noisy place (15,19; 12:10; 14:2). But then there is a lot to shout about as Satan is defeated and our God reigns. Heaven surely will be a place of singing, activity and endless exploration. What are we to make of the juxtaposition of suffering on earth and rejoicing in heaven? We need to be very careful. God’s victory over his enemies is always a cause for celebration; it is never an excuse for triumphalism. Jesus denounced Jerusalem in a voice that was choked with tears (Luke 19:41). No wagging fingers in heaven, only hands lifted in adoration.

 

APPLY

Speak God’s truth with conviction and also with compassion and sensitivity.

 

CLOSING PRAYER

Holy God, may I weep over what causes Your heart to grieve.

 

Syndicated via Scripture Union. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.