Only worshippers are in Heaven.
Worship is what the Father seeks.
Jesus came to seek and to save lost sinners, and make them worshippers of God.
God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.
The driving message of salvation is worship. Jesus tells us the only thing God seeks is worship. So, the purpose of salvation is worshiping the God of Heaven. Now, look what Revelation completes for us. The whole Bible can be summed up by the theme of worship. We have come to the final lesson from Revelation 4 & 5.
Four Foundational Truths
To Anchor us Through Life
Here they are:
God’s Word describes the Real Heaven: There is only one Real Heaven and Rev. 4-5 describes what it looks like, so none of the other accounts that you read or hear about Heaven, other than the truths of God’s Word, are accurate or inspired.
God’s Word declares Eternal Heaven & Hell: There are only two destinations, one is an eternal place God calls Heaven, filled with joy, peace, bliss, and endless pleasures; and the other is a place of conscious, endless torments called Hell: and you are going to one or the other.
God’s Word demands One Way of Salvation: that the only way to Heaven is through having imputed to you by faith alone, the redemptive, blood-soaked, substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus upon the Cross, as described in God’s Word.
God’s Seeks True Worshippers: the only true salvation is the one that saved us out of our hopeless distance from God; and that makes us worshippers. We who worship are bondservants of God. His salvation brings us into complete submission, as we bow before God the Father, and God the Son, and God the Spirit.
So, who are the saved, who are the redeemed, who are the bondservants of God? In Revelation, when we see the ending, we see that:
The heartbeat of God’s Word is worship. This morning in John 4, Jesus defines believers as WORSHIPPERS!
The word translated “worship” is 65x in the New Testament, and ten of those times are clustered right here in John 4. Here is the defining chapter on the worship and the worshippers that God seeks. Please stand with me and follow along as we read John 4:20-24 (NKJV):
Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Worship: The Whole
Theme of God’s Word
The driving message of salvation is worship. Jesus tells us the only thing God seeks is worship. So, the purpose of salvation is worshiping the God of Heaven. Now, look what Revelation completes for us. The whole Bible can be summed up by the theme of worship.
The Scriptures open in Genesis with God walking and talking with His Worshippers, who fall away from Him in sin. So God comes down and finds them and explains to them how they can come back to Him through a substitutionary, sacrificial offering made obediently as an act of worship.
The next book Exodus contains elaborate plans for a tent whose sole purpose was to bring worshippers to God. It was made to transport nomadic, desert-dwellers from the dry, barren wastelands to before the very Throne of God, anytime they wanted to come just the way God instructed them to come.
The longest book at the heart of God’s Word is a manual on ways to Worship the God of the Universe. The Psalms are mostly songs of worship, pointed at the God of the Universe.
The rest of the Old Testament is a series of prophets lamenting the neglect and abandonment of worship by God’s people who were to be a kingdom of Worshippers (priests).
The Gospels open with the God of Heaven on earth seeking creatures who would be willing to be Worshippers. As an infant He is welcomed by kneeling shepherds, and worshipping Wisemen. He is followed for three plus years by a band of disciples who often were overwhelmed with awe and worshipped Him.
Then, Book of Acts records what happens when average people from every walk of life, every strata of society and every depth of sin are bound together with a common passion of being life long Worshippers.
The Epistles are a training manual on how to grow as worshippers personally and corporately. Then, Revelation ends what Genesis started. The God of the Universe is walking with, and sharing with His worshipping creatures, forever dwelling with us, just as He promised.
God’s Word closes with all of God’s Worshippers at last Home with their Creator and Worshiping HIM!
Are You a
Is your heart the heart of a worshipper? The word worship is full of meaning, expressing the idea of falling down, prostrating oneself, and kissing the feet or the hem of the garment of the one honored.
Worship has been defined as when:
- God’s Holiness quickens my conscience;
- God’s truth feeds my mind;
- God’s beauty purges my imagination;
- God’s love opens my heart; and
- God’s purposes capture my will.
Does this describe most believers of 2012? Someone once said, “The immense tragedy of the contemporary church is that most people worship their work, work at their play, and play at their worship”.
Jesus who paid the price for sin on the Cross, presented the way that anyone who wanted to be saved, could be saved. Jesus shared the Good News.
But as we look through the two-dozen or so different times that Jesus shared the Gospel we see that He almost never repeated Himself. It is almost like each time is unique, yet each time was the same. That is the wonder of salvation.
What was the message Jesus gave to those who heard Him preach? In the Gospel by John we can find what is perhaps the most exciting, extraordinary, and profound of all the Gospel presentations.
John captures Jesus 24x describing those believers who will surround the Throne, as those who:
A believer is someone who possesses Christ, and becomes God’s Child by a Supernatural event.
o John 1:12 Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—
o John 1:13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
A believer is someone who understands that salvation is only by trusting in One who took my place.
John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
There before John stood the One whom all the sacrifices of Old Testament times had foreshadowed. It is exceedingly striking to observe the progressive order followed by God in the teaching of Scripture concerning “the lamb”. The Gospel as explained by Paul in I Cor 15:3-4 explains this so clearly Christ died for sin
A believer is someone who is overwhelmed by the Spirit of God.
John 1:33 I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’
God’s Holy Spirit comes and invades every part of our being, standing by to transform, deliver, heal, and protect. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the washing away of our sins, the supernatural implantation of a new heart, and the beginning of God’s work in our lives. It is instantaneous and supernatural. So in a sense, baptism does save us, baptism does wash away all sin, but the baptism that does that is only performed once and only performed by God the Holy Spirit!
In John 2: A believer is someone who is saved only by hanging onto Christ alone.
John 2:11 This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.
Salvation is a person, and He is our substitute, and we cling to him!
In John 3: A believer is someone who gets to start life over again, seeing Christ as their only hope to live the truth and love the light, and have God’s wrath removed forever.
Now mark these with me in your Bibles:
a believer GETS to start life over again. (brand new and the right way!) That is in John 3:3, 5, 7 In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” 5 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’
a believer LOOKS AT Christ AS THEIR ONLY HOPE. John 3:15-16, 18 that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. 16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
a believer lives the truth and a believer loves the light. John 3:20-21 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth, comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”
Remember again Acts 26:18 we are light seekers and lovers. I John 1 we walk in the light.
a believer has God’s wrath pulled off of their life by accepting the son. John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”
God’s wrath against sin is as unavoidable apart from Christ’s sacrifice; we are without Jesus, like a target painted by a laser with a laser guided bomb headed its way, or a heat seeking missile locked on a jets engine, or a radar honing missile streaking toward an unsuspecting transmitter; or like swimming near blood when killer sharks lurk nearby. All are fatal, one is eternally fatal!
In John 4: A believer is someone who drinks Christ as the water of life, and finds Him the spring that never runs dry; and begins a life of worshipping Christ as our only hope.
o a believer drinks Christ’s water of life John 4:10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
o a believer has a supernatural source of living WATER John4:14 but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
o drinkers are worshipers John 4:23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” Fountain of youth
o a believer is convinced Christ is their only hope John 4:39, 41-42 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 41 And because of his words many more became believers. 42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”
A believer is someone who takes Christ at His Word. John 4:50, 53 Jesus replied, “You may go. Your son will live.” The man took Jesus at his wordand departed. 53 Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he and all his household believed.
In John 5: A believer is someone who hears, believes, crosses over, and does good. John 5:21, 24, 28-29 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. 24 “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed overfrom death to life. 28 “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29 and come out—those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.
In John 6: A believer is someone who is securely drawn to Christ, partakes of Him, and stays in Him. (Salvation equals abiding in Christ) John 6:27,29,35,37,39-40,44,47,51,54,56
o a believer is one who securely comes to Jesus. John 6:27, 29, 35, 37, 39-40, 44, 47, 51, 54, 56 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.” 29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” 35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to mewill never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.
o a believer is one who is looking to Jesus and believing. John 6:40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”
o a believer is one who is drawn to Jesus John 6:44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. 47 I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life.
o a believer is one who PARTAKES – (eats) Jesus, drinks Jesus, stays in jesus (Salvation equals abiding in Christ). John 6:51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my bloodhas eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him.
A believer is someone who has genuine spiritual life, because they are enabled by God. John 6:63,65–66 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. 65 He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to meunless the Father has enabled him.” 66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
A believer is someone who chooses to do the will of God. John 7:17 If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.
A believer is someone whose life is overflowing with the Spirit of God. John 7:30,37-39 At this they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his time had not yet come. 37 On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.
In John 8, A believer is someone who:
LEAVES THEIR LIFE OF SIN, v. 11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
BELIEVES IN JESUS, v. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins.”
DIES SINLESS, v. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins.”
PUTS THEIR FAITH IN JESUS, v. 30 Even as he spoke, many put their faith in him.
HOLD HIS TEACHING, v. 31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.
REALLY ARE CHRIST’S DISCIPLES, v. 31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.
KNOW THE TRUTH, v. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
HAVE BEEN SET FREE, v. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
BELONG TO GOD, AND HEARS GOD v. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 47 He who belongs to God, hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” Submarines and ships in harm’s way when out over the deep and vulnerable to sinking into the deep blackness of the sea’s depths.
In John 9: A believer is someone who worships Christ as their sight-giver. John 9:35,38-39,41 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 38 Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. 39 Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” 41 Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.
In John 10: A believer is someone who hears and obeys Christ’s voice, and enters into an abundantly satisfied life of personally experiencing Christ.
o a believer enters through Jesus John 10:1 “I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.
o a believer hears Christ’s voice John 10:3 The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
o a believer has been saved by Jesus and finds pasture John 10:9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.
o a believer has an abundnat life John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
o a believer trusts in Christ’s life laid down for their sins John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
o a believer is known by Jesus and personally knows Jesus John 10:14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—
A believer is someone who lives and believes in Jesus. John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; 26 and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, put their faith in him.
A believer is someone who hates the world, and loves the light. John 12:25-26,36 The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. 36 Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light.” When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them. Ephesians 5; I John 5
A believer is someone who a believer believes in God the father and God the son John 12:41,43-44 Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him. 43 for they loved praise from men more than praise from God. 44 Then Jesus cried out, “When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me.
A believer is someone who knows Christ has bathed them completely John 13:8,10 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” 10 Jesus answered, “A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.”
A believer is someone who has supernatural love for others. John 13:35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
A believer is someone who comes, drawn to Christ, obeys, loves, and is the very habitation of God. John 14:1-2,6,10,12,20,23 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Fatherexcept through me. 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 23 Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
A believer is someone who bears fruit, gets pruned, and bears more fruit. John 15:2-4,6,8,16 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. If the vine speaks of all of life as one growing season, then we should get more fruit filled the older we get (ala Psalm 92), if it is many seasons then life is a succession of growing/pruning/bearing/resting and then growing/pruning…
A believer is someone who knows God intimately. John 17:2-3,6,9,20,26 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 6 “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
A believer is someone who responds to God’s Word. John18:37 Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”
Maybe we are in such a hurry on Sundays we don’t pause in our hearts, and look upward into the face of God? How could we start? Try these simple steps:
When you come in, find a seat and then immediately stop and offer to the Lord a prayer reflecting on how much you love and adore Him.
Then try to preview some of the hymns to prepare your heart to meaningfully ascribe them to God.
During the preaching of God’s Word ask the Lord to speak to your heart through His Word, say ‘Speak Lord, Thy servant is listening!’
 Pink, Arthur, W., Exposition of the Gospel of John Volume 1. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1945, p. 65.