How To Look Up
What’s Next for Planet Earth? The Promises and Prophecies of Christ in Matthew 24
In other words he lived each day like he was on his way to explain what he did with his life to the One who gave him life – Jesus Christ.
Jonathan Edwards, one of the greatest minds ever produced in an American had this as his constant plan:
“Resolved, never to do anything I would not want to be found doing–by Christ, at His Return.”
Are You Ready?
Are you ready this evening to appear before Christ’s Throne? The Throne we will appear before was described by the Apostle Paul in several places, none is clearer than II Corinthians 5:10. Turn there with me as we begin this evening.
When we take pilgrims to Greece, the most moving spot of all is in the city of Ancient Corinth. I have seen travelers who were just tourists the whole trip until they reached that spot. And there beneath the raised stone platform called in Greek the bema suddenly the awesomeness of the moment overtakes them and they see themselves at a future day standing at Christ’s Throne. Often tears, often deep silence – and always reverence fills each one as the scene unfolds before their eyes.
Are you ready? What will matter when you stand alone right in front of Jesus? What do you wish to have in your hands to give to the One who loved you and gave Himself for you? What ever that is – that is what we need to live for TODAY!
Tonight will you come with me to that Throne? Will you let the Holy Scriptures transport you out of this world and into God’s?
His Throne, Our Appointment, His Fire, Our Crown, and the Glassy Sea
While we are here seated with songs of Heaven on our lips – something is happening in the place we have pointed our hearts. What we do, say, think, pray, and give rises above and enters into God”s presence. Do you realize how much what you do today and each day matters to the Lord?
So as we sing, give, and worship — what is happening right now, at this very moment in Heaven? Often we think of Heaven in the past (when Christ left for earth and the angels came) or in the future (when Jesus comes as King of Kings) but forget that at this very moment the epicenter of the Universe, the Throne Room of God is very active. So what is going on right now?
God’s Word can take us by angel wings to see the very center of the Universe, to the Throne of God in Heaven. A few moments there will get us in touch with what God is doing right now and how we can TODAY be in tune with Heaven.
THINK OF GOD’S THRONE:
- In the early sixth century before Christ’s birth an exiled Jewish priest, living in Iraq (ancient Babylon) named Ezekiel wrote these words in chapter 1:24-28:
When they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of many waters, like the voice of the Almighty, a tumult like the noise of an army; and when they stood still, they let down their wings. 25 A voice came from above the firmament that was over their heads; whenever they stood, they let down their wings. 26 And above the firmament over their heads was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like a sapphire stone; on the likeness of the throne was a likeness with the appearance of a man high above it. 27 Also from the appearance of His waist and upward I saw, as it were, the color of amber with the appearance of fire all around within it; and from the appearance of His waist and downward I saw, as it were, the appearance of fire with brightness all around. 28 Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord.
- Another exiled Jewish prophet, also in Babylon after Ezekiel was named Daniel writes these words in chapter 7:9-10:
“I watched till thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, And the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, Its wheels a burning fire; A fiery stream issued And came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, And the books were opened.”
- Another exiled Jewish prophet by the name of the Apostle John wrote to us from Patmos at the end ofg the 1st Century in Revelation chapter 4:1-4:
“After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.” 2 Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. 3 And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. 4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads.”
Revelation 5:8-14 “Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 10 And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.” 11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!” 13 And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: “Blessing and honor and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!” 14 Then the four living creatures said, “Amen!” And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever.”
Watch with me as God pulls back the veil. Through John’s eyes in Revelation we see Heaven as he seems to rise on the wings of angels to get his guided tour of Heaven. His inspired words portray for us a scene of angels—hundreds of millions of angels—“ten thousand times ten thousand”—all clustered about the smooth crystal sea that reflects awesome images from its mirror like surface. Our senses are besieged by so many different sensations. The colors of the materials surrounding God’s Throne are beyond description.
The traditional description of the rainbow is that it is made up of seven colors – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Actually, the rainbow is a whole continuum of colors from red to violet and even beyond the colors that the eye can see.
A cool, emerald-green hue dominates the multi-colored rainbow surrounding God’s throne; the city that surrounds us has thick walls of sparkling diamonds. To get the sensation hold up your diamond ring to a light and look through the stone and see dazzling flashes of light. Multiply that by diamonds large enough to built walls out of and then an entire city that is over 1500 miles high…looking down beneath your feet you see gold that is transparent so the overpowering radiance of God’s glory can refract and glisten through the entire city; everything is made of gems of such beautiful colors that they send forth the light of God’s glory.
These are the colors of Heaven, the colors God has chosen to surround Himself with – His Glory reflected in all these hues: sky-blue stones with translucent, colored stripes; parallel layers of red and white; orange-red to brownish-red to blood-red; a transparent, yellowish gold; light blue aquamarine; yellowish-green; apple-green gold-tinted green; deep blue; shining violet; and intense purple.
The size is astounding. With just an average platform area for each of us to stand on, just the angels would take up 40,000 square miles. When you add all the redeemed of all time it will take a minimum of an area of a circle with a radius of 750 miles. And that is just for starters.
Imagine God’s Throne about where the Arch is in St. Louis and people and angels standing in circles around that Throne all the way to Tulsa on one side and Chicago on the other. That is an enormous area.
|Sq feet per mile||per person||per sq mile||10 Million people need|
|Sq feet per mile||per person||per sq mile||600 Million people need|
But no matter what the size may be, just the sight is hard for us to take in, so much beauty, color, and brilliance overwhelms our eyes. One by one our eyes are riveted on the celestial scene before us.
First, ANGELS capture our attention. These countless white robed angels standing like living walls of pure white robes rising in circular rings reflecting the light of God. They rise and fall to the sounds of the four creatures crisscrossing the expanse on the four corners of the Throne. They move as one – falling down on their faces as they speak the wonders of God’s Glory.