September 23 – Heaven FAQ’s – Who else will be in Heaven?

Read Revelation 4:1-5:14

The book of Revelation describes how Jesus appeared to John on the island of Patmos, it outlines letters to seven first-century churches, and it describes events yet to come.

Much like the future rapture experience of followers of Jesus, John was called to heaven in chapter 4. His description of what he experienced offers us insight into the nature of heaven. Today’s reading, particularly, gives us a better grasp of who we can expect to find there. So, who else will be in heaven?

First and foremost, John points to God (5:1-3)! He is described here as sovereign ruler seated on a throne. His glory is displayed in terms of precious stones and a rainbow. He is the one who will be worshiped eternally by redeemed humans and angels!

Next, John describes 24 elders (4:4, 5, 10, 11; 5:8-10). Many believe these elders to be illustrative of the 12 tribes of Israel from the Old Testament and the 12 apostles from the New Testament. These leaders will have prominent positions in heaven. But, ultimately, they will worship the Father and the Son!

John also mentions four living creatures (4:6-8; 5:8-11). These are likely unique angelic beings whose role it is to endlessly extol the holiness of God. They too will worship Father and Son!

But among those highly esteemed and redeemed men and women, and including these angelic beings, no one is worthy to open an important scroll. Thankfully, Jesus is also in Heaven (5:5-7)! Through Him, Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled and sacrifice was made for the redemption of humankind. He is worthy of worship!

Once Jesus took the scroll, the elders and creatures broke into a song that points to people from every tribe and language and people and nation (5:9, 10). The result of believers’ Spirit-empowered response to the Great Commission to make disciples of all nations will be evidenced in eternity as individuals from all over the world join in worship of the Lamb (7:9, 10).

Finally, John describes innumerable angels (5:11, 12). They number “thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand” (5:11). They, too will join in worship of the Lamb!

So, if you are a Christ-follower, you will not be alone in heaven! Righteous angelic beings will be there. Others from the nations will join you. But other people will only come by invitation. Boldly and compassionately invite others to join you so that, collectively, you can adore the crucified Christ!

Steve Kern

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