HEAVEN BETTER BY FAR
Lord, my life is filled with ambiguities: anguish and ecstasy, peace and anger, thanksgiving and pain. I’m glad You are with me.
Read REVELATION 11:15–19
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
We are assured of this day: “Sovereignty over the world has passed to our Lord and his Christ, and he shall reign forever” (Rev. 11:15, Revised English Bible). Hallelujah!
John’s vision moves from earth to heaven. In heaven he sees the reality of the triumph of Jesus Christ. As the seventh trumpet sounds, we hear the triumphant loud cries of the heavenly hosts. They rejoice that the kingdoms of the world belong to Jesus. This is what he had said to his disciples when he sent them out to preach the Gospel (Matt. 28:18,19) and was proclaimed as he entered the cloud of God’s glory at the ascension (Acts 1:8,9) in fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy of the Son of Man receiving a kingdom (Dan. 7:13,14). Jesus’ Gospel is being proclaimed to the nations and the day is coming when every knee will bow. Father and Son are joined in the praises of this chapter.
The 24 elders, who are the heavenly representatives of the whole people of God, take up the praising. They praise God, this time not because of the redeeming sacrifice of the Lamb (Rev. 5:9,10), but for the justice of God. Here is the fulfillment of what we often pray: “Your kingdom come.” The imagery of Psalm 2 fuels the praise. Christ beginning to reign means the certainty of judgment being carried out. We grow concerned about injustice in the world; people who die before they are judged; sins that seem to have no recompense; sufferings that receive no relief; the greedy destruction of the earth. Here is the answer to our longing for justice. This is not an abandonment of the human search for justice in this world but the comfort that finally the universe will see justice done.
All is set in the context of the finished work of atonement. We have access to God’s Temple in heaven. The Ark of the Covenant is there. We who believe and surrender are not those who will be condemned, but the ransomed people of God.
Pray the Lord’s Prayer with renewed understanding of what the coming of the kingdom will mean.
Lord, may Your kingdom come, may Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
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