After these things I looked, and there was a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet said: “Come up here so that I can show you what must happen after these things.”

Revelation 4:1

The biblical teachings on heaven are important to us. They are a treasure that provides peace and comfort for every believing heart, and though there are times in life when they are even more precious to our hearts, there is never a time when they are completely irrelevant. Once we have trusted in Christ, we realize that we are made for eternity, and eternity is much more interesting than earth.

In John 14 our Lord described heaven as a place – not just a concept, attitude, or idea, but as a real place. Here in Revelation 4, the Lord used John again to teach us that heaven is filled with events – things will take place after we leave this earth and enter into God’s heaven prepared for us. Later in Revelation 22:3, we read that we shall serve Him as well in heaven. The word is translated “worship” in some English translations, but the word latreusousin used here means service to God as well as participation in corporate worship. Worship always includes service to the will and purpose of God, so in heaven we will have something significant to do.

From the beginning of human existence, God created us to do something meaningful and important for Him, in His great and perfect plan for our lives. We are unsatisfied unless we are engaged in significant work, and in the eternity of heaven we will be busy doing things for God. The idea that we will sit around and play harps is not a scriptural teaching. We enter into our rest, that is true, and our future service will not have the sense of burden attached to it, but God will have something for us to do.

These truths should make us more excited about our future heavenly home. As long as God has us here on earth, we should serve Him here with all our hearts, but the time of our departure and release from earth will be a promotion into a better place with far, far better things to do for Him – and all of that is an understatement. Do not pity the believer who has passed away. Mourn their absence from us, mourn the loss of what they could have done on earth had God left them here longer, grieve with their family for the separation that will come to descend on them until God also takes them home, but do not imagine that their time of service has ended – just the opposite! It has only begun.

The future with God is bright and to die is gain for the believer. Be comforted and encouraged by these truths.

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