Your Church and the Priority of Worship

Worship in your little congregation is part of a larger drama that plays out across the universe.

The vision of Revelation 4-5 shows you just how important worship is. If the throne is the central image of the universe, worship is the central activity. The vision describes the attendants around the throne. They include 24 elders, representing the people of God in all times (12 tribes plus 12 apostles), 4 living creatures, representing the entire created order, and myriads of angels, representing the heavenly host. The entire universe is designed around the worship of God!  

 

Note: This article is part of a series.

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.”  (Revelation 5:9-10, NKJ)

There are many wonderful pictures of the church in the book of Revelation.  Because of the book’s use of symbolic images to describe the church from the perspective of heaven, we often miss the significance of these truths.  After the seven representative churches of Asia are addressed directly in chapters 2-3, the book moves to a heavenly vision. Chapter 4 begins with John being invited to enter a door in heaven to see “behind the curtain” as it were.  Whereas in the Wizard of Oz, there is nothing special behind the curtain, in John’s vision, he sees a picture of the glorious Heavenly Majesty in all of its splendor.

Chapters 4-5 rely heavily on the vision of Daniel 7, in which the Son of Man, approaches the Ancient of Days sitting on His throne.  Commentator Greg Beale notes 14 components of Daniel 7 that are repeated in Revelation 4-5. What does this vision teach us about God and the church?  There are several profound lessons for a church undergoing persecution. These lessons help believers today just as they helped believers in the first century.

First, the vision reminds you, unambiguously, that God is ruling this universe.  Revelation 4:2 says, “Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne” (NKJ).

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