The Glorious Throne of God

Bible Book: Revelation  4
Subject: Worship; Prayer; Throne of God; Heaven

The Glorious Throne of God

Dr. J. Mike Minnix, Editor, www.pastorlife.com
Introduction

(Read Revelation 4)

Wow! Isn’t that an amazing scene? Indeed, John was seeing the very throne room of God from the Isle of Patmos. God opened John’s eyes to see this astonishing scene. It was not a figment of John’s imagination, but a real and true place that the exiled disciple envisioned.

Now I recognize that in the Book of Revelation we have the prophecy of some things that will come to pass in the future; however, when we look of Revelation chapter 4, we are gazing into a place that exists even as we meet in this assembly tonight. The throne room of God was a real place then and it is a real place now. God is seated in the throne room at this very moment in authority, power and honor.

The throne room of God has aspects which we need to understand even as we worship in the here and now. There are three specific things related to the throne of God that are important to us and affect us at this moment. I want us to consider these as we look at this passage.

I. The Throne of God is a Place of Welcome

God called to John, who was on the Isle of Patmos, and said to him, “Come up here!” Did you know that one of God’s favorite words is the word ‘come’?

Jesus said, “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”

In the Old Testament he said, “Come now, let us reason together…though your sins be as scarlet they shall be as white as snow, though they be red like crimson they shall be as wool.”

Jesus said, “Come follow me.”

In Isaiah, the great prophet records that God says, “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price (Isaiah 55:1).”

We read in Revelation 22:17, “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”

You can see clearly that one of God’s favorite words is the word come. God is always inviting people to come to Him – to come into His presence – to come before His very person!

The throne room of God is a place of invitation. When you and I come into a worship service like this one, we think of ourselves as being here – here in this sanctuary – here in this worship center – here in this church, but the reality is that when we are truly worshipping God we are getting into His actual presence! True worship brings into a divine zone – into His throne room?

God doesn’t simply invite us to come to church; He invites us to come to HIM! When we worship Him as we should, in His presence, it has an awesome effect upon our hearts and minds. The Spirit of God is with us, the power of God is among us and we are gathered before Him.

There is no power that we possess to change our lives or the lives of those among us unless it is the power of God. If we are merely a group of people meeting together without His presence, no change can occur in our lives. But, when we are in God’s presence, all things are possible.

A. This is a Throne of Salvation

Certainly John was already saved, but one must recognize that the summons to the throne room is invitation for the non-believer to come to faith in Jesus Christ and be saved. The lost person is invited to accept God’s Son and have eternal life. No one can come before God unless he or she comes through Jesus Christ. Jesus died and rose from the grave to open the way for everyone who has faith in Him to have a relationship with God. Christianity involves godly living, but we cannot live in a manner acceptable to God unless we have been cleansed through the blood of Jesus. Above all, the throne room is a place of salvation.

Those of us who are Christians must worship in spirit and in truth because there are some among us who have been invited by God’s Spirit to come here that they might be saved. If we see worship as something other than a meeting with God, we diminish the effect of the worship upon the unsaved individual. We noted earlier in this message that Isaiah recorded God’s invitation as saying, “…thought your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” God’s invitation is for those who are still in sin to come, to be cleansed - to be saved.

Some years ago I had a child in my office. I asked him, “Son, do you know that you have done some things that are wrong – that are sins – against God?”

The young boy nodded his head and said, “Yes.”

Then I said, “Son, you understand that your father and mother have done things that are sinful and that God is displeased with those sins as well?”

Again, the little lad agreed.

Then I asked, “Do you believe that I, your pastor, has committed sins that God is displeased with?”

The little boy, “Oh, no, you haven’t done that!”

That small boy did not understand that sin is evident in all of us, from the pulpit the last seat in this great building. Someone here has never admitted that to God. You have never asked God to forgive you and grant you eternal life. I want you to know that this very day God is inviting you to the COME before Him that you may receive His Son as Lord and Savior. He desires that though your sinful soul, though red as scarlet, can be made as white as snow!

There is a story from the life of G. Campbell Morgan that illustrates our desire to avoid admitting our sin. He and his wife had a daughter who had a propensity to embellish. She exaggerated everything – or, we could say, she lied about everything. One day she came running in the house and said that there was a big bear in the backyard. Dr. Morgan ran to look and all he saw was a large dog. He took his daughter aside and scolded her for exaggerating the size of the animal and lying about it being a bear. He told her to go up to her room and pray to God. He added that he would come up and get her after we had some time to pray. His daughter went up to her room and closed the door. After a while Dr Morgan went up to her room and asked if she had prayed about the matter. She said that she had. He asked, “Well, what did God tell you?” The daughter smartly replied, “He told me that when He first saw the dog He thought it was a bear too!”

That is funny to us, but we are prone to do the same thing. You see, we are all prone to sin and then deny our sins. Oh, but God offers us a throne of salvation and forgiveness if one will come to Him in repentance and faith.

B. This is a Throne of Supplication

Once we are saved, God’s throne room becomes a place of supplication – a place of prayer. In Hebrews 4:16 we read, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” The scripture clearly states that God’s throne room is a place of prayer and a place of help.

One of the greatest problems we face in our day is our praylessness. In Matthew 6:5 Jesus said, “And when you pray…” not “if you pray.” Jesus assumed that every child of God would pray - that we would find a place to meet with God each day and that we would spend time with God in the throne room of prayer. Jesus told us to go into a room and shut the door, and there to meet with God. In the biblical application of this practice, it involves entering the throne room to meet with God in prayer. If we meet with God in private, we can watch Him do great things in public. But, if our worship is only in public, we will never see the mighty things He can do!

There was a father and husband who had been away in a war. He was coming home, and the wife and son had been praying everyday for him to come home safely. They had done this for the entire time the man of the house had been away. The phone rang and the husband told his wife that he was nearly home and expected to be there in about two hours. She called their son into the room and told him, "Your father will be home very soon." The little boy said, “You mean it! He is on his way home?” The mother replied that he was indeed nearly home and would be there shortly. The little boy said, “Wow! That’s great! Now we can stop praying.”

That is how some people view prayer. It is only used when needed, like a fire extinguisher hanging on the wall of a building. There is a sign above it that says, “Use in case of Fire.” Prayer is not an emergency tool but a way of life. Of course, prayer in a crisis is a good thing, but that is not the central purpose of prayer. Prayer is a meeting with God, it is a coming into God’s throne room – into His presence. It is to be a regular, daily experience. When Jesus gave the disciples the Lord’s Prayer, he included these words, “Give us this day…” Clearly, prayer is to be a daily experience in the life of a child of God.

Don’t you think that the child of God ought to pray when he or she is being blessed? Why do we wait till we are in trouble or face a problem to come into the presence of God? Imagine the reality of prayer. The Holy God of heaven is inviting mere mortals like us to His very throne room to meet with Him. Let us never neglect this wonderful provision of fellowship God at His throne.

C. This is a Throne of Separation

The Lord said to John, “Come up here,” and the Bible records that John was immediately “…in the spirit”. Meeting with God in the throne room separated John from the worldly affairs and placed him in the spiritual atmosphere of glory. We are so caught up in the world that it is often difficult for us to be separated from it. Yet, that is what we are called to do. The throne room is an actual place and we are called to it but the God who occupies that throne. To go to that place is to leave the place where you are. Yes, I can pray while I’m driving. I can pray while I’m sitting in a meeting. I don’t have to fall down on my knees and close my eyes every time I pray; however, there ought to be a time each day when I meet with God and shut out the world. God meets with me in my daily life, but He also calls me to leave where I am in mind and spirit and to come into His throne room to meet with Him. In this day of technology, where we have devices that keep us connected to the world and each other every hour of the day and night, it is increasingly difficult to pull ourselves away and be quite before the Lord. Yet, that is exactly what He calls us to do. We are be separated from one thing in order to be connected to something better. The throne room is a separated place.

II. The Throne of God is a Place of Wonder

The scene that John saw was a display of wonder. To look at this properly is to see the glory of God and the God of glory.

A. The Person on the Throne

The wonder of heaven is not the gold street, not the tree of life, not the bejeweled walls, but the ONE sitting on the throne. We come to worship Him! I love the hymns that involve us singing to God rather than just signing about God. We need to focus upon Him!

The songwriter penned:

"God is still on the throne,

And He will remember His own;

Through trials may press us

And burdens distress us,

He never will leave us alone"

B. The Promise from the Throne

There was a rainbow around the throne. The rainbow first appeared when Noah came out of the Ark as a picture of promise. The rainbow in the scene of heaven goes all the way around the throne and there is no end to it. There is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow because God’s rainbow is a circle. It suggests that God’s promises have no end. Just like our salvation, His promises are eternal. We see God in His glorious beauty surrounding by His eternal promises.

"God is still on the throne,

And He will remember His own;

His PROMISE is true,

He will not forget you,

God is stillon the throne!"

Everyone here has been the victim of broken promises. Perhaps your heart was broken by someone who failed to keep a promise in business, in marriage or in some other commitment. It is likely that all of us have broken some promise we made and actually meant to keep. But, God never breaks His promises. They are sure, solid, guaranteed, and eternal!

C. The Power around the Throne

Note in this passage that there was lightening, thundering and mighty sounds. These imply and reveal the great power of God always available in His presence. There is power at the throne of God.

Some years ago, back in the 1980s, I was cutting grass on a riding lawnmower. My wife was trimming some plants and raking up clippings. It was a nice summer day with bright sunshine. There was a dark cloud in the distance but it seemed too far away to keep me from finishing the lawn work before any rain appeared. Then, suddenly, as if out of a sunny sky, a bolt of lightning struck nearby. It shocked us! I looked up and the sky was basically still clear. I told Jayne that I was going to cut the last area of grass before I quit, but she urged me to go in the house with her. Just then, another bolt of lightning hit even closer to where we were – close enough for us to feel the electricity in the air. I jumped off the mower while the engine was still running. We ran for the house as winds began to bend the trees and lightning seemed to strike all around us. We ran to the middle of the house and huddled together. After a while it was apparent that the storm had passed and we went outside again. There we saw that trees in our yard had been struck by the lightning and some had been uprooted from the ground. We learned just a short time later that a tornado had passed by a few miles away from us. We drove the two or three miles to see if the rumor was true, and we were stunned at the destruction. The storm had picked up entire homes and swirled them like a child’s toy. Great swaths of trees had been leveled as if a giant had walked across the forest stepping on everything in sight. That day, we learned something about the power of a storm.

When I read this passage, I remember that day and that awful storm. How powerful and overwhelming it was. What we experienced was a mere fraction of the power that rests on the throne in heaven. The God who created the Universe sits enthroned there and when you come to the throne of God, you are coming to the one who possesses all power and authority! There is no lack of power at the throne. There is never a power outage at the throne.

D. The Peace at the Throne

At the throne, as described in Revelation 4, there is a sea of glass. That means a sea with no movement and that portrays a place of peace. There is peace in the presence of God. We don’t know what difficulities each person in this service is facing, but we know this – there is peace for you in the presence of Jesus.

John had been exiled to the Isle of Patmos. He had been through difficult and life-threatening experiences, but he was called up to the throne and God where he found peace. No matter where you are or what you are facing, there is peace in the presence of God. Find yourself before the throne of God, and you will find peace.

Note that the throne of God is a place of contrasts. There is powerful lightening and a peaceful sea of glass. Everyone chooses one of these two natures of God. Some wish to emphasize only the peaceful loving nature of God. Others take great strides to reveal the awesome power, and even the terrible judgment of God. When we place our faith in Christ, we have both. The wonderful abiding peace of our Lord and the powerful God who strides upon the storm and works wonders in our lives. But, know this. There is no peace outside the grace of God. One has only one future without the Savior, and that is the powerful lightening of judgment. You may not like to hear it. It may not fit the modern "pc" language of our day, but it is true that a day of reckoning is coming. All the thrones of this world are temporary, but God's throne is eternal. Come to Him and you can have peace now and live in His eternal peace forever!

III. The Throne of God is a Place of Worship

Note that the throne room as described in Revelation 4 is a place with many worshippers before God. When we worship – truly worship God, we are before the throne of the Lord. If you wish to come before God, you will need to have a spirit of worship. Worship means giving to another something of which they are worthy.

Someone asked me, “Preacher can you explain all these creatures in heaven before God’s throne. What do all these eyes mean, and all these wings mean?” My reply was, “I don’t understand all of that but I can tell you one thing that I know for sure – they are worshipping!” You see, the throne room is a place of worship. I don’t know what all the eyes mean, but I now they are all looking at Jesus. I don’t know what all the wings are for, but I know they are waving them before Jesus.

There are twenty-four elders before the thrones worshipping God. Many believe that these represent the twelve tribes of Israel from the Old Testament and the twelve disciples from the New Testament. Therefore, it is believed that the twenty-four elders in heaven represent all the people from every age that trusted God by faith for salvation. These elders cast their crowns before the throne of God in worship and adoration. We don’t have time in this service to look at what these crowns mean, but I can tell you something they don’t mean. They don’t stand for arrogance. In heaven there will not be a redeemed soul walking around bragging about having five crowns, or some poor soul sneaking to the back of the room with one crown. There will be so snob hill in heaven. Every crown – every single crown – will be cast down before the one who deserves them all. Jesus will receive them, for He is Lord!

Let me tell you something, if you don’t like worship, you wouldn’t like being in heaven. Heaven is a place filled with worship. Those of us who arrive there will be in the greatest worship service ever known by man. Even if you don’t like shouting, you will shout! If you don’t like falling down on your knees, you will gladly fall down before God, and don’t worry, you will have brand new knees! Heaven is a place of unbridled worship. There is no place for pride at the throne room. Even here, pride can keep you from worshipping God properly because arrogance is not accepted before the throne of God.

O, let us come and bow down before Him! Let us worship Him who lives forever. Let nothing keep us from entering the throne room of God with joy and gratitude in our hearts and on our lips.

Conclusion

Listen, can you hear it? God is saying, “Come up here!” He is calling us into His presence – His glorious presence. To really sense the presence of God, you have to lay down your pride and self-centeredness and come humbly to King of Glory!

We need to get near the fire. Napoleon’s Army was leaving Russia in the middle of a bitter cold winter. It was so cold that snowflakes seem to hang in the air, defying gravity. The soldiers lit fires one night in an attempt to stay warm and those close to the fire lived, but men only a few feet away froze to death during the night. We must stay near the fire - we must come to the throne of God.

Let’s get near the fire! Let us rise up in the presence of God in this very service. Let’s do that tonight!