What they’re singing in Heaven, and what that means for us now

“You are worthy to take the scroll and to open the seals, for You were slain and have redeemed us to God by Your blood….” (Revelation 5:9).

“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing….” (Revelation 5:12).

“And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (Revelation 19:16).

Up in Heaven, they’re singing about Jesus.

And the Father, far from being displeased, threatened, or jealous, loves it.

Then and now, there and here, whoever honors the Lord Jesus honors the Father.

“The Father and I are One” (John 10:30).

The other day I was watching an ancient western movie on television.  A church service was going on and the preacher, played by Nanette Fabray, was delivering the sermon.  She would say things like: “In John 13, Scripture tells us a new commandment I give to you, to love one another as I have loved you.”  And “The Bible says herein is love that you keep my commandments,” and “Scripture says greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

The preacher was quoting Jesus but omitting all reference to Him.

I understand why, of course.  The movie-makers were telling a story and did not want what they would call sectarianism to intrude.  Religionists of all stripes should be comfortable with what the preacher is saying in a movie like that.

The disturbing thing to me is that a lot of churches build their services on the same premise: not offending those who believe differently.

I know churches that have removed all hymns which refer to the blood of Jesus.  What they do with half the New Testament (and all the Old!) is beyond me.

Years ago, I heard of a church that was experiencing impressive growth in a coal-mining town in West Virginia where other churches had had to close their doors.  When our group, the Baptists, looked into planting a church there, they naturally wondered why one church was flourishing but the others had gone out of business.  They went to visit the pastor.

“Do you mind,” they asked, “if we interview some of your members? We’d like to know why they joined this church.”

The pastor said, “I’d like to hear what you find out. Go ahead.”

Soon they called off the survey. Everyone they asked was saying the same thing. “We wanted to go to a church that knew what it believed, one that owned up to what it stood for without apology.”

We preach Jesus.

Scholars speak of the Johannine Christology as though the Gospel of John was the only one of the four to take a strong stand on Jesus.  But nothing in John can outdo what both Matthew and Luke record (Matthew 11:25-27 and Luke 10:21-22) where the Lord Jesus is quoted as saying:

“No one knows the Son except the Father.  Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son of Man, and they to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”

Think of that.  Only the Father truly knows who Jesus is, how both deity and humanity combine.  But even more astounding, Jesus alone knows the Father.  He is the One who reveals the Father. No one else.

Truly jaw-dropping.

We either believe that or we do not.

If we believe it, we are in one camp.  If we do not believe it, we should not call ourselves Christians.

“No one comes to the Father except by Me,” said Jesus in John 14:6.

It’s all about Jesus.

When God wanted to give a final, full revelation of Himself to the people of Earth, He sent Jesus.

Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15).  In Him all the fullness of Godhead dwelt (Colossians 1:19 and 2:9).

Up in Heaven, they’re singing about Jesus.

Jesus: Sweetest note in seraph song. Sweetest name on mortal tongue. Sweetest carol ever sung. 

 

 

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