Pop culture tells us that in Heaven we will be at a glorified resort – eating, drinking, and doing whatever we want. This is an inferior picture of eternity.
In Revelation 22:3, John gives us a greater picture. He gives just a glance, but he reveals what we will be doing for eternity when he writes, “his (God’s) servants will worship him”.
This revelation (forgive the pun) might disappoint you. Eternity is more than just “a place of…leisure, but a place where service is done, centring (sic.) on God” (Morris, 256 – 257). Eternity will be spent worshiping God through acts of service.
Now, before we look at what it means to serve God, let’s start with what it means to worship him. It’s important to have a complete picture of what it means to worship God.
When we say worship, one thing tends to come to mind first – singing.
After all, we weekly (bi-monthly?) attend a worship service where we spend a good amount of time singing. Worship pastors (not Josh Strother) tend to latch onto John’s phrase here in Revelation and tell us that we will spend eternity singing…with them leading heavenly choir, no doubt. But we don’t only sing in a worship service…we do announcements, we hear a sermon…we pass plates.
Could you imagine if it were up to an usher what heaven would look like? Or heaven forbid, the pastor?
Instead, worship needs to be understood as something greater than singing (or even what happens in a worship service) – it includes singing, of course, but it is even greater.
Eric Liddle – a mid-20th century Olympian who became a missionary famously said, “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast! And when I run I feel his pleasure.”
So not only will we singing – but we will be doing those things that God created us for – he gave us gifts, talents, skills, and more.
For eternity, we will be putting those talents to work, serving and glorifying God in the process.
Have you ever seen the movie “Scrooged”?
It stars Bill Murray and is a modern (well…late 1980s) re-telling of Dicken’s a Christmas Carol.
Bill Murray is Ebenezer Scrooge – albeit with a different name.
Like Scrooge, he goes through a transformation after meeting the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.
It’s a deeply spiritual movie.
At the end of the movie, the culmination of his transformation, he gives these words as part of his speech:
“I’m not crazy.
It’s Christmas Eve.
It’s the one night when we all act a little nicer.
We…we smile a little easier. We…we…share a little more.
For a couple of hours we are the people we always hoped we would be.”
In the New Heavens and the New Earth, we will be the people we always hoped we would be for all of eternity.
We will worship God – in song – but also in serving him by using our gifts, talents, skills, personalities, and more, all the things God gave to us as he knit us in our mother’s womb.
Don’t you want to be there?