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Alive, Active . . . and Worshiping!

I’ll praise my Maker with my breath;

And when my voice is lost in death,

Praise shall employ my nobler powers;

My days of praise shall ne’er be past,

While life and thought and being last,

Or immortality endures.1

Last week, we told you the departed saints in Heaven are alive, active, and praying, and as this old hymn states, they are also worshiping and rejoicing in God’s presence. The Book of Revelation gives us many glimpses of the ongoing worship service that is happening right now in Heaven. The four living creatures, the twenty-four elders, the angels, and “every creature which is in heaven” (including departed saints) worship God with these words in Revelation 5:13: “Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!” Check out another worship scene John witnessed in Heaven:

I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice . . . saying: “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”2

Can you imagine worshiping God with every nation, tribe, people, and language? We were created to worship God, and just as it is to be now on earth, our entire life in Heaven will be one big act of worship, only everything will be maximized beyond words compared to our best attempts at worship here on earth.

In addition to worshiping God, the saints in Heaven are also rejoicing in God’s presence. Jesus said, “There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:10). This is one of the most misquoted verses in all of the Bible. The verse doesn’t say the angels are rejoicing. It says there is joy “in the presence of the angels” (emphasis added). We’ve traditionally given that job over to the angels because surely it couldn’t be the departed saints . . . because they just sit around and do nothing, right?

Wrong. We’re sure God and the angels do rejoice when someone comes to faith in Jesus Christ. But Luke 15:10 specifically says there is joy in the presence of the angels, and we believe wholeheartedly that this joy includes the departed saints. These saints have been praying and hoping and praying and hoping that their loved ones on earth, whom they can see, would come to Christ. Then, when that person comes to Christ, they rejoice! The departed see, and they know when someone comes to Christ. We believe that with all our hearts.

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1 Isaac Watts, “Psalm 146” [I’ll Praise My Maker], The Psalms of David (Boston: Lincoln & Edmands, 1813). Original publication in England, 1719.

2 Revelation 7:9, 10, 12

3 responses to “Alive, Active . . . and Worshiping!”

  1. This post reminds me of how much I DONT know about the scriptures. So much has been quickly gleaned over. It never occured to me that our beloved who have stepped into heaven are actually be worshipping with us in real time when someone comes to repentance. This will make me view these holy moments & every baptism of another person in a dramatically new light. A spirit of unity actually rushes from heaven to earth like a bridge of active worship! Thanks Steve & Sarah for injecting truth into an ordinary “assuming” day. I need to wake up and join the worship — what else and I missing???

  2. Thank you for eloquently giving words to the intensely dynamic worship experience we have the opportunity to partake in. He meets us in those places of abandoned worship, and I find my appetite for such encounters unsatisfiable! I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to be about His work here on earth, but ache for the moment we will be casting our crowns before His Ancient Throne forever!

  3. […] with hope. Once you understand more about where our loved ones are, what they are doing (praying, worshiping, and serving), how alive they are, and the fact that they are present and near, then you can have […]