What Lasts for Eternity
Tags: Church Growth, Church Growth Movement, Church growth consultants, worship leader, conservative, liberal, Conservative Christian, Conservative Christian theology, Evangelical, evangelism, post modern church, modernism, praise and worship, hymns, hymn singing, Apostle John, John Lavender, Twenty Four Elders in Heaven, Casting Crowns, The heavens declare the glory of God
We dont worship for the sake of ourselves. We dont worship because we expect something out of it. We dont sing praise songs because we hope that it will attract people to our churches to make us big and great. For all of this senselessness only amounts to the worship of the creation. That is what the unbeliever does because he only seeks after himself and the happiness that his possessions and money can bring him.
We worship and praise because we were created to do so. And we worship our Creator God. Worship is the very breath of our lives. The worship of God is the very essence of the Christians being. The fact that we will be doing this for eternity demonstrates this profoundly. Consider what the Apostle John saw when he was caught up in a vision before Gods throne.
In his vision of heaven John saw the four living creatures and twenty-four elders fall down before the lamb.
And they sang a new song:
You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals,
Because You were slain,
And with Your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and
people and nation.
You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
And they will reign on the earth.
Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousands time ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang:
Worthy is the lamb, Who was slain,
To receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
And glory and honor and praise!
Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the sea, and all that is in them singing:
To Him who sits on the throne and to the lamb
Be praise and honor and glory and power,
For ever and ever!
The four living creatures said, Amen, and the elders fell down and worshiped. (Rev 5:9-14 NIV)
For eternity we will praise Him. Forever we will sing while bowing before His throne. We dont know a lot about heaven, but what we do know is that worship and praise through song will last for eternity. Worship of God is what we were created to do and believers will be doing it forever.
Many of our churches today are filled with congregational leaders and pastors who remain pretty squeamish about involving themselves in true worship. They would rather fill themselves with their church consultants snake oil and keep church at the entertainment level where everything seems safe and secure. They dont want music to get down to the heart level where praise in song can gloriously usher out of their flocks being in life changing ways. They would rather it simply impress those they seek to attract in order to fulfill their desires for more. In so doing they feign from the power of God to depend upon their own feeble efforts. They shun the council of God to inhale the schemes of advisors from the outside.
Yet the Bible assures us that music is all about praising God. Is any of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. (Jas NIV)
In the years that I ministered in praise with Dr. John I used to play a song I wrote that was based on the text: Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy Name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits. (Ps 103:1-2 MKJV) In order to bring this scripture home to his flock, every time we would sing that song, the wise pastor would encourage the congregation to lift up their hands as a blessing to God.
And now as we sing our praises to Him even as we worship God in our daily lives we are joining the voice of the multitude that bow before His Royal throne in eternal glory. And our prayers soar up to the throne of God as all heaven basks in the sweet aroma that rises even as we glorify His name. Let my prayer be set before You as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. (Ps 141:2 MKJV) And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel's hand. (Rev 8:4 MKJV)
So let us put aside that which weighs us down and lift up our hands in worship to our great God. Let us bless his holy Name. Let us turn from our love of things to worship our Creator. May we be released from the shackles of ambition and self-worship to remember all that God has done for us while acknowledging Him with all our mind, heart, soul and strength. May we witness the victory that only can be realized by those who have learned to lay it all at His feet. May we discover the contentment that can only be found in a thankful heart that has learned to praise Him in all circumstances. And as we confess our trust in God and God alone, let us join in with Gods creation to worship Him and magnify His name. Come, now is the time to worship. Come before God and with one voice worship Him forever and ever.
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour out speech; night after night they display knowledge. . .Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. (Ps 19:1-2, 4 NIV)
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