As the Revelation from Jesus continues, what John saw next must have been awesome! He peered through an open door and got a glimpse of what was happening in heaven! John saw God on the throne and he couldn’t even find the words to describe it. He did the best he could by comparing the presence of the Almighty to brilliant jewels and glorious rainbows with magnificent colors. From the throne where God sat, John saw flashes of lightning and heard peals of thunder. In front of the throne, he saw seven blazing lamps which the Bible says represents the seven spirits of God. (In the Bible, seven is the number of completeness.) Surrounding the throne he saw twenty-four elders and four living creatures that joined together day and night in continual worship of God.
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” – Revelation 4:8
“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” – Revelation 4:11
Biblical scholars believe that the twenty-four elders represent all believers. As they worship God, not only are they praising Him with their songs, but they are also laying their crowns at His feet. What are these crowns and will we have them when we get to heaven? There are five different crowns that the Bible says believers can obtain:
The Imperishable Crown – We are all running this race called life. When we put our faith in God for our eternity and then endure with discipline and self-control, we will receive an imperishable crown that will never fade away. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)
The Crown of Rejoicing – The Apostle Paul said that his crown of rejoicing was knowing that the believers he had grown to love would be in the presence of the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 2:19). And Jesus said that there is abundant joy in heaven when a lost sinner repents and turns to God. (Luke 15:7). When we share the gospel with someone and live in a way that draws lost people to Jesus, we will be storing up a crown of rejoicing in heaven.
The Crown of Righteousness – (2 Timothy 4:8) Our righteousness comes from Jesus. It is not something that we can earn on our own. When Jesus returns one day to judge the living and the dead, we will only be seen as righteous if we’ve put our faith in Him alone for salvation. That righteousness and our eagerness for Christ’s return will obtain for us the crown of righteousness.
The Crown of Glory – The glory of God is the splendor of His holiness. Amazingly, when we surrender our life to Jesus, we are promised that one day we will share in this glory. (Colossians 1:27) All the things that we must suffer through in our earthly body will be nothing compared to the glory that will be revealed to us and the crown of glory that we will receive. (Romans 8:18)
The Crown of Life – Life on earth is not easy, and we were never promised that it would be. But if we patiently endure the trials that we face and steadfastly love God, He has promised that we will receive the Crown of Life. (James 1:12)
I don’t know about you, but I do not want to get to heaven empty-handed. When I have the chance to worship before the throne of God, I want to have crowns to cast at His feet.
This glimpse into the heavenly worship service is a merciful reminder of God’s sovereignty. As the rest of Revelation unfolds, we will see scary future events that await this earth and its unbelieving inhabitants. If we weren’t reminded from the outset that it is Almighty God who sits on the throne and that He is in control of it all, we might be overcome with fear. But instead, we can look forward with anticipation to the future events on God’s prophetic calendar because the end of the story is amazing for those of us that follow Jesus!