Anthony W. Brooks
I never envisioned being at a church that believes that we worship at the throne of God… It never crossed my mind. Why worship God unless we are in his presence to do so? Eschatology is normally limited to debates about the millennium… most people don’t know that eschatology proper can refer to the doctrines of Heaven and Hell.
Not Here To Defend But State
I will not be defending this idea of eschatological worship, but merely I will state what it is that I find interesting about the topic. In past churches we worshipped for our benefit so as to be recharged for the coming week. This isn’t necessarily a bad take, but it shouldn’t be the only one.
Do you remember when you first became a Christian? You first attended church and what was probably the reason you were told? You go to church to be instructed on how to be a great Christian. This is what I was told. But this isn’t the whole truth. I remember in my new members class at Christ the King OPC that when we worship God we are raised up to the throne of God to worship him with the great cloud of witnesses:
1 After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.”
2 At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne.
3 And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald.
4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads.
5 From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God,
6 and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal. And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind:
7 the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight.
8 And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”
9 And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever,
10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” – Revelation 4
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”– Hebrews 12:1
So, certainly, we are worshipping God before his throne. But what does this have to do with eschatology? Where is God’s throne? In Heaven? Who is the Church? His people? Are we the members of the Kingdom?
“Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” – John 3:3
“This is not a matter of Postmill, Amill, Premill, or whatever else. This is a matter of understanding that worship implies the presence of the one being worshipped. If God is not there then it is not worship.”Anthony W. Brooks
So taking from this text those who are born again are in the kingdom right? This is not a matter of Postmill, Amill, Premill, or whatever else. This is a matter of understanding that worship implies the presence of the one being worshipped. If God is not there then it is not worship. God’s throne is not within time and space. God created time and space. God’s throne is in the heavenly places because he is on a throne of majesty in heaven (Hebrews 8:1). So any time we worship him we do so in the eschatological Kingdom.
This is only one take out of many amongst the Reformed and Presbyterian camp to which I belong. I wish it was clearer to the church how this actually works but we are not able to search the innermost thoughts of God. The saints around the throne are worshipping and we are to lift up our voices with them saying:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” – Isaiah 6:3
Soli Deo Gloria!
Picture: Isaiah receiving the burning coal from the seraphim angel.