Service in Heaven
Revelation 7:15-17
Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple…

When you come to think about it your hearts revolt from the heaven which is set forth in the sentimental hymns. Having nothing to do may be very pleasant for a while, but it would be very intolerable for an eternity. Heaven is a place of sweet activities. The redeemed are serving God day and night before His throne.

I. The highest life is A LIFE OF PERPETUAL SERVICE. The reward which God confers upon His faithful ones is ability and permission to serve, and when He calls them from the lower to the higher places, the higher honour is that they are enabled and privileged to serve more. In God's view rank is determined by the measure of service. It is strange how the world has reversed this principle in its conceptions of rank and dignity. We speak of service with a sort of disdain, and of servants as inferior persons. You would find thousands of people ashamed to be seen with soiled hands, where you would find one ashamed of living an utterly profitless life. And we often pay the greatest respect to men and women who are of so little good to the world that almost the best service they could render would be to remove themselves out of it as speedily as possible. What a curious spectacle this must present to those who look down upon the earthly life from above. In days to come, when Christ shall truly rule in the hearts of men, they will find it hard to believe that there was ever a time when hats were doffed and knees were bowed to selfish and unserviceable lives. And even now if we look with Christ's eyes, we shall think the most ignorant ploughman who earns his daily bread a far nobler being, and of more exalted rank than the cultured voluptuary who neither uses hands nor brain to serve his fellows and make the world a little better than he found it. We shall honour the meanest workman more than the noblest of society's indolent darlings. We shall be as much ashamed of living unserviceable lives as of being detected in some glaring felony. The homes on earth which most resemble heaven are those in which from the father down to the youngest child, every loved and loving one is serving and being served by each and all; where love is always giving, yet receiving more than it gives; where all are servants, and because servants, masters; where all are happy because all are ministering to the joy of others.

II. The highest life is a LIFE OF SERVICE IN THE TEMPLE, or rather of temple service. There is no temple, because it is all temple. And all the service, of whatever kind it is, all the work, all the ministry of love there is emphatically temple service, not necessarily singing, praising, preaching, or anything of that kind, but temple service, because the atmosphere, the thought, the motives, the emotions are sacred, holy, and divine; because everything is done in view of Him who sits upon the throne. There is the very spirit of the sanctuary in it all. There is the gladness and the praisefulness of the sanctuary in it all. And here again we find the model for our lives below. The highest life on earth is a life made up entirely of temple service — a life in which we do all things from the least to the greatest in the same spirit in which we sing hymns and offer prayers honestly, reverently, and purely, as in the sight of God and our Master Jesus Christ.

III. The highest life is a LIFE OF WORK INSPIRED BY LOVE, by love and not by necessity. They hunger no more, neither thirst any more. For the Lamb doth feed them and lead them to living fountains of water. We regard labour as a curse because it is a necessity. There is no choice where need drives. It is the hunger and thirst that make us bondsmen. We must toil to satisfy want. But in the highest life they work not to get their needs supplied, but because those needs have been supplied; not to secure wages, but because the wages have been sweetly and abundantly paid; not to make their robes white and clean, but because Christ has washed them until they shine like lustrous snow. In a word their service is inspired by gratitude, devotion, love; and that service never tires. Day and night they serve Him in His temple. Much of our earthly service may be made of this kind — nay, all of it in a certain sense. In all that we do there may be the willing, thankful, rejoicing spirit, a feeling of infinite indebtedness to God for His great gifts and His great love, which gives, as it were, wings to the feet that are engaged in common labour.

(J. G. Greenhough, M. A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.

WEB: Therefore they are before the throne of God, they serve him day and night in his temple. He who sits on the throne will spread his tabernacle over them.

Man in Heaven
Top of Page
Top of Page