The Book of Revelation is a behind the scenes look at what happens in worship. The Bible teaches that all true worship happens in heaven. We have been raised into the heavenly places in Christ Jesus by the Spirit, and when we gather together, when we say Lift up your hearts/we lift them up to the Lord, we are being called up into heaven by the power of the Spirit. Hebrews says: “you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the Living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of the new covenant…” (Heb. 12:22-24) The Book of Revelation is basically a record of Jesus opening the curtain for John to see what’s happening when Christian Churches gather for worship on the Lord’s Day. What he sees is that when God’s people sing and pray and proclaim His word and feast, it has a direct impact on the world. Cups of wrath are poured out, signs appear in heaven, trumpets are blown, and the nations are gathered and scattered. In other words, Christian Worship is the most important way Christians engage culture. This is because heaven is the place that more powerfully engages the world than any other place on the planet. LA, New York, London, Berlin, Paris, Hong Kong, Tokyo may be powerful and influential places, but none of them compare to Mount Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. In the heavenly Jerusalem, we have direct access to the Living God who rules over every nation, who turns the hearts of kings like rivers of water, and who stoops to care for the smallest sparrows.
So what are we doing here this morning? We are gathered here to change the world. We are gathered here expecting God to receive our worship and judge the world. We are gathered here in the headquarters of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. This is His palace, His courtroom, His situation room where He takes counsel with His people. There are many concerns on our hearts, many challenges we face, and many things that need addressing in our world. We come as members of Christ’s cabinet. We come to lay these before Him, and ask Him to pour out His Spirit on us and the whole world. And you need to know and believe with all your heart that you’ve come to the right place.