“Then as I looked, I saw a door standing open in heaven, and the same voice I had heard before spoke to me like a trumpet blast. The voice said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after this.” And instantly I was in the Spirit, and I saw a throne in heaven and Someone sitting on it.”
Revelation 4:1-2 NLT
In our pilgrimage through the book of Revelation, we now find ourselves in chapter 4. The messages to the seven churches are behind us, and now Jesus wants to show John something else. He wants to give John a glimpse of that is inside this place we call Heaven. A door opens. And a very loud voice, sounding to him like a “trumpet blast“, grabs John’s attention. Why a “trumpet blast”? In those days it would have been a common way of grabbing people’s attention, at least those who were out and about in the market places or the town square. So it would have certainly grabbed John’s attention, particularly as it was from what seemed to be a speaking trumpet. A trumpet wasn’t the only way God spoke to mankind. God’s voice sounded like thunder in John 12:28-29, “Father, bring glory to your name.” Then a voice spoke from heaven, saying, “I have already brought glory to my name, and I will do so again.” When the crowd heard the voice, some thought it was thunder, while others declared an angel had spoken to him”. In 1 Kings 19:12, Elijah heard a still small voice, a whisper. In Psalm 18:13, God’s voice was accompanied by natural events, “The Lord thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded amid the hail and burning coals”.
But I was thinking about today – our lifestyles don’t tend to revolve around public places, so how would God grab our attention today? I don’t know, but what I do know is that God will tailor-make a way of grabbing the attention of those who want to listen. As we see in the John 12 verse, some interpreted the voice of God as thunder. Others as the voice of an angel. We hear what we want to hear because we have a tendency to try and rationalise things we don’t expect or understand. If the sacrifice of God’s Son on a Roman cross at Calvary doesn’t grab the world’s attention and get a response, then I don’t think people are listening. Jesus ended each of the messages to the seven churches with the verse, “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches”.
John received an incredible invitation from Jesus. He opened Heaven’s door for John and invited him to join Him there. What a privilege. But what a responsibility. Don’t forget that John was languishing in a prison cell, in exile on the island of Patmos. We know it was the Lord’s Day and John was lost in worship. Little did he know that day that he would be invited to join Jesus in Heaven. John was instantly transported into a spiritual world. Prison cell and exile forgotten. And he received a glimpse as he peeped through the door of Someone, of God probably, sat on his throne.
What else John saw in Heaven unfolds in the Revelation pages. And it’s quite a story!
Dear Lord. We thank You that there is nothing dull in a relationship with You. Please help us to get so lost in worship to You that we too get lost in a Heavenly place. And I’m sure the things of the world will go dim in comparison. Thank You Lord. Amen.