In other articles on heaven’s worship we have explored the revelation given to the four living creatures that are around the throne of God. These creatures do not rest day or night saying, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come. (Revelation 4:8) In the last part of their declaration we find another attribute of the One they are beholding; Who was and is and is to come.
When my children were younger (I have five) they periodically asked questions like, “Where did God come from?” or “How old is God?” or “Does God have a mommy and daddy?” They had listened to us share about their beginnings in the world and about the existence of God. Being curious about God’s beginnings was natural to their developing reasoning.
Of course God does not exist in terms that human reasoning can understand. He exists outside of time, he is eternal. Moses wrote, Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, you are God. (Psalm 90:2) Another psalmist wrote, Your throne is established from of old; you are from everlasting. (Psalm 93:2) God has always been. He has no beginning.
Not only does God have no beginning, he has no end. God is not constrained by time. In his book The Knowledge of the Holy A.W. Tozer, speaking of the four living creatures, says, “…they are identifying God with the flow of creature-life with its familiar three tenses; and this is right and good, for God has sovereignly willed so to identify himself. But since God is uncreated, he is not himself affected by that succession of consecutive changes we call time. God dwells in eternity but time dwells in God.”
God reveals himself in Revelation 1:8 as the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. The prophet Isaiah quotes God as saying, Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure. (Isaiah 46:9-10) God sees the end from the beginning; they are the same to him. Eternity goes just as far backwards as it does forwards. Frederick W. Faber penned, “No age can heap its outward years on Thee; Dear God! Thou art, Thyself, Thine own eternity.”
These living creatures are worshiping in the presence of eternity. As we worship we too worship in the presence of eternity. For wherever the presence of God is so is eternity. Our bodies may be stuck in time, but our worship is eternal because eternity inhabits our praise.
To quote Tozer again, “We who live in this nervous age would be wise to meditate on our lives and our days long and often before the face of God and on the edge of eternity. For we are made for eternity as certainly as we are made for time, and as responsible moral beings we must deal with both.”
My son has a T-shirt with this saying, “It’s not that life is too short but that you are dead for so long.” If we are to make worship a way of life we must live each day with the realization that eternity is a breath away.
To enter the worship of heaven we must pour out glory, honor and thanksgiving to the Father as if we have already passed from this mortal body to immortality. We are called to worship a holy God, an almighty God, and an eternal God. We are also called to be holy, to bow to the lordship of God in our lives and make him our eternal affection.