Do people go to heaven and come back? Periodically we hear a remarkable story about an adult or a child who goes to heaven and comes back with new information about life after death. Is this possible? We know that Apostle Paul was caught up to the “third heaven” and saw unspeakable things. So he didn’t speak them.
The Apostle John went up to heaven after he delivered the mail to the churches. A door opened in the sky above him and he went up to see what must take place in the future. What did John learn about heaven? First, he tells us that there is a throne and a King who sits on it. One of our adjustments in our self-centered lives is to get around to the fact that both heaven and earth are or should be centered in God. The elders also sit on thrones and the angels worship the King night and day.
What makes God worthy of our worship? The angels say he is, “Holy, holy, holy.” Holy means different, other. God is the authentic, original One. He is incomparable. He is not just a little bit holy around the edges. No he is perfectly holy. Our powerful God is the eternal King. He always was. He still is. He will always be.
Taking their cue from the angels, the elders fall off their thrones before him, cast their crowns before his throne and say, “You are worthy.” God deserves our undivided attention and our united praise. Our God is the great Creator and author of creativity. God created everything. He created us by his will, because he wanted to. Only because he created us, are we here. Our life comes from God. So we should give our lives back to God.
John’s words make me skeptical of the occasional stories of those who went to heaven and came back. I have no doubt that John went and saw God. He came back talking about God. His trip to heaven made him long for more of God. He does not try to adjudicate the style of singing in heaven. John does not tell us about what our rooms in God’s house will be like. He is fixated on God. Somehow I believe, if we went to heaven and saw God like John did, we would be too. Shouldn’t we be? Fixated on God, I mean? He is not only in heaven but he is here. Our holy, sovereign, almighty, eternal King is right here. We ought to serve him and praise him and sing about his holiness and worthiness. When we worship him rightly we experience heaven on earth.