“Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying,
‘We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign. The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.’”—Revelation 11:15-18
“And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.”—Revelation 12:11
Notice above that the word “kingdom” is singular, reminding us that all the diverse individual kingdoms of this world, comprising various countries, nationalities, and cultures are really all under the domain of one leader, and that’s Satan. But this kingdom in all of its forms will become the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. There will be no place in the entire universe—including hell—where Jesus does not reign. “All things shall be put under His feet.”
The twenty-four elders, who probably represent the twelve apostles and the twelve tribes of Israel (thus representing the raptured church and Old Testament saints), appropriately fall on their faces and worship before the throne. Their praise is focused on God’s sovereignty—His irresistible power; no one can thwart His plans and purposes. He exists from eternity to eternity; He always was, He presently is, and He will be to come. Given His uncontested rule over the Earth, it’s only appropriate that He’s worshipped without reservation or questions.
The reign of God on Earth will not be welcomed by everyone; Satan is enraged when he realizes that his kingdom will have to be surrendered to the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. In an event that probably takes place during the Great Tribulation, we find that Satan is thrown out of heaven by the angelic forces led by Michael, and although he (Satan) is very angry and does as much damage as he can, in the end, he is defeated and thrown into the lake of fire.
How can we prepare for heaven while still on earth? The answer is to learn heaven’s songs of gratitude and praise, and sing them often! Above all, heaven is giving God the praise He so richly deserves, and we can practice this today. Yes, we shall some day serve Him in many different ways, but praise will always take center stage in the presence of the eternal King.
So let us pray, preparing for heaven:
Father, I join with the saints and all creatures in heaven to give You praise, for You have always been, You are now, and will be throughout all of eternity. I anticipate the day when Jesus shall begin His sovereign rein on Earth. I’m grateful that You, O Lord, have invited us to the celebration, and I gladly accept. Let my entire life be one of praise and gratitude, and may I express this to You often, with spontaneous joy and heart-felt wonder.
I pray for _____ that they might live each day with an attitude of praise and personal appreciation for Your grace and power. I pray that they might be caught up in the wonder of Your salvation on our behalf, and that they might rejoice in Your attributes of infinite wisdom, mercy, and sovereignty. Cause them—indeed cause all of us—to never neglect daily, intentional, and heart-felt praise. Teach us to bring heaven down to Earth by joining the chorus of those who are already in Your presence giving You the adoration that You deserve.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.