Thanksgiving in Heaven

"And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats |thrones|, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O LORD GOD Almighty, which are, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned." (Revelation 11:16-17)

This is the final reference in the Bible to the giving of thanks. It records a scene in heaven where the 24 elders, representing all redeemed believers, are thanking God that His primeval promise of restoration and victory is about to be fulfilled. The petition "thy kingdom come" (Matthew 6:10) is now ready to be answered.

Similarly, the final reference to the offering of praise is also set in heaven. "And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth" (Revelation 19:5-6).

The word "alleluia" is the same as the Hebrew word "hallelujah," meaning, "Praise ye the Lord!" Thus, the joyful notes of praise for who He is and thankfulness for what He has done will resound through heaven when Christ returns. Then, forevermore, the very lives of all His saints will be perpetual testimonies of thanksgiving and praise.

This is our destiny, if we have received Christ by faith as Savior and Lord. It is important that our lives even now begin to reflect such a character, that we may be better prepared as the day approaches. "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you" (1 Thessalonians 5:18). "By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name" (Hebrews 13:15). HMM

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