And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying: "We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, because You have taken Your great power and 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 "Your 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. "Then a voice came from the throne, saying, 'Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!' And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, 'Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!'" (Revelation 19:5-6).
The word "alleluia" is the same as the Hebrew word "hallelujah," meaning, "Praise 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 everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" (1 Thessalonians 5:18). "Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name" (Hebrews 13:15).
Adapted from Dr. Morris' article "Thanksgiving in Heaven" in the November 22, 2012 Days of Praise.
* Dr. Henry M. Morris (1918-2006) was Founder of the Institute for Creation Research.