Revelation 7:9-17 In Godís Presence We are close to finishing a topical study on character. We understand character is missing because God is missing and one cannot have character without God for character is the nature of God abiding within us. In studying what the Bible teaches about the attributes we are to have and use in treating one another properly, we discussed six categories of character. Last week, we started the seventh and last, called "the Divine Attributes." These are the attributes we need to enter Godís presence, abide in Godís presence, and to depart with Godís presence. It is important to understand all of the characteristics we find necessary to have a relationship with people are but a prelude to having a relationship with Godóin other words, the same ones are needed and we are just getting started in learning them in our dealings with people. Character attributes are much more needed and important in dealing with God. Last week, we looked at some of the attributes needed to enter Godís presence. 1. Reverence a. Fearing God - God is holy and we are sinners. That is worse than mixing gasoline and fire. Sooner or later, something is going to happen. b. Respect - Not just being afraid of God for His power and Holiness, but respecting God for who He is, a God who loves, helps, forgives, promotes, is thoughtful, kind, merciful and so much more. c. To deny self - To willingly put God ahead of ourselves. 2. Boldness and Courage a. God does commandÖ Heb 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. b. and throughout the Scriptures, Christians are commanded to "fear not" at Godís presence. c. What is it that God wants us to be bold about? (1) God wants us to be bold in His love toward us. (i.e. God wants us to be bold in remembering we are forgiven.) (2) God wants us to be bold in His leadership. d. Is this a contradiction with reverence? No. It is a balance. 3. Balance a. God is a balanced being and He wants us to be balanced: (1) Godís mercy and justice balance. (2) Godís sovereignty and our freewill balance. (3) Godís love and our accountability balance. b. We are sinners but we are sinners saved, forgiven, and adopted into Godís family. (1) That must be balanced. (2) We should remember from where we cameÖ 2Pe 1:9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. (3) When we forget, we lose our balance and if we do so, we will either forget what we were or what we are. (4) Both need to be remembered to come into Godís presence. Tonight, what kind of character is required to abide in Godís presence? I. Letís start by remembering what it WAS like. Ge 3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. A. This is the first record of man coming into Godís presence. There isnít much detail, is it? 1. Observations: a. There was nothing formal about it. (1) There does not appear to be any requirements, approvals, or inspections. (2) There were no angels, harps, thunderings, lightning, etc. (3) There doesnít even seem to be any bowing or loud praising. b. There was nothing fearful about it. God showed up and they fellowshipped together. 2. Some adhere to the "Principal of First Mentioned," which basically says you learn the most about a thing by studying when it is first mentioned. a. If so, coming into Godís presence was intended to be very open and user friendly. b. And even though Revelation describes a lot of praise and adoration, it may be that in eternity future, man might again worship God like this. B. The second instance is much like the first. 1. \\#Ge 18:1\\ - The Lord and the angels come to check out Sodom. 2. It is obvious that Abraham did recognize Him for heÖ a. \\#3\\ Called Him Lord, Adonay, used as a proper name for God. b. \\#2\\ Bowed before Him. 3. But again, there was nothing formal or fearful. C. \\#Ex 3:1-6\\ Moses 1. This is the first time we see fear and God giving commands on how to come into His presence. 2. Take note that Moses did not know who God was. This was Mosesí introduction to God. 3. \\#Ex 3:6\\ When Moses figured it out, he hid his face because he was afraid. 4. Moses was commanded to take his shoes off. 5. My thought is that when those with sin and ignorance come to Godís presence, fear and formality come too. D. The more people the more rules God put out and the more fear was obvious. 1. Israel came into Godís presence in Exodus 19. 2. Mountains are quaking, lightning is flashing, trumpets are sounding and the people are so scared, they are running in the opposite direction. E. All of this makes me think that when sin is done away, fear will be done away too and perhaps some of the formality. II. So what do we need to abide in Godís presence? What kind of attributes or characteristics? A. Thankful heart Ps 100:4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. 1. It is interesting that some, thinking about heaven, do not want to go there. a. They think of a place where you are always praising God as a boring place. b. I suspect they might not have to worry about it. c. I think that they do not have a thankful heart. 2. What have we to be thankful for? Col 1:12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: a. He made us partakers with all the saints. b. He delivered us from darkness. c. He transferred us into Jesusí kingdom. d. He has forgiven us. 3. Letís face it. At this point, we do not even know how much more we will have to be thankful for when we get there. 1Co 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. a. We have not seen hell yet. b. We have not seen Godís holiness yet. c. We have not seen heaven yet. 4. The thankful heart will produce the other three characteristics. B. Adoring heart 1. We will be so thankful that we cannot help but to adore our Godóeven if adoration is not one of our earthly characteristics. 2. \\#Rev 7:10\\ 3. To adore is the essence of worship. It means to exalt, attend to, extol, praise, to love intensely. 4. Remember the conversation Jesus had with Simon about who would love Jesus the most-the one who had been forgiven the most \\#Luke 7:43\\. C. Joyful heart Isa 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. 1. The joy that will be present in heaven will be like the joy of a wedding. 2. Everyone is truly happy at a weddingóexcept maybe for the ex who let the best one get away! 3. Even the parents of the bride and groom, although they may be sad to see their baby go, are happy that they have found someone to spend life with and to start the next phase of life with. D. Praising heart 1. Praise is what you will naturally do when your heart is thankful, filled with joy and adoration. 2. You wonít have to work to praise God. You just will! 3. \\#11-12\\ Praise will be so easy that even the angels and the beasts can do itóand they are not redeemed. E. All of this makes for a worshipping heart. 1. A worshipping heart is not referred to in the Bible as a character attribute but that is because we cannot practice it among ourselves. 2. When it comes to God, there is but one character we must have to abide in His presence, a worshipping heart. 3. A person who thanks, adores, and praises God is one who will abide in His presence. F. My belief is that abiding in Godís presence will be easy when we get to heaven. 1. Jesus had to challenge and command us to abide in His presence in this world \\#John 15:1-10\\. 4x in those verses. 2. Once the weak flesh and sinful nature is gone, we will want to abide in His presence. 3. Right now, we must keep our hearts filled with these four things: a. Thankfulness b. Praise c. Joy d. Adoration 4. Or we can just call it "worship."
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