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10

Just the Beginning of Praise

Key References: 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17; Revelation 14:1-5; The Great Controversy, chap. 40, pp. 635-652; The Bible Story (1994), vol. 10, pp. 196-200; Our Beliefs, nos. 25, 27, 10

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“And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!” (2 Timothy 4:18).

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We will praise and worship God in heaven during the millennium.

Would you like to live to witness the second coming of Jesus and then go to heaven to be with Him? Stop and think for a few moments about that glorious event, when you will see Jesus face to face. What can you do right now to prepare for His coming?

Just when it seems as if the earth will be totally destroyed, the angry clouds will open, and every person on earth will see Jesus, “coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30), “with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God” (1 Thessalonians 4:16).

Graves will be opened, “and many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2). Christ “will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven” (Mark 13:27). The resurrected followers of Jesus will “rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

On that day those who will be saved will no longer have the marks of sin—no sickness, no deformities, no disease. We shall all be changed—“in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet” (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52). Finally, we will be on our way to our new home in heaven: “the Father’s house” filled with “many mansions” (John 14:2).

As we will enter the gates of the Holy City, our minds will hardly be able to comprehend the beautiful things we will see. Heaven is so different from what we know here on earth. In fact, the Bible says that “eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). Even the streets will be vastly different than what we have here on earth. They will be made of “pure gold”—so pure, in fact, they will look “like transparent glass” (see Revelation 21:21).

Our hearts will be overwhelmed as we look around the city and realize that Jesus gave up everything to save us. The crowns that He will place on our heads will serve as reminders of His self-sacrificing spirit (see 2 Timothy 4:8), and we won’t be able to stop praising Him.

There will be a peace in heaven that we have never known on earth. Satan and his angels won’t be there to tempt and lead us to sin.

There will be so many new things to explore and to learn. We will have many questions. For 1,000 years we will be learning fascinating new things that had never entered the minds of human beings while living on earth. We will be exploring new places throughout the universe. Seeing the amazing creations of God, we will have endless possibilities to learn about His great love. We will be able to look into the laws of science that govern the works of creation. We will be able to recognize in nature the beautiful sounds that will proclaim in perfect harmony their praise to the Creator.

The most important topic we will be studying is the plan of salvation. We will learn more about Jesus, who, being one with God, came into our world, lived, and sacrificially offered Himself as our substitute in order to save us. As we understand more fully the heart of God, we will begin to realize what is the “width and length and depth and height [of ] the love of Christ” (see Ephesians 3:19). What a glorious day that will be!

As we study and see more of God’s purposes and plans, our hearts will be at rest. The prophet Isaiah says that the Second Coming, and following events, will “console those who mourn in Zion” and “give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness” (see Isaiah 61:3). “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely, I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20).