After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.(Revelation 4:1-2)
The revelation given to the apostle John,begins with ”the things that are…”. That would be the temporal situation of the church; despised and rejected like her Lord, struggling with temptation, persecution, false doctrine, false prophets, moral defeat, lethargy, compromise, and yes some evangelism and faithful witness even unto death.
But the vision of chapter four takes us completely out of that realm , and into the heavenly throne room of God himself, through “the door opened in heaven”. John actually experienced this, as a Revelation of Jesus to we his servants.
The door open in heaven is a message from God, for Jesus himself is the “open door’, only by Him do we sinners gain access into God’s holy heaven. Jesus said in John 10, “I am the door“, and in John 14 ,”No one comes to the Father but by Me“.
Access to all that is holy, beautiful, and eternally satisfying, was shut and barred to us , the children of Adam , because by our sin we had fallen, and forfeited the right to it. God himself barred the way to the tree of Life, deploying the flaming, holy, and terrible Cherubim, lest we eat in a fallen state and remain locked in our fallenness forever.
Man could not “draw near” to God, He could not go to heaven, for nothing sinful, false, evil, or rebellious could ever be allowed to disrupt the Holy beauty and harmony of God’s heaven.
The door to heaven was closed to sinful man! Since man could never get to God, God came down to man! God descended to us in humility, to save us from our sins. Jesus is God manifested in the flesh, God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself…”.
And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.(John 3;13)
In the vision given to John , the heavenly voice calls him (and us) up, and through the open door into heaven , with perhaps the simplest and yet most encouraging gospel message yet, “Come up Here”.
God would bring us to himself, therefore His word to us is “Come…”.”Let Him that is athirst, Come and drink…Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden…”
He calls us “up”, for He would bring us to something higher, and purer than where we are coming from, morally, spiritually, and even physically. We have to recognize that we have fallen, and that He alone can raise us up, for His salvation is nothing less than resurrection from the dead.
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:4-6)
Finally “Here” , “Come up Here”, because Heaven is a real place, it is a “better country” and a “city whose builder and maker is God”. Jesus went ahead of us to “prepare a place for us”. The preparation involved giving His life as a sacrifice of Love to God for us, that He might make us fit for that holy place.
As an aside, Hell is a real place too. It was created not for man for “the devil and his angels”, but unrepentant man will indeed go there. It is a place of torment, consciousness, memory,feeling, recognition of others, and profound remorse, and regret.
But the Gospel of God is that the door in heaven is now open, and through Jesus there is welcome from Heaven to earth, a call to that which is higher, purer and more beautiful than anything this world has to Offer, “Come up Here” saith the Lord!
Let Him who has ears to hear, hear what the Spirit is saying!