The Christian optimism is based on the fact that we do not fit in to the world. I had tried to be happy by telling myself that man is an animal, like any other which sought its meat from God. But now I really was happy, for I had learnt that man is a monstrosity. I had been right in feeling all things as odd, for I myself was at once worse and better than all things. The optimist’s pleasure was prosaic, for it dwelt on the naturalness of everything; the Christian pleasure was poetic, for it dwelt on the unnaturalness of everything in the light of the supernatural. The modern philosopher had told me again and again that I was in the right place, and I had still felt depressed even in acquiescence. But I had heard that I was in the wrong place, and my soul sang for joy, like a bird in spring. The knowledge found out and illuminated forgotten chambers in the dark house of infancy. I knew now why grass had always seemed to me as queer as the green beard of a giant, and why I could feel homesick at home.
~ “G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy”
At times throughout the day, as I work in my office, I find myself on my knees thanking God for his goodness. When I eat a meal with my wife, talk with a friend, or take our dog for a walk, I worship God for his goodness. The world is full of praise-prompters—the New Earth will overflow with them. I’ve found great joy in moments where I’ve been lost in worship—many of them during church services—but they’re too fleeting. If you’ve ever had a taste of true worship, you crave more of it, never less.
~ Randy Alcorn, Heaven
One of the reasons we struggle with the idea of worship in heaven is that we find worship on earth so routine, so predictable. We gather with other believers and say we have come together to worship God, but if we are honest, we are focused far more on ourselves than on the Lord. We’ve fallen into the trap of thinking that we are the audience in worship and that the performers are the professionals up front. Nothing will kill the spirit of genuine worship more effectively than sitting in a comfortable seat, just watching the show. . . .
The only audience in worship is God. He is the one we are gathered to honor and praise and exalt. His character, his goodness, his grace and mercy and forgiveness are the focus of true worship. . . . Our single goal is to please our Audience. . . . The Audience we are striving to please is not impressed with the outward motions of worship. He is impressed with the attitude of our hearts before him and with the sacrifice we offer of our praise to him.
~ Douglas Connelly, [The Promise of Heaven]
Music is transcendent—a bridge between this world and another. That’s why people devote so much of themselves to it and gain such pleasure in it. . . . In Heaven God will unleash our creativity, not confine it. As a musical novice, I might compose something worthy of Bach. And what kind of music do you suppose Bach will compose?
It’s God, not Satan, who made us to dance. If you believe that Satan invented dancing or that dancing is inherently sinful, you give Satan too much credit and God too little. God placed within us an instinctive physical response to music. As music is a means of worship, so is dancing. True, some dancing dishonors God, just as some eating, drinking, prayer, and religious activities dishonor God. Unfortunately, much dancing has become associated with immorality and immodesty. But, of course, that kind of dancing won’t exist on the New Earth.
~ Randy Alcorn, Heaven
Ibi vacabimus et videbimus, videbimus et amabimus, amabimus et laudabimus. Esse quod erit in fine sine fine. [“There we shall rest and we shall see, we shall see and we shall love, we shall love and we shall praise. Behold what shall be in the end without end.”]
~ Augustine, The City of God
Music certainly is prominent in the descriptions of heaven in Revelation, and we might imagine that both musical and artistic activities would be done to the glory of God. Perhaps people will work at the whole range of investigation and development of the creation by technological, creative, and inventive means, thus exhibiting the full extent of their excellent creation in the image of God.
~ Wayne Grudem, [Systematic Theology]
Since heaven itself is God’s temple, every place we go, everything we do, and every conversation we have will be an act of worship. This is worship as it was meant to be.
~ Tony Evans, [Tony Evans Speaks Out on Heaven and Hell]
There is nothing unearthly or un-creational about worship. . . . It is not a time when we shed our human selves; it is a time when we are most fully human. . . . We touch the source of our lives, our hopes, and our salvation.
~ Paul Marshall, [Heaven Is Not My Home]