by Pastor Jerry Ingalls
What is your first impression of the Lord Jesus Christ? Was it taught or caught? Was Jesus portrayed as powerful and awe-inspiring or tamed and commonplace?
Revelation 4:1 describes, “After this I looked and behold, a door standing open in heaven!”
Can you imagine how people would respond if there was a doorway to heaven open and they could get a glimpse of the majesty and authority of God? What if everyone’s first impression of God was such a powerful display of who He is?
Often, our first impressions of a person or group determine whether or not we’ll have a lasting connection with that person or group! This is why the Church is so important; we are the ambassadors of Christ and in many places around the world, the only first impression of Jesus people will get comes from Christians.
Today, the church is the open doorway to get a glimpse of heaven on earth!
Christians are the local church and how we gather is important. Our gatherings are intended to be glimpses of God’s power and majesty. But even more important is why we scatter; the lives we live in response to what we know of God!
We scatter to be on mission and to fulfill the Great Commission in our lives (Matthew 28:18-20). Nothing is more effective and powerful than how we live our lives and proclaim Christ in each of our everyday lives. Whether someone’s first impression is because they work next to you or go to school with you or are your neighbor, you may be the first impression of Jesus that determines whether or not that person is open to considering a lasting connection.
When you read Revelation 4, how can you not be captivated by the power, glory and splendor of Jesus Christ as the King. “At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. And He who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald. From the throne came flashes of lightening and rumblings and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches which are the seven spirits of God, and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal” (verses 2-3, 5-6a).
Around the throne of Jesus Christ is described the “four living creatures” and “twenty-four elders.” Do you know what this heavenly host of magnificent creatures and heavenly leaders are doing?
They are giving Jesus praise and adoration; they are declaring who He is, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come” (8).
And they are submitting themselves before Jesus by casting down their crowns and testifying, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created” (11).
Our first impression of Heaven is worship at the throne of God for who He is and what He has done and will do. Jesus is worthy! Is that what people experience when they gather with you when your local church gathers to worship God?
What was your first impression of God? Is Jesus worthy and far above all else in your life? Are you willing to cast down your crown so that you may know Him and make Him known?
You are called to be an open door to heaven so that when people look at your life and how you handle the hardships of this life, they will get a glimpse of Heaven. As you go about your day, remember that you are an ambassador of Jesus Christ. You are the witness of Heaven’s love and forgiveness.
May your first impressions lead to people making lasting connections!
*Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.