The Great Homecoming Celebration
By Joseph Chambers
The greatest picture of a star-studded celebration ever recorded is in the fourth and fifth chapters of Revelation. Nothing in the Holy Scripture or secular history can even claim second place. The entire host of Heaven that the Psalmist David described on the Northern Scopes of the eternal land will be the welcoming company. The saints from all past human history will be the honored guests. The location is so grand that only one apostle’s eyes have seen its indescribable beauty. This is the Homecoming celebration of God’s human family. Sin thrust the prodigal clan out of God’s immediate presence long ago, but it’s time to go home.
John beheld this drama when he was called by the Lord Jesus to “Come up hither.” Entering into the Celestial City, his eyes fastened on the throne of our Heavenly Father. The Father was so brilliant in glory that John never described the throne. Using the most eloquent words he knew, he spoke of God, “And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald” (Revelation 4:3b). These incredible colors and shapes speak of a majestic being, clothed in eternity and manifested in a divine purity. John was overshadowed and fully covered with the Spirit or he would not have lived through this drama played out before Him.
The location of this celebration is Heavenly Jerusalem. Somewhere in the Northern greatness of this universe this eternal home exists in perfect light. The great palaces are created with ivory. Even the garments worn in this city are woven in perfumed excellence. The Psalmist said, “All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad” (Psalm 45:8). To even approach this city will be an experience of resplendent glory. The soul of every glorified saint will be so flooded with life and rejoicing that every memory of sadness will flee.
Our welcoming Host will include every inhabitant of that eternal city. The Father will be the Grand Marshall. The Son of God will speak the welcoming words even as He did when He called John to view this future event. The Holy Spirit will spread His beautiful graces across the entire expanse. Living creatures will raise their voices in the most melodious sound of joy and gladness. The great host of the angels will reveal to us the joy of how they have worshipped for ages.
God’s great saints, who have worshipped, trusted, and served their Father, while depending wholly on His sacrifice of sacred blood, will be the honored guests. The new house of redeemed flesh will be our wedding garments. “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life” (II Corinthians 5:1-4).
We will be the center of this grand celebration. Redeemed saints that have forsaken this world to follow their God and His Christ have longed and yearned for their deliverance. Apostle Paul described the longing of those in whom Christ is Lord of all, “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body” (Romans 8:22-23). This body of flesh will soon be a distant memory and our dwelling will be in the company of the divine and angelic.
This occasion is the Pre-Tribulation Rapture and the celebration that follows before the redeeming of our earthly home begins. This great company of millions of saints will arrive in this Heavenly city to share the business of cleansing the created world. The throne that these saints, now called Elders, will occupy shows clearly our part in guiding the redeeming affairs of our Lord. He will reign for seven years as the “Lamb Slain,” fully capable of casting out all offence from our future home of perfect peace. The book He receives from the Father is the full judicial terms of the “Great Tribulation.” It’s time to make God’s created world a garden of paradise for eternity.
Before the process of redeeming this universe, the saints have time to say what their hearts have experienced from the moment of their redemption. This scene will be one of the grandest moments in our Father’s eternal existence. The saints, acting in unison as a grand multitude, will cause all Heaven to be silent. Viewing this Heavenly Host, they will see Abraham and Sarah, King David, Rahab, Jeremiah, Daniel, Peter, Paul, and, by all means, John the Beloved together with all the saints. The Word says it best of all, “. . . I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands” (Revelation 5:11). “The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:10-11).
It will be spectacular to be a part of millions of redeemed saints celebrating by casting their crowns at the feet of our Creator and our Savior. Once our heads are bare of all the glory given to us and we have deposited that glory at His feet, we will sing our first song of the glorified saints. Being home again with the heavenly multitude of angels and our great God, Who made us in His image, will be grand as the saints prepare to share the eternal events to follow.
Joseph R. Chambers, DD, DSL