Daily Inspiration

April 30, 2016

Heaven

There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.

~ Revelation 22:5

A contemporary ballad declares, “This is heaven . . . when I'm with you.” Being in close communion with a loved one is indeed a blessing. Yet as there are no earthly situations worthy of comparison to the misery of hell, so there are no earthly joys suitable to serve as accurate analogies of the marvels of heaven.

As we find grim and ghastly biblical images for hell, so we find rich and promising biblical images for heaven. It is likened to paradise, to the bosom of Abraham, and to a glorious city that comes down from heaven. The New Jerusalem is described in terms of translucent streets of gold, a place with walls of precious gemstones, and a setting of perpetual and everlasting joy.

What is most notable about heaven is what is absent from it as well as what is present in it. Things that will be absent include: (1) tears, (2) sorrow, (3) death, (4) pain, (5) darkness, (6) ungodly people, (7) sin, (8) temples, (9) the sun or moon, and (10) the curse from Adam's sin (see Genesis 3:14-19).

What will be present in heaven includes: (1) the saints, (2) the river of the water of life, (3) healing fruit, (4) the Lamb of God, (5) worship, (6) the wedding feast of the Lamb and His bride, (7) the unveiled face of God, and (8) the Sun of Righteousness.

Heaven is where Christ is. It is the eternal bliss of communion with the God-man. Jonathan Edwards, in trying to give voice to the joy believers will find in heaven writes that the saints will swim in the ocean of love, and be eternally swallowed up in the infinitely bright, and infinitely mild and sweet beams of divine love; eternally receiving the light, eternally full of it, and eternally compassed round with it, and everlastingly reflecting it back again to its fountain.

While the saints will delight in fellowship with their God and Savior, there is no reason to believe that they will not recognize and fellowship with saints they knew on earth. Heaven is the abode of all good things.

. . . The greatest joy of heaven is the beatific vision, seeing the face of God. This unspeakable joy, however, comes through the eyes of the soul. God is spirit, and in spirit the elect shall see Him. This is the reward, earned by Christ, enjoyed by His children.

Lord, I thank you for the magnificence of the eternal reward you have promised to all who believe in your Son. Amen.

~ from “Essential Truths of the Christian Faith” by R.C. Sproul


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