2002-08-26 - The Happiness of Heaven
Psalm 87:3 Glorious things are spoken of you, O City of God.
It is common for Christians to think of heaven as a place of golden streets and ivory palaces. Heaven will certainly be a place of wonder, but such things as streets paved with gold and huge mansions are not what will make it a place of wonder. The wonder of heaven is Christ. The happiness of heaven is that we are received and welcomed by Christ and that our dwelling there will be eternal with Him.
There are other wonders of heaven to be sure. We will have rest from sin and the sorrow it brings. There will be no pain. Our understandings shall be satisfied with a full knowledge of truth. We will feed on the hidden manna. We shall no longer behold as in a glass darkly, but we shall all behold the glory of the Lord face to face. There will be no need for hope in heaven because all our hopes will have been realized there.
Think also that we will be with all the saints who have lived from all time. Who cannot get excited about talking with Moses, or Elijah, or Paul? Christians from China will be there. Those redeemed by Christ will assemble from every nation and every tribe and we will all with one accord praise the Lord for the wonders of His grace. Are not such thoughts too awesome to fully comprehend? There will be no sinners there. There will be no hypocrites in the entire group but rather there will simply be a united and happy society -- A true utopia.
These things, wonderful as they are, are all derived from Christ. It was His work of Atonement that secured them for us. We shall see His hands and feet that were pierced for our sin. We shall see the wound in His side. But this will not detract from the glory of heaven. Our happiness will not be diminished in seeing Christ's wounds for they will remind us of the great love He had for us and set upon us.
There is a wonderful hymn by John Newton. The title is taken from the verse we started with. The last stanza of the hymn has these wonderful words, "Savior, if of Zion's City I, through grace, a member am, let the world deride and pity, I will glory in Thy name: fading is the world-ling's pleasure, all his boasted pomp and show; solid joys and lasting treasure none but Zion's children know." That really is the crux of the happiness of heaven. The pleasures of the world are fading and only God's children really know solid joys and have lasting treasure.
Soli Deo Gloria,