Category Archives: Heaven

“We shall have all that His great heart can give us” by Charles Spurgeon

“Jesus says, ‘I go to prepare a place for you.’ (John 14:2) Brethren, He will do it well, for He knows all about us.

He knows what will give us the most happiness,—and what will best develop all our spiritual faculties forever.

He loves us, too, so well that, as the preparing is left to Him, I know that He will prepare us nothing second-rate, nothing that could possibly be excelled.

We shall have the best of the best, and much of it. We shall have all that even His great heart can give us.

Nothing will be stinted, for, as He is preparing it, it will be a right royal and divine preparation.

If, when the prodigal came back to his father, there was the preparation of the fatted calf, and the music and dancing, and the gold ring and the best robe, what will be the preparation when we do not come home as prodigals, but as the bride prepared for her husband, or as the beloved children, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, coming home to the Father who shall see His own image in us, and rejoice over us with singing?

It is a grand place that Christ prepares, for never was there another such a lordly host as He is.

It is a mansion of delights that He prepares, for never was there another architect with thought so magnificent as His, and never were other hands so skilled at quarrying living stones, and putting them one upon another, as His hands have ever been.

This thought ought to cheer us much. It must be something very wonderful that Christ prepares as a fit place for His people.”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, “‘A Prepared Place for a Prepared People,’” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons (vol. 47; London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1901), 47: 519. This sermon has been reprinted in No Tears in Heaven.

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“Sitting down at one table” by Herman Bavinck

“The blessedness of communion with God is enjoyed in and heightened by the communion of saints. On earth already this communion is a wonderful benefit of faith.

Those who for Jesus’s sake have left behind house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields already in this life receive houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and fields—along with persecutions—(Mark 10:29–30), for all who do the will of the Father are Jesus’s brother and sister and mother (Matt. 12:50).

Through the mediator of the New Testament, believers enter into fellowship, not only with the militant church on earth, but also with the triumphant church in heaven, the assembly of the firstborn, the spirits of the righteous made perfect, even with innumerable angels (Heb. 12:22–24).

But this fellowship, though in principle it already exists on earth, will nevertheless be incomparably richer and more glorious when all dividing walls of descent and language, of time and space, have been leveled, all sin and error have been banished, and all the elect have been assembled in the new Jerusalem.

Then will be fully answered the prayer of Jesus that all His sheep may be one flock under one Shepherd (John 10:16; 17:21). All the saints together will then fully comprehend the breadth and length and height and depth of the love of Christ (Eph. 3:18–19).

They will together be filled with all the fullness of God (Eph. 3:19; Col. 2:2, 10), inasmuch as Christ, Himself filled with the fullness of God (Col. 1:19), will in turn fill the believing community with Himself and make it His fullness (πληρωμα, plērōma; Eph. 1:23; 4:10).

And sitting down at one table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Matt. 8:11), they will unitedly lift up a song of praise to the glory of God and of the Lamb. (Rev. 4:11; 5:12)”

–Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics: Holy Spirit, Church, and New Creation, Vol. 4, Ed. John Bolt, and Trans. John Vriend, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2008), 4: 722–723.

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“We know who the real King is” by Rankin Wilbourne

“It may not look like Christ is ruling the universe. Today it might look like just a crack of light under a door.

But the New Testament writers were confident because they knew the light had dawned (Rom. 13: 12) and that one day the door will open, and that light, the Sun of Glory, will flood the whole room.

The gravity of Christ being King is often lost on those of us who have no earthly king. But in the Roman Empire, the tiny church not only survived, but flourished, even amid terrible persecution.

They were willing to die because they knew who the real king was. And they believed He was worth dying for.

King David’s men once said to David, ‘You are worth ten thousand of us’ (2 Sam. 18: 3), and we can now say that to our King and make our lives wholly expendable to Him and His cause.

When you know that Christ is the seated and enthroned King, you too will be willing to surrender all your plans and ambitions into His hands.

Perhaps, with the persecuted church, you can even rejoice when you are counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name (Acts 5:41) because we know who the real King is, and He is worthy.”

–Rankin Wilbourne, Union with Christ: The Way to Know and Enjoy God (Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2016), 165.

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“A calm look into the eternal world” by Robert Murray M’Cheyne

“There is nothing like a calm look into the eternal world to teach us the emptiness of human praise, the sinfulness of self-seeking and vainglory, to teach us the preciousness of Christ.”

–Robert Murray M’Cheyne, Memoir and Remains of the Rev. Robert Murray M’Cheyne, Ed. Andrew A. Bonar (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1844/1966), 85.

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“Eternity” by William Plumer

“No wicked man allows his mind to dwell on the word forever without pain, while to the Christian eternity never seems too long for him to speak His Master’s praise, enjoy His Saviour’s love, and drink the fountains of unfailing bliss.”

–William Plumer, Studies in the Book of Psalms: A Critical and Expository Commentary With Doctrinal and Practical Remarks (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1867/2016), 368. Plumer is commenting on Psalm 28:9.

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“A perfect view of His glory” by Jonathan Edwards

“The souls of true saints, when absent from the body, go to be with Jesus Christ, as they are brought into a most perfect conformity to, and union with Him. Their spiritual conformity is begun while they are in the body; here beholding as in a glass, the glory of the Lord, they are changed into the same image: but when they come to see Him as he is, in heaven, then they become like Him, in another manner.

That perfect right will abolish all remains of deformity, disagreement and sinful unlikeness as all darkness is abolished before the full blaze of the sun’s meridian light. It is impossible that the least degree of obscurity should remain before such light. So it is impossible the least degree of sin and spiritual deformity should remain, in such a view of the spiritual beauty and glory of Christ, as the saints enjoy in heaven when they see that Sun of righteousness without a cloud. They themselves shine forth as the sun, and shall be as little suns, without a spot.

For then is come the time when Christ presents His saints to Himself, in glorious beauty, ‘not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; and having holiness without a blemish’ [Ephesians 5:27]. And then the saints’ union with Christ is perfected. This also is begun in this world. The relative union is both begun and perfected at once, when the soul first closes with Christ by faith: the real union, consisting in the union of hearts and affections, and in the vital union, is begun in this world, and perfected in the next.

The union of the heart of a believer to Christ is begun when his heart is drawn to Christ, by the first discovery of divine excellency, at conversion; and consequent on this drawing and closing of his heart with Christ, is established a vital union with Christ; whereby the believer becomes a living branch of the true vine, living by a communication of the sap and vital juice of the stock and root; and a member of Christ’s mystical body, living by a communication of spiritual and vital influences from the head, and by a kind of participation of Christ’s own life.

But while the saints are in the body, there is much remaining distance between Christ and them: there are remainders of alienation, and the vital union is very imperfect; and so consequently, are the communication of spiritual life and vital influences: there is much between Christ and believers to keep them asunder, much indwelling sin, much temptation, an heavy-molded frail body, and a world of carnal objects, to keep off the soul from Christ, and hinder a perfect coalescence.

But when the soul leaves the body, all these clogs and hindrances shall be removed, every separating wall shall be broken down, and every impediment taken out of the way, and all distance shall cease; the heart shall be wholly and perfectly drawn, and most firmly and forever attached and bound to Him, by a perfect view of His glory.

And the vital union shall then be brought to perfection: the soul shall live perfectly in and upon Christ, being perfectly filled with His Spirit, and animated by His vital influences; living as it were only by Christ’s life, without any remainder of spiritual death, or carnal life. Departed souls of saints are with Christ, as they enjoy a glorious and immediate intercourse and converse with Him.

While we are present with our friends, we have opportunity for that free and immediate conversation with them, which we cannot have in absence from them. And therefore, by reason of the vastly more free, perfect and immediate intercourse with Christ, which the saints enjoy when absent from the body, they are fitly represented as present with Him.

The most intimate intercourse becomes that relation that the saints stand in to Jesus Christ: and especially becomes that most perfect and glorious union they shall be brought into with Him in heaven. They are not merely Christ’s servants, but His friends (John 15:15), His brethren and companions (Psalms 122:8); yea, they are the spouse of Christ.

They are espoused or betrothed to Christ while in the body; but when they go to heaven, they enter into the King’s palace, their marriage with Him is come, and the King brings them into His chambers indeed. They then go to dwell with Christ, constantly to enjoy the most perfect converse with Him. Christ conversed in the most friendly manner with His disciples on earth; He admitted one of them to lean on His bosom: but they are admitted much more fully and freely to converse with Him in heaven.

Though Christ be there in a state of glorious exaltation, reigning in the majesty and glory of the sovereign Lord and God of heaven and earth, angels and men. Yet this will not hinder intimacy and freedom of intercourse, but rather promote it. For He is thus exalted, not only for Himself, but for them; He is instated in this glory of head over all things for their sakes, that they might be exalted and glorified, and when they go to heaven where He is, they are exalted and glorified with Him; and shall not be kept at a more awful distance from Christ, but shall be admitted nearer, and to a greater intimacy.

For they shall be unspeakably more fit for it, and Christ in more fit circumstances to bestow on them this blessedness. Their seeing the great glory of their friend and Redeemer, will not awe them to a distance, and make them afraid of a near approach; but on the contrary, will most powerfully draw them near; and encourage and engage them to holy freedom. For they will know that it is He that is their own Redeemer, and beloved friend and bridegroom; the very same that loved them with a dying love, and redeemed them to God by His blood; Matthew 14:27, ‘It is I; be not afraid.’ Revelation 1:17–18, ‘Fear not, I am He that liveth, and was dead.’

And the nature of this glory of Christ that they shall see, will be such as will draw and encourage them, for they will not only see infinite majesty and greatness but infinite grace, condescension and mildness, and gentleness and sweetness, equal to His majesty. For he appears in heaven, not only as ‘the Lion of the tribe of Judah,’ but as ‘the Lamb,’ and ‘the Lamb in the midst of the throne’ (Revelation 5:5–6); and this Lamb in the midst of the throne shall be their shepherd, to ‘feed them, and lead them to living fountains of waters’ (Revelation 7:17) so that the sight of Christ’s great kingly majesty will be no terror to them; but will only serve the more to heighten their pleasure and surprise.

When Mary was about to embrace Christ, being full of joy at the sight of Him again alive after His crucifixion, Christ forbids her to do it, for the present because He was not yet ascended; John 20:16–17, ‘Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not: for I am not yet ascended to my Father. But go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ As if he had said, ‘This is not the time and place for that freedom, your love to me desires: that is appointed in heaven, after my ascension. I am going thither: and you that are my true disciples, shall, as my brethren and companions, soon be there with me in my glory. And then there shall be no restraint. That is the place appointed for the most perfect expressions of complacence and endearment, and full enjoyment of mutual love.’

And accordingly the souls of departed saints with Christ in heaven, shall have Christ as it were unbosomed unto them, manifesting those infinite riches of love towards them, that have been there from eternity. And they shall be enabled to express their love to Him, in an infinitely better manner than ever they could while in the body.

Thus they shall eat and drink abundantly, and 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 that light, eternally full of it, and eternally compassed round with it, and everlastingly reflecting it back again to the fountain of it.”

–Jonathan Edwards, “True Saints, When Absent From The Body, Are Present With The Lord,” in The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 25, Sermons and Discourses 1743-1758. Ed. Wilson H. Kimnach (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006), 231-233.

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“Now to this God I commend you” by George Swinnock

“Now to this God, according to my power, I have, I do, and I shall commend you, to his favour and singular affection, to His power and special protection, and to His care and universal benediction.

I cannot commend you to one so faithful; though others fall off like leaves in autumn, He will never leave you that are His, nor forsake you.

I cannot commend you to one so loving; He lived in love, He in our natures died for love. His love is like Himself, boundless and bottomless.

It is impossible to commend you to one so able; He can supply all your needs, He fill all your souls to the brim; grace is lovely in your eyes, whoever beheld it.

Glory is infinitely amiable in your judgments, whoever believed it. He can build you up, and give you an inheritance, where all the heirs are kings and queens, and you shall sit on thrones, and live and reign with Christ forever and ever.

There you shall have robes of purity on your backs, and palms of victory in your hands, and crowns of glory on your heads, and songs of triumph in your mouths.

There you may meet together to worship Him without fear, and drink freely of His sweetest, dearest favour.

There your services will be without the smallest sin, and your souls will be without the least sorrow.

If pastor and people meet there, they shall part nevermore. It is some comfort now, that though distant in places, we can meet together at the throne of grace.

But oh, what a comfort will it be to meet together in that palace of glory!

But since we must part here, ‘finally, my brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind. Live in peace and the God of love and peace shall be with you.’

‘And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance amongst all them that are sanctified.'”

–George Swinnock, “The Pastor’s Farewell,” in The Works of George Swinnock, Vol. 4 (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust reprint of the 1868 James Nichol edition, 1992), 99-100. Swinnock preached this farewell sermon to the congregation of Great Kimble, Buckinghamshire on Black Bartholomew’s Day, August 24, 1662.

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