“Heaven will surely be worth it all,” we often sing lifting heart and soul above the fray of burdens, toils, and cares of this world. Songs most requested in my experience of leading singing have been those beautiful hymns of heaven and home. The Bible gives few pictures of the place of promised rest, and only Paul (II Cor. 12:1-6) and John (Rev. 21-22) actually got a glimpse of glory.
A new heaven and new earth are promised (Rev. 21:1; I Cor. 2:9). The former is passed away. The beautiful picture drawn is of a new and glorious place of the saved (Heb. 11:10; 12:22). A place where all is at its best, as a bride adorned for her husband (Rev. 21:2); a new home for the bride of Christ (Eph. 5:22-32). The hope of overcoming (Rev. 3:21) realized in a place mortal words cannot adequately describe.
A new relationship with God (II Pet. 3:13)—no longer separated by a veil, the saved shall be in His presence (Rev. 21:3). The Kingdom of earth delivered to the Father (I Cor. 15:24). “God Himself shall be with them,” no temple needed (Rev. 21:22), and the verse that ironically often brings tears to our eyes: “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Rev. 21:4). The comfort of a loving Father is there to say everything is going to be alright, you’ve made it home, calling on life experiences with earthly fathers who have comforted as only a father can in time of pain and anguish. The beautiful hymn reminds: “when we reach that home and lay our burden down, God shall wipe away all tears.” What a picture! What relief!
A new association is there (Rev. 21:27); saved surround by the saved—overcoming ones surrounded by those victorious saints who have overcome the world (Rev. 21:7). No more disobedient, divisive, destructive sinners to burden you. No more dread of what might be, all of that was left behind on earth. The perfected love of I Corinthians 13 finally realized. The chosen of God (Rev. 20:12-15) will surround you. Those washed in the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 7:14), who were in Christ (Rev. 14:13), the doers of His commandments (Rev. 22:14). Won’t it be wonderful there?
A new schedule is there—timeless in nature (Rev. 22:5). Saved ones will have moved from the finite of this world to the everlasting of God’s world (Matt. 25:46)—eternity. Neither waiting for the sun to rise, nor dread of it going down. The glory of God is the light of that beautiful city (Rev. 21:23), and the saved move with no ending of day or looming end of life. Can you imagine it?
Given the glimpse of glory, why would we trouble ourselves with the things of this world, the foolish jealousies, envyings and selfishness, self-righteous notions of this life when all these things shall be burned up (II Pet. 3:10-12)? The God of Glory has given a peek, more than enough to encourage faithful service to Him. Let’s help each other get there, and rejoice together in eternity.
Northeast Church of Christ bulletin August 20, 2023