THE AGED CHRISTIAN IN HEAVEN
A twelfth letter to an elderly person
What is Heaven? Where is it? We know not. And there are many more questions we should like to ask about it, but they cannot be answered. This, however, we know – that Heaven is a holy place, a happy place, an eternal resting-place, the abode of God Himself.
It will be a Holy Place. The Word of God says, ‘There shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth’. No unpardoned one shall be there; no Christless souls; none with unchanged hearts.
This world is under a curse. Sin spoils all our actions. But there will be “no more curse” in heaven. We shall be as holy as the angels. We shall be like the Saviour. “Beloved (says the apostle John), now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be:
but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him.”
Heaven will be a happy place too. Where there is holiness there must be happiness. When is it that we enjoy the most peace here? Is it not when we are living nearest to God – doing His will, and following Him faithfully? Think then how great will be our bliss in heaven, when we shall be holy as He is holy.
There will be nothing to interfere with our joy then. One would think that our happiness would be spoilt by the absence of some whom we loved here on earth, and who will not be there to share our heaven with us. But no; in some way God will prevent even this from grieving us. So long as He is glorified we shall be content. Our song will be, ‘Just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints’.
I hope you can feel that you have many happy moments now. But
every moment will be happy in heaven. Now it is only chequered .happiness; sorrow will creep in. But then it will be perfect and unmixed. Now you feel peace when you think of Jesus and what He has done for you; and when your cold heart is warmed with His love,
you are happy. But then your heart will be filled full of His love, and
your cup of joy will run over.
Heaven is an Everlasting Resting-Place. What a world of toil and trial this is! Perhaps you have had to work hard all your life, and eat your bread with labour. Perhaps you have also lived hard, and often found a difficulty in getting enough. You have met with many a trial too in your day, and this has left its mark on your care-worn brow. But there will be an end of all this in heaven. It has been said, ‘Earth for toil; heaven for repose’. There the weary rest. The tired limbs will ache no more. The tear will not again trickle down your cheek. There will be no more strife and confusion. We shall be no more tossed about on the troublesome waves of this world. All will be rest.
But it will not be a rest of sloth and idleness, there would be no happiness in that. We shall all serve God day and night. The angels serve Him now; it is their greatest joy to be employed for Him. And so it will be with us. To do His will, will be our constant employment, and to sing His praises our constant delight. We shall not rest day nor night saying, ‘Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty’.
Heaven is the Dwelling-place of God Himself. We shall be with Him. We shall spend eternity in His presence. What an honour! What blessedness! If we have any dear friend on earth whom we specially love, are we not very happy in his company? What will it be to be near our Lord – to see Him, and be with Him, for ever? “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them:’
This, dear friend, is the prospect before you. Why should you grieve then that your earthly house is tottering and giving way, when you have such a house as this in store for you? Oh, be of good courage. A few more days in this weary world, and then a Home of joy for ever!
Is this Home yours? I hope it is. Jesus has prepared it for you. But remember, you need to be prepared for it. You need to have every sin washed away in your Saviour’s blood. You have an evil, wicked heart; ask God to take it away, and to give you a new, and clean heart. Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you, to enlighten you, to show Christ to you, and to make you every day more and more like your Saviour. Ask Him to bend your will to His.
Perhaps my letter will be read by someone who may have been travelling all his long life towards hell. He may have followed his own ways, and despised the ways of God. He may have loved sin, and rejected a Saviour. And now he has come to the brink of eternity; and all before him is dark and hopeless.
O sinner, I tremble for you. It is written, ‘The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the people that forget God’. ‘The wages of
sin is death.’ What is to become of you? You will soon die. And what then? What is there after death? There is the awful judgement; ‘the great white throne’; and all gathered before it, and you among the number. The books will be opened, and your sins all written there! And then the sentence – the just and righteous sentence! “Who shall stand when He appeareth?” “Who shall dwell with everlasting burnings? ”
Your case is bad, very bad. Shall I say that it is utterly hopeless? No, I dare not say so. I have seen on a dark gloomy day, when almost the whole heavens have been covered with a thick mantle of clouds -I have seen a little speck of light in the distant sky, which has given me hope. And if you open God’s Word, you may see a little bright opening of hope ever nigh. There is a whisper from heaven to you, more welcome than the gleam of sunshine, which says, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” You have greatly sinned. You have done much to shut yourself out from God’s mercy. But He has followed you in all your wanderings. He is ready to win you back. He calls to you in words of love and tenderness. Ah, and He seems now once more to hold the door of mercy open. He seems to say to you, ‘Why will ye die?’He can pardon even now. Think of the cross. Throw yourself down, as it were, before it. Look there for mercy, and you may yet find it. Yes, you are late, very late; but your day of grace may not yet be past. You may seek Christ, and find Him even now. “Today, if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts.”
But if, on the other hand, you are a true servant of Christ, though you feel yourself unworthy to be called His – if, as you have grown in years, you have gone on loving and serving Him more and more -then you may think of death without alarm – and what is more, you may think of the bright and happy Home Beyond.
Is there not something very sweet in those words, ‘My Home’? Happy the hard-working man who, when evening comes, has a home to return to! Happy the prisoner who, when his day of liberty arrives, has a home to receive him! Happy the traveller, who journeys on with the cheering prospect that he getting nearer home! But still more happy the Christian, whether rich or poor, who, after a long life in this changing world, has a sure and certain hope that he is daily and hourly drawing near to his Heavenly Home! And how sweet the thought of entering that Home, never more to leave it! How blessed when all our trials and all our journeyings are over, to enjoy that rest which remaineth to the people of God!
And now, dear friend, I bid you farewell. If I have said one word that has helped you on your way – if you have learned a single truth
from my letters – if I have given a little spur to your faith, or kindled a spark of love in your soul -if, in short, you are in any way the better for having read what I have written – to God be all the praise! We shall both give it to Him throughout eternity.
May you and I, unworthy as we are, be numbered among God’s blood-bought family – among the Saviour’s friends! And may we hereafter sit down together in the kingdom of our Father!