There will be no Baptists in heaven, no Pentecostals, no Presbyterians, no Anglicans, no Catholics, no Methodists. All man given labels will be left outside, and only those who have had their sins cleansed away and forgiven by Jesus Christ will be admited.
Spurgeon said "When a mortal man speaks anything of that eternal blessedness of the saints in glory, he is like a blind man discoursing about the light which he has never seen, and so cannot distinctly speak anything concerning it. He also said that "In a way it is akin to a man writing a travel guide for a land he has never visited or seen. It is to attempt to describe the indescribable with words which cannot come close to expressing the glory of heaven." I Cor. 2:9 says "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him"
Together you and I are going to be spending a few more Sundays looking at various scriptures which give us glimpses of Heaven.
Last week we examined II Cor. 5:1-5 and were reassured that in Heaven we who go there will have new bodies. Eternal, imperishable, made by God, glorious bodies. The ground of our confidence? The indwelling Holy Spirit who testifies to our hearts that we are the children of God.
In v.6 Paul says "Therefore we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord"
"Therefore" Q What's it there for?
-links the upcoming verse to the previous discussion. Little summary statement that reminds us of the important things just taught or communicated.
The ground of our confidence that in Heaven we are going to get new bodies is the indwelling Holy Spirit. At the moment of conversion the Holy Spirit takes up residence in our bodies (He empowers us, gifts us, gives us the desire to be holy and like Christ, convicts us, brings to our remembrance the words of scripture that we have taken in, testifies to our hearts that we belong to God. Our possession of the Holy Spirit is God's guarantee to us that we have a relationship with God and that we will have new bodies in Heaven.
Then Paul moves forward, assured of getting a new body, to the topic of desiring to be with Jesus.
A book written a number of years ago by Paul Smith called "The country I love best" In the preface told of how he would often travel to speak in other countries of the world. While appreciating the sights and enjoying the people of the countries he was in it was always inevitable that homesickness would set in. He would long to be back in our fair country. The country of Canada. The country of his birth. The country where his citizenship was held. The country where there are rolling hills, high mountains, plains, glaciers, lakes beyond number and 4 seasons. His point. For those who have called upon the name of Jesus as Savior and Lord. For those whose sins have been forgiven and washed away by Christ. Whose sins are remembered no more. There homeland is heaven. There citizenship is in heaven. We ought to long to be in that sweet home that is being prepared for us. We are citizens of the King. Our home is Heaven and hence that is where our affections and thoughts!
are to be set. Currently we are out of our real country. We are abroad
Paul says as long as we are here in the body we away from the Lord. In verse 8 he says "we are confident, yes well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord"
Listen to Paul's words from Phil. 1:21-26 "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the 2: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me."
Paul really wanted to go and be with Jesus. And why not? Consider Psalm 16:11 "In thy presence is fullness of joy; in thy right hand there are pleasures forever"
Those who are the children of God long to be where they will sin no more. Those who are the children of God long to be free from the temptations of the devil. Those who are the children of God long to be free from the consequences of sin. Those who are the children of God long to see Christ face to face. I John 3:2 says "we shall see him as he is". Not only will we see Jesus face to face, but we shall walk with him and talk with him, enjoying full fellowship with him.