When we were growing up on the farm we had to work, probably no more than other kids of that time, but we really had to work. After 12 to 14 hours of following a mule and double shovel, plowing those hot endless rows of corn, we were literally too tired to put one foot in front of the other. When the animals were fed and watered, the barn work done, and a dip in the pond to clean up, we dragged ourselves to the supper table for a good meal. I often don’t remember what the meal consisted of, but I do remember that sweet feel of a soft fresh bed engulfing my tired aching body, to prepare for another long hard day on the morrow.
Maybe because of our understanding, the need for physical rest, heaven is often described in the Holy Writ, as a rest. Hebrews 4:9 says, “There remains therefor a rest to the people of God.” The aged John wrote from his banishment on the isle of Patmos, in the Aegean Sea, “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write. Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord, from henceforth: Yea saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors and their works do follow them.” (Rev. 14:13) Shortly before my grandmother passed from this earth, she told me that her body was worn out, she was tired and ready to go home and rest. Only now am I beginning to truly understand that she meant by rest, the heavenly abode of her eternal soul.
We, as Christians, must always strive to prepare for that new and better place known as heaven, least we fall short from unbelief. (Heb. 4:11) Knowing that we have in heaven a better and enduring substance that we must patiently wait for after we have done the will of God, that we might receive that promise. We must never draw back from the faith that Jesus promised to come and He will come. (Heb. 10:34-39) Knowing that nothing on this earth is permanent or lasting, then we must earnestly contend for the new Jerusalem, that lies beyond this earthly realm. (Heb. 13:14) God has so graciously given us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue. If we remain diligent in these precious gifts, then our calling and election is sure and we can never fall from the promise of entrance into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. (II Peter 1:3-11)
The new Jerusalem, glimpsed by John, will be a city unlike any city that ever existed on this earth. Heaven will be a city filled with holiness, not the crime and corruption of earthly cities. John depicted heaven as a “Bride adorned for her husband.” (Rev. 21:2) I think we can all relate to this analogy of the beauty of a bride eloquently dressed for her wedding day. Of all the beauty and holiness of heaven described in Revelation, chapters 21 and 22 , there are many things that will not be in heaven. Tears are the common lot of humanity as we live on this earth with sin, sickness, sorrow, pain, and death. Since heaven contains no sin, no sorrow, no sickness, no pain, and no death, therefor God will wipe away all tears from the inhabitants of that eternal realm. (Rev. 21:4) To be able to enter in at the gates of that great city and inherit a crown of eternal life, we must do His commandments and be faithful until death. (Rev. 2:10, 22:14)
Any description of heaven would be totally incomplete if we fail to mention our eternal fellowship with the Holy Inhabitants of that great city. Christians are the family of the Father and a home is not a home unless the family is together. Heaven will afford an eternity of uninterrupted fellowship with our Jehovah God. We know too that Jesus our Savior will be there, for he promised to prepare a place for us in the Father’s house and to come to receive us to himself so we may be together forever.(John 14:2-3) The eternal heavenly kingdom will allow the temporary to be swallowed up permanently in a union with the Savior who willingly died that horrible death on the cross of Calvary to atone for our sins, showing us the one way, through him, to the Father. Being in heaven also means being with the Divine Spirit of truth whose role in human redemption is so vitally important in God’s plan of salvation. This eternal fellowship of the Godhead, the angels, and the redeemed souls of saints from all ages, is more than our mortal minds can hope to comprehend, but I think we all yearn to be a part of that great scene, someday.
We invite all who would, to come together with us each Sunday morning at Kedron on the Coopertown Road, Russellville, Kentucky, to worship God in spirit and in truth. We neither add to God’s word or take from it. Bible study at 10 a.m. and Worship at 11 a.m.