What a Day of Rejoicing that will be!

file-21-12-2016-2-57-21-pm

“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:51-57).

Introduction

Wherever we go, especially if we walk in the countryside or the local park, we cannot but be impressed by the wonderful blessings God has given us in nature. Even in a world tainted and scarred by the ugliness of sin, the glories of creation are clearly seen. “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard” (Psalm 19:1-3). The earth is a wonderful place to live on, but what must Heaven be like!

Heaven is beautiful

The prophets and apostles found it difficult to describe what Heaven is like, so used symbolism to convey what they saw in their visions. The apostle Paul writes, “It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter” (2 Corinthians 12:1-4). In fact the Bible does not go out of its way to reveal the fullness of the glories of Heaven. How can any human language describe the wonders of God’s Heavenly Kingdom? “As it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). Though we are trilled by the descriptions given to us in Scripture, at best “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).

The Bible tells us that in the Kingdom of Heaven there are mansions prepared for those who believe and follow Him (John 14:2) and situated on golden avenues (Revelation 21:21). The book of Revelation only describes the beauties of the New Jerusalem, the New Heavens and the New Earth, so how much more glorious must Heaven be!

Heaven is glorious

While no human words can adequately relate what Heaven is like, we can be sure that it is a place of eternal rest from our human frailties. “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” (Revelation 21:4). The instant we come into the presence of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we will forget all those tears, sicknesses, pains and disappointments we have endured through this life. “And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:49-52) … “Beloved, 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; for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2).

Such a wonderful physical transformation in Heaven is only available to those who have been spiritually transformed through the blood of Christ on earth. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Somehow we will be given bodies like our Lord’s, for He will “change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body” (Philippians 3:21).

Heaven is wonderful

Why is Heaven wonderful? It is wonderful because Jesus is there! “His name is Wonderful …” (Isaiah 9:6). While we are delighted that Heaven is a place of beauty and glory, that there will be freedom from life’s miseries, it would not be Heaven if Jesus were not there. He promised to take us to where He is. “I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:3). He will give us a wonderful welcome into the Kingdom. “Enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matthew 25:21). He has a crown ready for us too. “I will give thee a crown of life” (Revelation 2:10).

Scripture teaches us that Jesus “after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God” (Hebrews 10:12), yet He personally stands to welcome His saints into His presence. Stephen, at the point of death, said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God” (Acts 7:56). Is it not a wonderful thought that the One we must bow our knee to in worship (Romans 14:11) will graciously arise from His throne as we appear before Him! It is too wonderful for words!

Conclusion

As we look upon the bountiful blessings God has provided us with in this world, let us take time to look away from what we see around us and try to catch sight of the beauty, glory and wonders of Heaven. This earth, though perfectly created by God (Genesis 1:31) is in reality only a dim reflection of what He created in Heaven. One day soon we will be feasting at the table Christ has prepared for us. “Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Revelation 19:9).

When we all get to Heaven,
What a day of rejoicing that will be!
When we all see Jesus,
We’ll sing and shout the victory!

BACK