“For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matt. 26:28-29).
That new wine is especially that joy and happiness that Christ and his true disciples shall partake of together in glory, which is the purchase of Christ’s blood, or the reward of his obedience unto death. Christ, at his ascension into heaven, received everlasting pleasures at his Father’s right hand, and in the enjoyment of his Father’s love, as the reward of his own death, or obedience unto death. But the same righteousness is reckoned to both head and members; and both shall have fellowship in the same reward, each according to their distinct capacity.
Half a lifetime ago now, as I was hitting golf balls at a driving range, the older man in the next booth offered me his brand-new, state-of-the-art, high-tech, large-headed driver. “Try this one, son,” he said. He insisted. I laid aside my old wooden-headed club (it cost £5 secondhand) and tried his ultramodern metal-headed version. The ball flew off the clubface and was still in the air as it flew past my earlier attempts. Suddenly, golf seemed easier, my swing so much more powerful.
I couldn’t believe it. Nor could I afford my own high-tech driver. But, I thought, this must be what the resurrection body in the state of glory is like. No longer weak, but powerful; obedience no longer a struggle against the world, the flesh, and the devil—but natural, the smooth and happy tempo of a sin-free world. If I can enjoy this new technology in a golf shot, how wonderful it will be to live in the full blaze of God’s presence.
“It is appointed unto men once to die, but after that the judgment” (Heb. 9:27). This teaches that prior to death, man’s destiny is not decided, he being not yet sentenced; but after death, his destiny is settled. When he dies, the “private judgment,” that is, the immediate personal consciousness either of penitence or impenitence, occurs. Every human spirit, in that supreme moment when it “returns to God who gave it,” knows by direct self-consciousness whether it is a child or an enemy of God, in temper and disposition; whether it is humble and contrite, or proud, hard, and impenitent; whether it welcomes or rejects the Divine mercy in Christ. The article of death is an event in human existence which strips off all disguises, and slows the person what he really is, in moral character. He “knows as he is known,” and in this flashing light passes a sentence upon himself that is accurate. This “private judgment” at death, is reaffirmed in the “general judgment” of the last day.
“The consummation of spiritual death in matter of loss, is a total and final forsaking, whereby a man is separated wholly from the face, presence, and favour of God. Mat 7.23, Depart from me. And 25.41, Go you cursed. 2 Thess. 1.9, Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction, being driven from the Face of the Lord, and the glory of his Power.”
From William Ames’ (1576-1633) “The Consummation of Death,” in Marrow of Theology, 1.16.
The following quote will strike our death-insulated, secular, consumerist age as morbid if not cruel. But as death is inescapable, we would do well to learn from a wiser generation – and all the more because their eyes were better trained to behold the great beyond. They realized that death was but the gateway into realms of everlasting happiness for the blessed and of misery for the damned. We could use a good ice-water dousing; and frankly, so could our over-stimulated children.
“Children, ’tis your Dawning time. It may be your Dying time…Go unto the Burying-places; There you will see many a Grave shorter than yourselves…Yea, you may be at play one hour; dead, dead the next.”
Q. 38.43. What is the difference between believers seeing God here, and their seeing him there? Here they have only a sight, as it were, of his back parts: but there they shall see his face, Rev 22:4; it is but a passing view they can have of him here, but there they shall eternally, without interruption, feed the eyes of their souls upon him, Ps 17:15: “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.”
“The espousals are carried on secretly; it may be the person is sitting at your side, and you do not see, nor know when Christ is making up the match; or, perhaps, on his knees at home, there is a secret transaction: but the consummation will be before millions of angels, millions of saints, and millions of spectators.”
“Todo hombre que tiene su esperanza en Cristo, se purifica a sí mismo”. 1 Juan 3: 3. Un sermón de J. C. Ryle (1816-1900)
Suponga por un momento que a usted se le permitiera entrar al cielo sin santidad. ¿Qué haría? ¿Cuál sería el disfrute que usted podría sentir allí? ¿A cuál de todos los santos usted se uniría y al lado de quién se sentaría? Sus placeres no son sus placeres, sus gustos no sus gustos, sus caracteres no son su carácter. ¿Cómo podría usted ser feliz si no ha sido santo en la tierra?
Tal vez ahora usted ama la compañía de los livianos y los descuidados, los mundanos y los codiciosos, el revoltoso y buscador de placeres, el sin dios y el profano. No habrá ninguno de ellos en el cielo.
Tal vez ahora usted piense que los santos de Dios son muy estrictos y detallistas y serios. Prefiere evitarlos. Usted no tiene complacencia en su compañía. En el cielo no habrá otro tipo de compañía. Continue reading “Una hipotética celestial”
“Every man who has his hope in Christ, purifies himself.” 1 John 3:3. A sermon by J. C. Ryle (1816-1900)
Suppose for a moment, that you were allowed to enter heaven without holiness. What would you do? What possible enjoyment could you feel there? To which of all the saints would you join yourself—and by whose side would you sit? Their pleasures are not your pleasures, their tastes are not your tastes, their character not your character. How could you possibly be happy in heaven—if you had not been holy on earth?
Now you love the company of the frivolous and careless, the worldly-minded and the covetous, the reveler and the pleasure-seeker, the ungodly and the profane. There will be none such in heaven! Now you think that the people of God are too strict and particular and serious. You rather avoid them. You have no delight in their society. But remember, there will be no other company in heaven. Continue reading “A heavenly hypothetical”