January 25, 2014.
Last night I had a dream where I was at my house with some friends from the CSC (you know how settings get all mixed up in dreams), and we were hanging out in my driveway. The neighbors had a group of people over and they got into a circle and started singing “No Tears in Heaven.” Before I knew it, we had all joined in and were singing it with all of our energy, reaching an immense sense of joy that I have seldom experienced before in my life. I remember shedding some tears and thinking “there’ll be no tears in heaven, except maybe this kind of tears.”
“No tears (in heaven fair)
No tears, no tears up there,
Sorrow and pain will all have flown;
No tears (in heaven fair)
No tears, no tears up there;
No tears in heaven will be known.”
What a wonderful thought! I can’t tell you have many times I have sung this hymn but not listened intently to the words. There will be an end to all sadness, all pain and all suffering. There will be no sorrow, no death. All will be made new. This is very powerful to me, as we live in a broken world full of such. Some people cannot come to the belief in God because of all the pain and suffering in the world; I am asking now, what if, and this may be speculation on my part, but what if pain and suffering is allowed so that when we get to a land where these two no longer exist, we will know they true joy of not having them anymore? If we never knew pain, how would we be pleased not to have it any longer? (There are other reasons I think pain exists too, but I’ll save that for later.)
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.””
It is an interesting study to dive into what the bible actually says about the heaven, the new earth and where we will be in the resurrection, but suffice it to say here, wherever we are, we will be immensely happy. I don’t know how often we really think about that land where we will walk with our Creator, fellowship continually with the family of God and be in his presence forever. We talk about heave, think it will be wonderful to go there, but how often do we imagine it (not that our feeble minds could come close to its true splendor)? You may think this is a silly exercise, but I believe this is what gave the early church hope. A promise of a better land with the one and only supreme Ruler.
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.”
Paul certainly had his eye fixed on the prize. I think we should too. Here’s the beauty, though: I believe if we focused more on the wonderful, inexplicable joy we will some day enter into, we could not but help to share that with the world. There are so many people out there that have not heard this good news, or have not accepted this good news. This should make our hearts sad. We should spread the gospel not out of guilt, but out of our longing to give people the wonderful gift that we have been given! Heaven will be big enough for all, so why would we not gather as many people in as possible? I think this is one of Paul’s final appeals to Timothy as he is facing his death on this earth:
“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come.I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.”
(II Timothy 4:6-8)
Lt us spread this good news and welcome as many people in to the joy of our master. This is our job– but perhaps more importantly– this is our opportunity. We love to give people good news in a worldly sense; why do we change our attitude when it comes to salvation?
Suggested Daily Reading: Isaiah 25, Revelation 7, 21, 22
The Lord give you his joy.