“Well done, thou good and faithful servant:… enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” Matthew 25:21
As your senses delight in the attractive loveliness of the earth, think of the world that is to come, that shall never know the blight of sin and death; where the face of nature will no more wear the shadow of the curse. Let your imagination picture the home of the saved, and remember that it will be more glorious than your brightest imagination can portray. In the varied gifts of God in nature we see but the faintest gleaming of His glory. 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.” I Corinthians 2:9
By and by the gates of heaven will be thrown open to admit God’s children, and from the lips of the King of glory the benediction will fall on their ears like richest music, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Matthew 25:34
Then the redeemed will be welcomed to the home that Jesus is preparing for them.
Then I saw Jesus lead the redeemed company to the gate of the city. He laid hold of the gate and swung it back on its glittering hinges and bade the nations that had kept the truth enter in. Within the city there was everything to feast the eye. Rich glory they beheld everywhere. Then Jesus looked upon His redeemed saints; their countenances were radiant with glory; and as He fixed His eyes upon them, He said, with His rich, musical voice, “I behold the travail of My soul, and am satisfied. This rich glory is yours to enjoy eternally. Your sorrows are ended. There shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain.”
Language is altogether too feeble to attempt a description of heaven. As the scene rises before me, I am lost in amazement. Carried away with the surpassing splendor and excellent glory, I lay down the pen, and exclaim, “Oh, what love! what wondrous love!” The most exalted language fails to describe the glory of heaven or the matchless depths of a Saviour’s love.
E. G. White, Maranatha (The Lord Is Coming) p. 319
“The Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” I Samuel 16:7
Often we regard as hopeless subjects the very ones whom Christ is drawing to Himself… Many will be in heaven who their neighbors supposed would never enter there. Man judges from appearance, but God judges the heart.
Some among the redeemed will have laid hold of Christ in the last hours of life, and in heaven instruction will be given to these, who, when they died, did not understand perfectly the plan of salvation.
To Jesus in His agony on the cross there came one gleam of comfort. It was the prayer of the penitent thief… In Jesus, bruised, mocked, and hanging upon the cross, he sees the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world. Hope is mingled with anguish in his voice as the helpless, dying soul casts himself upon a dying saviour. “Lord, remember me,” he cries, “when thou comest into thy kingdom.” Quickly the answer came… Verily I say unto thee today, Thou shalt be with Me in paradise.
Such faith may be represented by the eleventh hour laborers who receive as much reward as do those who have labored for many hours. The thief asked in faith, in penitence, in contrition. He asked in earnestness, as if he fully realized that Jesus could save him if He would.
Those whom Christ commends in the judgment may have known little of theology, but they have cherished His principles… Among the heathen are those who worship God ignorantly, those to whom the light is never brought by human instrumentality, yet they will not perish. Though ignorant of the written law of God, they have heard His voice speaking to them in nature, and have done the things that the law required. Their works are evidence that the Holy Spirit has touched their hearts, and they are recognized as the children of God.
How surprised and gladdened will be the lowly among the nations, and among the heathen, to hear from the lips of the Saviur, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me!” How glad will be the heart of Infinite Love as His followers look up with surprise and joy at His words of approval!
E. G. White, Maranatha (The Lord Is Coming) p. 320
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9
Our plans are not always God’s plans…
In His loving care and interest for us, often He who understands us better than we understand ourselves refuses to permit us selfishly to seek the gratification of our own ambition… Often our plans fail that God’s plans for us may succeed…
In the future life the mysteries that here have annoyed and disappointed us will be made plain. We shall see that our seemingly unanswered prayers and disappointed hopes have been among our greatest blessings.
We are not now sufficiently advanced in spiritual attainments to comprehend the mysteries of God. But when we shall compose the family of heaven, these mysteries will be unfolded before us…
Then much will be revealed in explanation of matters upon which God now keeps silence because we have not gathered up and appreciated that which has been made known of the eternal mysteries. They ways of Providence will be made clear; the mysteries of grace through Christ will be unfolded. That which the mind cannot now grasp, which is hard to be understood, will be explained. We shall see order in that which has seemed unexplainable; wisdom in everything withheld; goodness and gracious mercy in everything imparted. Truth will be unfolded to the mind, free from obscurity, in a single line, and its brightness will be endurable. The heart will be made to sing for joy. Controversies will be forever ended, and all difficulties will be solved.
All that has perplexed us in the providences of God will in the world to come be made plain. The things hard to be understood will then find explanation. The mysteries of grace will unfold before us. Where our finite minds discovered only confusion and broken promises, we shall see the most perfect and beautiful harmony. We shall know that infinite love ordered the experiences that seemed most trying. As we realize the tender care of Him who makes all things work together for our good, we shall rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
E. G. White, Maranatha (The Lord Is Coming) p. 321
“If any man’s work abide…he shall receive a reward.” I Corinthians 3:14
Glorious will be the reward bestowed when the faithful workers gather about the throne of God and of the Lamb. When John in his mortal state beheld the glory of God, he fell as one dead; he was not able to endure the sight. But when the children of God shall have put on immortality, they will “see him as he is.” I John 3:2 They will stand before the throne, accepted in the Beloved. All their sins have been blotted out, all their transgressions borne away. Now they can look upon the undimmed glory of the throne of God. They have been partakers with Christ in His sufferings, they have been workers together with Him in the plan of redemption, and they are partakers with Him in the joy of seeing souls saved in the kingdom of God, there to praise God through all eternity.
In that day the redeemed will shine forth in the glory of the Father and the Son. The angels, touching their golden harps, will welcome the King and His trophies of victory… A song of triumph will peal forth, filling all heaven. Christ has conquered. He enters the heavenly courts, accompanied by His redeemed ones, the witnesses that His mission of suffering and sacrifice has not been in vain…
There are homes for the pilgrims of earth. There are robes for the righteous, with crowns of glory and palms of victory. All that has perplexed us in the providences of God will in the world to come be made plain. The things hard to be understood will then find explanation. The mysteries of grace will unfold before us. Where our finite minds discovered only confusion and broken promises, we shall see the most perfect and beautiful harmony. We shall know that infinite love ordered the experiences that seemed most trying. As we realize the tender care of Him who makes all things work together for our good, we shall rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
I urge you to prepare for the coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven… Prepare for the judgment, that when Christ shall come, to be admired in all them that believe, you may be among those who will meet Him in peace.
E. G. White, Maranatha (The Lord Is Coming) p. 323
“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.” I Corinthians 2:9
Those who truly love God will desire so to improve the talents that He has given them, that they may be a blessing to others. And by and by the gates of heaven will be thrown wide open to admit them, and from the lips of the King of Glory the benediction will fall upon their ear like richest music, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Matthew 25:34 Thus the redeemed will be welcomed to the mansions that Jesus is preparing for them. There their companions will not be the vile of earth, but those who through divine aid have formed perfect characters. Every sinful tendency, every imperfection, has been removed by the blood of Christ; and the excellence and brightness of His glory, far exceeding the brightness of the sun in its meridian splendor, is imparted to them. And the moral beauty, the perfection of His character, shines through them in worth far exceeding this outward splendor. They are without fault before the great white throne, sharing the dignity and privileges of the angels.
“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.” In view of the glorious inheritance which may be his, “What shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:26 He may be poor; yet he possess in himself a wealth and dignity that the world could never bestow. The soul, redeemed and cleansed from sin, with all its noble powers dedicated to the service of God, is of surpassing worth.
To dwell forever in this home of the blest, to bear in soul, body, and spirit, not the dark traces of sin and the curse, but the perfect likeness of our Creator, and through ceaseless ages to advance in wisdom, in knowledge, and in holiness, ever exploring new fields of thought, ever finding new wonders and new glories, ever increasing in capacity to know and to enjoy and to love, and knowing that there is still beyond us joy and love and wisdom infinite–such is the object to which the Christian’s hope is pointing.
E. G. White, Maranatha (The Lord Is Coming) p. 324