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No Eye Has Seen!
A Wonderful Song!
John Walvoord on Heaven
The Best Is Yet to Come
Imagine with me for a moment the most beautiful scene that you have ever experienced on this earth. Maybe the grandeur of the ocean, or the sun coming up and revealing a majestic mountain range.
How about the first time you saw your spouse, and how it made your heart race. You thought that nothing could compare with this experience, except maybe, if you're the groom, when you saw your lovely bride coming down the isle to be united with you in marriage. You thought to yourself how blessed you were that such a beautiful person would consent to spend the rest of her life with you.
And surely nothing can compare with the first time you ever laid eyes on your child and the moment you held him or her in your arms. How tiny, how sweet, and how perfect this infant seemed!
And yet, we see in Scripture that no matter what beauty and wonder we can experience in a lifetime on this earth, it is absolutely nothing compared to that which we will one day see when we spend just one moment in Heaven as God's children.
I. You Haven't Seen Anything Yet!
The Apostle Paul, in I Corinthians 2:9 tells us:
"But 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."
I look at the universe that God has created and am in awe of Him who made it with a word from His mouth. And yet this passage of Scripture proclaims to us: "If you think what you have seen is wonderful, just wait. You haven't seen anything yet. The best is yet to come!
The earth that we live in is not the perfect world that God created. It is marred by sin and decay. None of us can imagine a world completely free from poverty, disease and death. We cannot conceive a world in which there is perfect harmony, or where there is no need to lock up possessions for fear of theft. There is coming a world where there is no need of law enforcement to keep criminals from harming us. Sin and its effects will be no more.
I love the way the Apostle John in the book of Revelation talks about the New Heaven and New Earth:
"Then I saw a New Heaven and a New Earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city New Jerusalem coming down out of Heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying: "Behold the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them. And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death. There will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain. The first things have passed away.
And He who sits on the throne said: "Behold I am making all things new." And He said: "Write, for these words are faithful and true." Then He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God, and he will be my son...." (21:1-7).
When Jesus returns and accomplishes these things, it will truly be a magnificent time!
II. Heaven Means the Presence of God
But there is something more we need to notice here in this passage. We look at verses like Revelation 21:1-7 and gloss over the most important fact about Heaven. It means that we will dwell in the very presence of God for eternity. Hell, among all of the horrors that it represents, is an eternal separation from the presence of our Lord and Savior.
Jesus told his disciples in John 14:1-3 that He was going to prepare a place for His people, and that He would come again and receive us unto himself. He lets the disciples know that where He is, we would be also.
Man was created to have eternal fellowship with his creator, and cannot be satisfied with anything less. We were made in His image. Though we are still in that image, sin has marred what we could and should be. However, Jesus' death and resurrection has made it possible for us to be like Him again. We see another aspect of John's view of eternity in I John 3:2. He tells us:
"Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is."
There is a famous passage from St. Augustine's Confessions in which he states "You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you." Even in the finest days on this earth there is, at times, a dull ache telling us that something is missing. That something is actually a Someone, and that will be completely remedied when we see Him in all of His splendor and glory. Then we will truly know life as it should have been all along.
As we contemplate the joys and beauty of our Heavenly home, we can't help but get a little homesick for it. We are merely pilgrims on a journey to the Celestial City and there are many hardships along the way. However, as one Christian song tells us: "It will be worth it all, when we see Jesus." No amount of heartache or suffering we experience on this earth can even compare with the glory that we will one day experience in Heaven (Romans 8:18,19). With these things in mind, let us remain faithful until the end, to only One worth serving. For, in the end, the rewards for that service are truly out of this world!