Monday, November 3, 2014

Heaven is a World of Love

One of the things that has struck me about the differences between this life and the next is that in this life everything is mixed.  With the sweet comes the bitter.  With the joy comes the sorrow.  There is never a time on this side of Jesus' return where there is a full consummation of love and joy and peace.  It is true that our Heavenly Father often gives us glimpses of that type of consummation.  Seasons where love for God is ardent, and the fellowship with the saints is sweet, and compassion for the lost is violent.  But these are just glimpses.  There is no sustained, unbroken harmony with those experiences because of the remaining corruption in all of us.  But in heaven, all mixture disappears.  There is only a pure concentration of love, joy, peace, harmony, holiness and happiness.  We will be in the presence of God Himself. The air of that place will be a fragrance of perfect enjoyment with no mixture of envy or enmity.  There will not be the slightest feeling of discontent.  Those are things that belong to this world.  That world will have no mixture of sweet with bitter.  Only perfect sweetness, perfect harmony, and perfect love.  Jonathan Edwards in his sermon entitled "Heaven a World of Love" puts it like this...

"In heaven all things shall conspire to promote their love, and give advantage for mutual enjoyment.  There shall be none there to tempt any to dislike or hatred; no busybodies, or malicious adversaries, to make misrepresentations, or create misunderstandings, or spread abroad any evil reports, but every being and everything shall conspire to promote love, and the full enjoyment of love.  Heaven itself, the place of habitation, is a garden of pleasures, a heavenly paradise, fitted in all respects for an abode of heavenly love; a place where they may have sweet society and perfect enjoyment of each other's love.  None are unsocial or distant from each other.  The petty distinctions of this world do not draw lines in the society of heaven, but all meet in the equality of holiness and of holy love."

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