The Three Wonders of Heaven

C.H. Spurgeon:

You remember the story of the three wonders in heaven. The first wonder was, that we should see so many there we did not expect to see there; the second was, that we should miss so many we did expect to see there; but the third wonder would be the greatest wonder of all,—to see ourselves there.

 

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Weekend Roundup: Seven Articles for your Musings

Teaching Children About Heaven: Answering Your Child’s Questions: As any parent knows, kids ask great questions and their questions about heaven are no exception. Are you ready to answer? Wise parents help prepare their children for the deaths of loved ones and the assurance of Heaven for those who know Jesus. In this article Randy Alcorn answers 6 questions children commonly ask about heaven. I know mine have asked a couple of these before!

Top Parenting Posts: I always love at the end of the year how the blog’s I follow highlight their most popular post’s throughout the year. In this article Paul Tripp shares the top three parenting posts for this year. If you are a parent I highly recommend reading these! As Tripp reminds us: “There are few things in life as important as the shaping of a human soul, and God has ordained the parent, in the context of the family, to be the primary instrument in the process.”

Flannel Shirts and Sound Theology: What do flannel shirts have to do with sound theology? Read and find out!

Ten truths that will get you through Christmas: Todd Friel puts us on the “truth train” to help us change our attitude, emotions and feelings about being with our in-laws and other difficult people over Christmas. I thought the 6th one to be very true and often overlooked. Are you on the “truth train?”

A fair analysis of the new NIV: Did you know that in 2011 Zondervan published a new NIV? In this article Si Cochran gives some good food for thought about it.

Common English Errors in English Usage Daily: Butt naked/buck naked: Who knew?

A Functional Car Built Out of Legos: I know…this falls more in the category of “amusement” but it is too incredible to pass up. It definitely takes Lego building to a whole new level and it is powered by air!

Heaven is not your default destination

A little over a month or so ago I wrote this blogpost. In it I asked the question “If you don’t delight in God now or express praise to God now or enjoy God now why do you want to go to heaven where you will be doing that for eternity?” Well today I finished reading The Hole in our Holiness by Kevin DeYoung and he makes a very similar point about holiness and heaven:

Because God’s new world is free from every strain or hint of sin, it’s hard to imagine how we could enjoy heaven without holiness. As J.C. Ryle reminds us, heaven is a holy place. The Lord of heaven is a holy God. The angels are holy creatures. The inhabitants are holy saints. Holiness is written on everything in heaven. And nothing unholy can enter into this heaven (Rev. 21:27; Heb. 12:14). Even if you could enter heaven without holiness, what would you do? What joy would you feel there? What holy man or woman of God would you sit down with for fellowship? Their pleasures are not your pleasures. Their character is not your character. What they love, you do not love. If you dislike a holy God now, why would you want to be with him forever? If worship does not capture your attention at present, what makes you think it will thrill you in some heavenly future? If ungodliness is your delight here on earth, what will please you in heaven, where all is clean and pure? You would not be happy there if you are not holy here. Or as Spurgeon put it, ‘Sooner could a fish live upon a tree than the wicked in Paradise.’

The overall point of both the previous post I mentioned and this one is not to discourage you from wanting to go to heaven but a wake up call to help you realize above all else that heaven is not your default destination. Instead, it is hell. If God is not your delight here and now he will not be your delight in eternity. If you are not holy here and now then heaven is not your future home! The Bible says in Hebrews 12:14 – “without holiness no one will see the Lord.” I urge you to recognize that heaven is an entirely holy place and it is only those who have repented of their unrighteousness and been clothed with the holiness of Christ that will dwell there forever. How can you be clothed with the righteousness of Christ? The good news is that though all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, the righteousness of God is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe and that freely by his grace. Won’t you then believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved from sin and God’s wrath and be set free to live to the praise and glory of God?

If singing praise to God is a drag for you, then why do you want to go to heaven?

One thing is very obvious – the Bible talks a lot about singing. There are over 400 references to singing and 50 specific commands to sing in the Bible. Here is a small sampling:

  • When God created the earth, the angels “sang together, and…shouted for joy” (Job 38:7).
  • When God saved his people Israel from the Egyptian army they responded in praise (Exodus 15:1-21).
  • The Psalms, or literally, “the praises” is a collection of 150 songs of praise and worship to God.
  • David assigns Levite musicians to sing God’s praises day and night at the Temple as part of Temple worship (1 Ch. 9:33; 15:19-22).
  • Jesus sang with his disciples at the conclusion of the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 26:30).
  • Paul and Silas sang hymns to God in prison (Acts 16:25).
  • The Bible repeatedly exhorts us to be heartily involved in singing praises to our God and to teach and admonish one another by singing together to God (Colossians 3:16).
  • God himself will exult over his redeemed people with loud singing in the New Heavens and Earth (Zeph. 3:17).
  • Even now the four living creatures “day and night they never cease to say ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come” (Revelation 4:8).
  • When the Lamb takes the scroll the living creatures, twenty-four elders and myriads of myriads of angels burst forth into breathtaking praise and adoration (Revelation 5)

Thus from the beginning of creation into eternity there has been and forever will be singing to the praise and glory of God’s name. Heaven is a place overflowing in joy and praise. Why? Because it is filled with those who delight in God and you cannot help but praise what you enjoy and delight in. A heart that has been gripped by God’s grace and love cannot help but sing and boast in God. So let me ask you, if you don’t delight in God now or express praise to God now or enjoy God now or praising God is a drag to you and the thought of worshipping God forever and ever sounds terrifyingly boring – I wonder why you want to go to heaven?

In fact, let be more plain. If you don’t delight in God now or express praise to God now or enjoy God now or find praising God to be a drag and the thought of worshipping God forever and ever terrifyingly dull – you will not be in heaven. If God is not the supreme desire of your heart he will not admit you entrance for you are not fit for heaven. If praising God is dull to you, then you have not yet come to see the great work that Jesus Christ accomplished through the cross and the resurrection. You have not yet recognized your great sinfulness and God’s great love and grace in providing a Savior. Your heart has not yet been set free from the tyranny of sin and self and instead of boasting in God’s great name you scorn it.

The greatest joy is knowing God and the second greatest is making him known and what better way to do that than to sing? As Augustine said a Christian should be, “a top-to-toe hallelujah, a body-and-soul hallelujah, a muscle-and-mind hallelujah.”The Christian is a person who sings and that with all his heart, soul, mind and strength because God is worthy, beautiful and precious.

“From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the LORD is to be praised!” – Psalm 103:3