(J. C. Ryle, "Having the Spirit")
"Nothing impure will ever enter it" Revelation 21:27
Heaven is the place to which all people hope to go
after they die. It would be well for many, if they
considered calmly what kind of dwelling-place
heaven is. It is the habitation of the King of kings,
who is "of purer eyes than to behold iniquity."
Heaven is a holy place. It is a place where there
shall be nothing wicked, sinful or sensual; nothing
worldly, foolish, frivolous or profane.
Let the covetous man remember—there
shall be no more money in heaven.
Let the pleasure seeker remember—there
shall be no more races, theaters, novel reading,
or parties in heaven.
Let the drunkard and the gambler, remember—
there shall be no more strong drink, no more dice,
no more betting, no more cards in heaven.
The everlasting presence of God; the perpetual
doing of God's will; the complete absence of
everything which God does not approve—these
are the chief things which shall make up heaven.
For this heaven we are all by nature utterly unfit.
We have no capacity for enjoying its happiness.
We have no taste for its blessings.
We have no eye to see its beauty.
We have no heart to feel its comforts.
Instead of freedom, we would find it bondage.
Instead of glorious liberty, we would find it constant constraint.
Instead of a splendid palace, we would find it a gloomy prison.
A fish on dry land, a sheep in the water, an eagle
in a cage—would all feel more at ease and in their
place, than an unholy man in heaven.
For this heaven it is the special office of the Holy
Spirit to prepare men's souls. He alone can change
the earthly heart, and purify the corrupt worldly
affections. He alone can bring their minds into
harmony with God, and tune them for the eternal
company of saints, and angels, and Christ. He
alone can make them . . .
love what God loves,
hate what God hates,
delight in God's presence.
Let this also be written down on the tablet of your
memory. No entrance into heaven—without the Spirit
first entering your heart upon earth! No admission into
glory in the next life—without previous sanctification in
this life! No Holy Spirit in you in this world—then no
heaven in the world to come!
You would not be fit for it!
You would not be ready for it!
You would not like it!
You would not enjoy it!
"Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic
arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the
idolaters and everyone who loves and practices
falsehood." Revelation 22:15