(James Smith, "Heaven!" 1858)
"You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand!" Psalm 16:11
HEAVEN! What is it?
It is . . .
the Savior's home,
our Father's house,
a paradise of pleasure,
a temple of worship, and
the residence of perfect purity and peace!
There . . .
God unveils His glory,
the Savior exhibits His charms,
the angels perform their service, and
the saints are entirely happy with their God.
In Heaven . . .
sin is banished,
holiness is perfected,
life is a continual feast, and
mortality is swallowed up in life!
From Heaven . . .
all pain is banished,
all enemies are excluded, and
all causes of sorrow are shut out!
In Heaven . . .
all our prayers are answered,
all our desires are gratified, and
all our needs are supplied.
There is no weeping, wailing, or wishing there.
In Heaven . . .
our knowledge will be perfect,
our happiness will be abiding,
our pleasures will be ever new.
In Heaven we shall . . .
be with Jesus, and
be like Jesus, forever!
HEAVEN! Who are there?
All tried and tempted followers of Jesus are there.
All doubting and fearing disciples of Jesus are there.
All poor and despised believers are there.
Multitudes, who felt totally unworthy of such glory, and feared they would never reach the place — are there.
All who were chosen by the Father,
all who were redeemed by the Son, and
all who were sanctified by the Holy Spirit — are there.
HEAVEN! What do they enjoy there? Who can answer this question — but one who has been there; and he would need a new language to state, and new figures to represent the enjoyments of Heaven. They enjoy rest from their pains — and a full supply of all their needs. They enjoy perfect satisfaction, a fullness of joy, and pleasure forevermore. They see all that they believed, realize all that they hoped for, and possess all that they loved. They have . . .
health — without sickness;
pleasure — without pain;
and holiness — without sin.
Every sense is gratified, every power is pleasurably employed — and they are perfectly and perpetually happy!
O Heaven, in you there is . . .
no tempting devil,
no ensnaring world,
no indwelling corruption,
no doubts, fears, or misgivings!
And best of all, there is no sin!
O Heaven, in you I shall see my God, possess my Savior, and enjoy the fullness of the Holy Spirit! O my God, in Heaven I shall be satisfied — for I shall be with You, serving and enjoying You without weariness or cessation!
HEAVEN! Who will yet get to Heaven? Who? Ah, perhaps many we little think of! We shall miss many whom we expected to find there — and find many whom we never expected would reach that glorious place!
Who will go to Heaven? That poor man who is striving against sin, mourning over corruption, and loathing himself before God. That poor woman, who sighs because she sins, pants for perfect holiness, and clings to the cross of Jesus. Do you see that poor soul on his knees, confessing his transgressions, pleading for pardon, and seeking grace to sanctify his nature — he will go to Heaven. Do you see that lowly Christian, who is visiting the sick, pointing sufferers to the cross, and trying to alleviate human woe, out of love to Jesus — he will go to Heaven. Do you see that Sunday School teacher, who, after a hard week's work, is regularly in his class, speaking loving words, in tender tones, to win the little ones for the Savior — he will go to Heaven. Do you see that preacher who exalts Christ in his ministry, honors the gospel in his life, and travails in birth for souls — he will go to Heaven.
Heaven will be peopled by all who believe in Jesus, love the brethren, and worship God in Spirit and in truth. There will be a numberless multitude there — all deeply indebted to free mercy, washed in the Savior's blood, and sanctified by the Spirit's grace!
Reader, there is a way — but only one way to Heaven! Only those found in that way will ever reach it! You yourself, may be within an hour or two of either Heaven or Hell — do you know which? If called away suddenly — to which would you go? You have a Heaven to obtain, or a Hell to endure — to all eternity! Which shall it be? O that you were wise, that you properly realized this, that you would consider your latter end!
Heaven with all its glories — or Hell with all its horrors — must be your eternal portion! If you despise the Savior, make light of the Gospel, and neglect God's great salvation — then Hell, an eternal Hell, with all its unspeakable horrors — is your portion!
"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined — what God has prepared for those who love Him!" 1 Corinthians 2:9