All these things shall have no place in Heaven!
(J.C. Ryle, "Shall We Know One Another in Heaven?" 1870)
I pity that man who never thinks about Heaven. I mean by "Heaven" the future dwelling-place of all true Christians, when the dead are raised, and the world has passed away. Cold and unfeeling must that heart be, which never gives a thought to that dwelling-place! Dull and earthly must that mind be, which never considers Heaven.
We may die any day. "In the midst of life, we are in death." We must all die sooner or later. The youngest, the fairest, the strongest, the cleverest--all must go down one day before the scythe of the King of Terrors. This world shall not go on for ever as it does now. Its affairs shall at last be wound up.
Now, what will Heaven be like? The question, no doubt, is a deep one, but there is nothing presumptuous in looking at it. The man who is about to sail for Australia or New Zealand as a settler, is naturally anxious to know something about his future home, its climate, its employments, its inhabitants, its ways, and its customs. All of these are subjects of deep interest to him.
In the same way, you are leaving the land of your nativity--and you are going to spend the rest of your life in a new world. It would be strange indeed if you did not desire information about your new abode.
Now surely, if we hope to dwell for ever in that "better country, even a heavenly one"--then we ought to seek all the knowledge we can get about it. Before we go to our eternal home--we should try to become acquainted with it.
Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people.
All who are found there, will be of one mind and of one experience:
chosen by the same Father,
washed in the same blood of atonement,
and renewed by the same Spirit.
Universal and perfect holiness, love, and knowledge--will be the eternal law of the kingdom.
Heaven is the eternal presence of everything that can make a saint happy--and the eternal absence of everything that can cause sorrow. Sickness, and pain, and disease, and death, and wickedness, and poverty, and labor, and money, and care, and ignorance, and misunderstanding, and slander, and lying, and quarrels, and envies, and bad tempers, and infidelity, and superstition, and heresy, and schism, and wars, and fightings, and bloodshed, and murders, and law-suits--all, all these things shall have no place in Heaven! On earth, in this present time, they may live and flourish. In Heaven even their footprints shall not be known.
"Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; He will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes!" Revelation 7:16-17