The Believers Present and Future
James Smith, 1861
"God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." Revelation 21:4
The sufferings of the true Christian in the present world, are often severe and long continued. But however severe they may be, or however long they may last — they must soon end; for the Lord Jesus is coming to introduce a glorious state of things, when paradise will be restored, and among other privileges which will be conferred on the Lord's people, "God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." Look at,
The Believer's Present Experience.He weeps, weeps often, and at times weeps much. How much he has to weep for, and how many things he has to weep over.
He weeps on account of SIN. The sins of his past life — sins committed in ignorance, before the Lord called him by his grace. The sin that dwells in him, and mixes with all he does. The sins he commits daily, in thought, word, and deed. He wishes to be perfectly holy — but he feels impure. He wishes to do all that God commands him — but how many duties he forgets or neglects. He wishes to do everything as God requires it to be done, but all that he does is imperfect and mixed with sin. He appears to himself at times to be nothing but a mass of impurities and defects — and this makes him weep!
He weeps on account of UNSATISFIED DESIRES. He desires to be just like Jesus, to live only and wholly for the Lord, to glorify God in his body, soul, and spirit, everywhere, and every moment of his life. He desires to exercise strong confidence in God, to enjoy the full assurance of his interest in Christ, and to live in close, intimate, and sensible communion with the Most High God. He desires to do much for Christ, to be just like Christ, and to bring many souls to Christ. But his wishes are thwarted, his desires are not at present fulfilled, and over this he weeps.
He weeps also on account of many painful DISAPPOINTMENTS which he meets with. Friends and relations disappoint him. The Church of God disappoints him. The dispensations of divine providence disappoint him. The state of his heart, and his own inward experience disappoint him. His way and walk to glory disappoint him. The failure of many of his plans and efforts disappoints him. Indeed so many, so various, and so frequent, are his disappointments — that he cannot but weep over them.
Then the AFFLICTIVE DISPENSATIONS of divine providence make him weep. Such trials in business. Such pain and weakness of body. The loss of so many friends by death and otherwise. The changeableness of creatures. So many losses and crosses. Then the last dying pangs.
All these things draw tears from the believer's eyes! In
a word, what, between . . .
the craft, cruelty, and opposition of Satan;
the power and prevalence of sin;
the mysterious dispensations of divine providence;
the changes experienced within and without; and
the constant working of unbelief in the soul
— it is no wonder that the believer weeps!
But if he weeps now, he will not weep always; let us therefore glance at,
The Believer's Glorious Prospect."God shall wipe away all tears from his eyes."
This will be done — by answering his prayers for deliverance. He shall be delivered from the burden of the flesh, from the conflict within, from temptations without. In a word, from all sin — the cause of sorrow, and from everything that afflicts the body, or distresses the mind.
This will be done — by satisfying his most enlarged desires. He shall see God, be with God, and be like God. He shall be freed from sin — and filled with holiness. He shall be delivered from fears — and be full of joy. He shall be surrounded with glory — and enjoy the pleasures which are at God's right hand for evermore. Whatever holy things he desired or longed for below — shall be conferred on him; so that he will have no losses to weep over, no objects of desire to weep for. He will he full — filled with all the fullness of God. Weeping therefore will be impossible — and sorrow and sighing will flee away!
God's people now weep . . .
as penitents over sin,
as parents over their families,
as patriots over their country,
as Protestants, because of the existence and power of popery,
as professors of Christ, because their Lord is so dishonored.
O how much they see which wrings their hearts, and draws tears from their eyes! But the weeping believer may take comfort, for he shall not weep always, nor shall he weep long. Soon, and it may be very soon — God shall wipe away all tears from his eyes!
The laughing, merry, careless sinner, has great reason to
weep, living as he does — at enmity with God, walking as he
does — after the course of this evil world, he will shed tears enough at
last. Unless he is brought to shed the tears of penitence now — he
will have tears of bitter anguish and black despair, forever! Sinner, you
will weep perhaps when it is too late — then you will . . .
weep without pity,
weep without cessation,
weep without relief,