“Do You Believe in Heaven?” [Part 5 of 5]

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I believe one of the most beautiful portions in all of Scripture is 1 Timothy 1:15, where the apostle Paul says, “It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.” Now notice, how Paul blends into this one verse, our Lord’s first advent, its redemptive purpose, and our response to them. Thus, everyone who truly believes he is the greatest of sinners, trusting Christ as his only Savior (Acts 4:12), will be saved from both eternal punishment and perishing, by receiving eternal life (Matthew 25:46, “And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life”)!

So then, the guarantee of our eternal destination being heaven, was secured by Christ’s death on the cross, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). O Beloved, such eternal benefits should never be forgotten (Psalm 103:2), but should always be displayed by its recipients through their living out a working faith (James 2:17). Put another way, the child of God should so respond to saving grace that he runs with spiritual energy the celestial race to Heaven, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted (Hebrews 12:1-3).  However, we must not merely enter and run this race with endurance; but, we must run to win it, “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win” (1 Corinthians 9:24). Further, such a perspective on living the Christian life each day, knows fully well, that Christians are saved by grace alone, but not by a faith that is alone (Ephesians 2:8-10; Philippians 2:12-24). So, remember, for every great cause, there is always a great effect. Our transformed lives are this great effect (2 Corinthians 5:17)! Therefore, Ernest Kevan reminds us that the culmination of this great effect, will assuredly be Heaven itself, “Heaven will mean the realization of all the things for which man was made and the satisfaction of all the out-reachings of his heart.” Indeed, our new hearts and lives will reach full-satisfaction there! We conclude this study on “Heaven” with an appropriate quote from J. C. Ryle followed by a closing question, “Do you have a good hope of going to Heaven, a hope that is Scriptural, reasonable, and will bear investigation? Then let us not be afraid to meditate often about ‘Heaven,’ and to rejoice in the prospect of good things to come … Think, Christian reader, of seeing your Savior, and beholding your King in His beauty. Faith will be at last swallowed-up in sight and hope in certainty!” So, dear reader, are you a believer? If so, it should be your aim, each day, to see this beautiful land through its doctrinal beauty, longing to live with joyful heart preparation for tomorrow morning in public Worship, through your participation in the praises and prayers of His people; and through your reception of the reading and preaching of His Holy, inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word! For today, the Lord’s Day, should be the peak of your week -- a day emblematic of Heaven itself! -- Soli Deo Gloria!! 

 

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