Pastoral Chat Calendar

10 September 2017

My dear readers,
(Extracts from “HEAVEN – a place, a city, a home” by E M Bounds in RPG March 1992, Edited by Dr SH Tow)

1. HEAVEN IS A HAPPY STATE TO COME (1 Corinthians 2:1-10; 15:50-58)

When we get to Heaven we shall find to our unspeakable amazement that God has endowed us with a new body and a new state, befitting our new abode in our Father’s Home.

a) A body incorruptible and immortal. The Apostle Paul gives a splendid description: “Behold, I shew you a mystery ... we shall all be changed, In a moment ... this corruptible must put on incorruption, and, this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Cor 15:51-53). The Apostle John says: “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him ...” (1 Jn 3:2).

b) A body for ever freed from sin. In this present state, we are not yet delivered from the body of this death (Rom 7:24) and sin will be as a “thorn in the side”. Paul’s experience of an ongoing inner conflict (Rom 7:14-24), which is ours as well, will be a thing of the past. No longer prone to fall into sin, we shall be wholly devoted only to God, a willing servant for ever and ever.

c) The former things are passed away. The habits and practices of earth, its struggles and sorrows, its sicknesses and death - all these will forever be excluded, kept out of the Holy City. “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” (Rev 21:4). The supreme joy and delight of Heaven will be God’s own presence. “God himself shall be with them, and be their God” (Rev 21:3)

d) Our knowledge will be perfected. In Heaven, a marvellous transformation in our intellect and understanding will take place. “Now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as I am known” (1 Cor 13:12). Perplexities and mysteries of earth will give way to knowledge. No more shall we be in the dark. With these amazing prospects on the way, should we not go forth to spread the Gospel message? “In Christ an endless hope in Heaven; without Christ a hopeless end in hell.”

PRAYER: Thank you Lord for making me fit for Heaven.

2. HEAVEN HAS ROOM FOR ALL (Luke 16:19-31)

God’s Heaven has room for all: the Gospel offer is freely given: “Whosoever will may come.” But not all will gain Heaven, for not all will accept the terms and conditions of God’s offer. Consider John 3:16, that best known verse: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Men seek to gain Heaven on their own terms. Men want a place in God’s House, but they have no place for God’s Son, the only Saviour of the world. Men are barred from Heaven because of their unbelief. “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (Jn 3:17,18).

God’s Heaven had a place for the beggar Lazarus, but not for the rich man. Lazarus in life, had no money, no friends, no status. But he had faith in God. In death he had no family or friends to mourn him, but God’s angels  received him royally into the embrace of Abraham. Heaven has room for all who turn in repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21).

Such a man was the repentant robber on the cross. He turned to Jesus in faith and pleaded for mercy in the day of our Lord’s coming into His kingdom. But Jesus admitted him to Heaven that very day (Lk 23:43). Heaven will admit beggars, thieves and robbers, adulterers and sinners, rich men and mighty men - if they will accept God’s terms: repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. But heaven will have empty places because men will trust in their own goodness, their charity, their sincerity, their social status, their high birth, their wealth, their achievements. Heaven has lots of room, but not for these. God sees men’s righteous works as “filthy rags” (Is 64:6).

THOUGHT: Those who miss Heaven will not miss Hell.

3. “Set your affection on things above” Col 3:2 (Extracts from Daily Remembrancer by John Smith, Edited by Dr SH Tow, 15 April)

“FRIENDSHIP OF THE WORLD IS ENMITY WITH GOD.” Sadly, Christians are too often captivated by the things around them. We are apt to be much affected by earthly things, but our affection must be permanently fixed on things above. Let us lift our eyes and hearts to heaven this morning; there are the proper objects of our love, desire, and esteem. There is Jehovah our heavenly Father, dwelling in unapproachable light. There is Jesus, our dear and adorable Saviour, exalted, dignified and glorified at the right hand of the Father. There is the Holy Spirit, our divine, gracious and condescending Comforter. There the love, favour, and presence of God are fully enjoyed. There peace, rest, and happiness are eternally perfected. There is the crown of righteousness, the throne of glory, and the rivers of pleasure which our God has promised, and set before us. There are our brethren who have gone home before us, and there our affections should be. What is earth or time? We shall soon have done with both. Let us then set our affection on things above, and not on things on the earth.

Why should my heart descend so low,
To brood on earth and things of woe?
While heaven, where endless pleasures roll,
Waits to welcome my newborn soul.
Saviour! let thine attractions be
But felt in all their force by me;
Then shall I mount on wings of love,
And fix and dwell on things above.

God bless you dear readers.
Yours faithfully in the Saviour’s Service,
Dr SH Tow, Founding Pastor