The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
My wife Frances once said, both wisely and profoundly, "We have more certainty about Heaven than we do about this life."
"God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved), and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:4-9).
Note the assurances written by the Apostle Paul, which confirm Frances's affirmation of Heavenly certainties.
First, God quickens (enlivens) all who trust the Lord Jesus Christ. Couple this with Paul's teaching that the believer, once made spiritually alive in Christ, can never die again, and the most blessed Heavenly peace assures our hearts (Romans 6:9-11).
Consider also the Apostle's affirmation of salvation by grace. If our redemption rested upon any other foundation than God's freely given pardon and acceptance through the Person and work of the Lord Jesus, we could and would have no assurance of Heaven. Through Him, however, all who believe can rest in another Apostle's blessed affirmation, "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life" (I John 5:13).
Wondrously, Paul also teaches that a part of us, the very spiritual heart of us, has already ascended to "sit together in Heavenly places in Christ" (Ephesians 2:6). Certainly, this constitutes much mystery. No one completely understands what Paul meant by this. However, we do know that purely spiritual realities transcend time and space. Thus, the believer can be sure of Heaven because in some manner, a part of us is already there. Indeed, how could we "come boldly to the throne of grace," as the writer of Hebrews commands believers, if we did not have proximity to that Heavenly seat whereupon sits the risen Lord Jesus? (Hebrews 4:16).
Finally, Paul emphasizes salvation as a gift, the freest gift ever given, purchased by the highest cost ever remitted. We do not pay our way into Heaven. We do not work our way into Heaven. We do not sacrifice our way into Heaven. All such means of human endeavor would fail us utterly and disastrously. No assurance could proceed from any other way than…
"I am the way… Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way…. Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them" (John 14:6; Hebrews 10:19-20; 7:25).
From Eden onward, the world has quaked with increasing uncertainty. It's quaking now. "The world passeth away" (I John 2:17). Through it all, Heaven and its Lord have remained perfectly still and perfectly stable. Look nowhere else for such certainty. Paul, John, and yes, Frances, unite to remind us of such truth, and direct born again believers toward the Christ who is Himself the home of our hearts. We will not find such such a place, or such a grace, anywhere else. Nor do we need to…
"Our conversation (citizenship) is in Heaven."
"Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear."
Weekly Memory Verse
The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.