I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award me on that Day – and not only me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing. 2 Tim 4:7-8.
The silver cord is loosed, Eccl 12:6 and the river crossed. The suffering is ended and the battle against sin and Satan’s onslaughts over. Now this redeemed one experiences the most exquisite feeling of release.
The waiting angelic couriers warmly greet him to convey him to the celestial city. having soon reached it they approach one of the twelve gates, each consisting of a gigantic pearl. The angel sentinel having ensured that the deceased’s name is present in the Lamb’s book of life swings open the gate.
From even before the end of his earthly life, this Christian has undergone an ever-increasing sense of expectation and joy; with the knowledge that each passing second is bringing him nearer to the very cause and reason for his exisence. He is swept through the gate by his angelic retinue’to the sound of heavenly music. There before him are myriads of angels and saints clothed in robes of spotless white. Beyond them he sees still more of these citizens of heaven walking streets which appear to be made of pure transparent gold!
The ones nearest to him he recognises as people he had known when he lived upon the earth. Dear believers with whom he had enjoyed fellowship and who had gone on before him. Some had been members of the church he used to attend. All are gathered there to greet him and as they encircle him he feels the love of God radiating from them, pure and unsullied. To his surprise he sees some faces he had not expected to see: individuals he had spoken to many years ago, about salvation and forgiveness of sins through faith in Jesus Christ. At the time his words had seemed of non-effect, yet here they stand before him, evidence that God had germinated the sown seed.
Suddenly! A hush falls upon the throng, not a fearful silence but one that exudes an aura of joy mingled with reverence and love. Simultaneously the heavenly crowd divides making a pathway and breaking into the most melodious hymn of praise he has ever heard.
There stands the King in glory and splendour. The hair of His head white as snow, His eyes like a flame of fire, His feet like refined brass and his voice like the sound of many waters. This is the transformed and glorified Christ who will one day judge the nations. Such a sight would strike terror into the hearts of earth- dwellers, they would faint before him, but to those who inhabit heaven he is a sight most glorious; producing untold joy and blessing, and now the portion of this redeemed one. From the moment that his soul had left his body, this saint’s joy had increased in strength and did so still more as he travelled towards the city entering its gates. Now it has reached its zenith of perfection as he stands before the one whose nail-pierced hands reach out to embrace him. It all makes sense now. He can see the reason for all the years of suffering that then had been so hard to understand.
Now, as he stands before the king its as though in him he sees a reflection of himself, as if his essential being has been transformed into the King’s likeness, for indeed it has! Life’s trials have fulfilled God’s purposes. They have helped prepare his child for glory. Now every fear is wiped away and a blood-bought son enters into the joy of his Lord.
O radiant hope! Our eyes behold afar, Thy shining splendour Bright and Morning Star. All glorious breaks the dawn of perfect day, when Thou shalt gently wipe all tears away. (L. F. W. WOODFORD).
Date : 30/11/-0001 Author : Philip Tollett