Sermon #1793 Miscellaneous Sermons
Title: Satisfied at Last
Text: Psalm 17:15
Subject: Heaven – A Place of Satisfaction
When I called to check on my friend, Bro. Jim Gough, yesterday morning and his daughter told me that the Lord Jesus had taken him home, my very first thought was — “Satisfied at Last!” With Christ in heaven, Bro. Jim is finally satisfied, completely satisfied.
You never had the privilege of meeting Bro. Gough; but he knew many of you by name. Jim and his wife Eileen have been listening to our messages regularly for the past three years, maybe a little longer.
Š Syd Buggins gave Jim a video when he was confined by sickness three years ago.
Š “Going to Danville.”
Š Our meeting two years ago.
Š “Fortner Groupies”
Š The Goughs’ and Buggins’ plans to come to visit you.
If I can do so, while you are turning to Psalm 17, let me read the note he gave me last week to give to you.
“To all our brothers and sisters in Christ at Danville,
This is just a brief message to say thank you for allowing and encouraging your beloved Pastor to visit us and minister to us. I know that he would not be comfortable in coming to the UK unless he did so with your loving prayers and support.
I just wanted you all to know how very much blessing many have received by his ministry. My wife and I were with him and Shelby in Teesdale, Wolverhampton (our own city), and Sidmouth and can testify to the faithful ministry of your dear Pastor.
Thank you for sending him forth and being such an encouragement to him and to us through him.
We pray for the work of God in Danville and pray that it may please the Lord to continue to bless you all in His service.
There are no words that could truly express the thoughts of our hearts for his ministry and visit to us. But the very least we can do is to say a heartfelt thank you. His God glorying and Christ centered ministry has been such a blessing to us and many others.
To have him and Shelby in our home and be able to have personal fellowship with them has been an added joy and blessing to us. May the Lord be pleased to grant to you, for the benefit of saints and sinners, many more years of service together.
With every blessing in Him,
Jim and Eileen Gough”
My friend is in glory today. I can almost see him yonder, bowing before the Lamb on his throne, casting the crown at his Savior’s feet, saying with all those just ones made perfect, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created…Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing…Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.” There he is with Christ, satisfied at last. That is the title of my message to you today. — satisfied at last.
God’s Purpose Satisfied
Heaven is a place of satisfaction, complete, perfect, eternal satisfaction. All the purpose of almighty God shall be fully satisfied in heaven. When all things are finished, when everything that must be has been, when the present heavens and earth have passed away and God has made all things new, when the wicked have been cast into hell forever and the saints of God have all been transformed into the image of his dear Son, when all things have been completely subdued to Christ, “Then cometh the end,” when Christ shall deliver up the whole company of the redeemed unto God our Father, and God shall be “all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:24-28). All God’s elect shall be saved forever. God’s glory shall be revealed in all things to all creatures. Christ shall have all pre-eminence for all eternity.
In heaven the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s dear Son, shall see of the travail of his soul and shall be satisfied (Isaiah 53:10-11). The Lord Jesus Christ was made to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. When he was made sin, he suffered all the horrible, ignominious wrath of almighty God as the sinner’s Substitute, so that God might be just and the Justifier of all who believe.
Illustration: “Our loss, but the Lord’s gain.”
The agony and death of Christ is called by the prophet Isaiah, “the travail of his soul.” Our Savior’s travail was unto death, that he might give us eternal life. Isaiah assures us that his death was not in vain. “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied!” Christ did not shed his blood for nothing. The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ shall never be discovered a miscarriage.
Š In heaven’s final glory all the intentions, purposes and designs of Christ in his death shall be satisfied.
Š Every desire of his holy heart, which compelled him to lay down his life for us shall be fully satisfied.
Š Every soul he loved with an everlasting love shall be with him in his glory.
Š Every sinner for whom he suffered, bled and died under the wrath of God shall be thoroughly purged of all sin.
Š Every person he undertook to save shall stand before him in perfect righteousness.
Š The whole company of God’s elect, for whom he became a Surety in the covenant of grace, shall be presented by him to his Father, holy, unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.
And there, in our happy, eternal home, in our Father’s house in heaven, every desire of in the hearts of God’s elect shall be fully satisfied (Psalm 17:15).
(Psalms 17:15) “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.”
Nothing is a surer sign of God’s wrath and of a man’s reprobation than for God to give him satisfaction in this world and with this world. I pity the “men of the world, which have their portion in this life,” whom God has filled and satisfied with the treasures of the earth (Psalm 17:14).
(Ecclesiastes 3:11) “He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.”
For the renewed soul there is no possibility of satisfaction in this world. We need to be content with God’s daily providence, knowing that our Father is wise and good and that what he does is best. But we find no satisfaction here. The craving of our hearts cannot be satisfied until we get to heaven. But there, in heaven with Christ, we shall be satisfied.
This is what David said. — “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.” I take David’s words to mean that there are two stages of satisfaction for God’s saints in heaven: — That satisfaction that is found in heaven between death and the resurrection when we shall behold our Savior’s face in righteousness, and that satisfaction that shall be found in heaven after the resurrection of the body when we shall awake in the likeness of our Redeemer.
Believers, as soon as they leave this world, find satisfaction for their souls in heaven. I stress this because it needs stressing. In our day many, who appear to be otherwise orthodox in their doctrine, have begun to teach the Adventists’ doctrine of soul sleep. I will not now discuss all the ramifications of that evil doctrine. But it is a doctrine that robs God’s people of comfort in the hour of death and with regard to their departed loved ones. And it is a doctrine that inspires an undue attachment to this world. More importantly, it is a doctrine directly contrary to the Word of God.
As soon as they are separated form their bodies God’s elect are immediately with Christ in heaven (2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23), in a state of blessed happiness and satisfaction.
(2 Corinthians 5:8) “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”
(Philippians 1:23) “For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better.”
It is to this intermediate state of satisfaction, between death and the resurrection, that David referred, when he said, — “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness.”
Soon as I draw my final breath
And close my mortal eyes in death,
I shall with Christ in glory be,
In righteousness, forever free!
As soon as we enter heaven we will find complete satisfaction for our souls in these six things.
1. When we enter heaven, we shall enter into the immediate presence of our God (Psalm 16:11).
(Psalms 16:11) “Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”
Nothing in this world is more desirable and satisfying to believers than the knowledge and assurance of God’s presence. We choose, with Moses, not to go anywhere without his presence (Exodus 33:15). It is our Lord’s presence with us that makes the ordinance of public worship pleasing (Matthew 18:20). The presence of God comforts us in our trials (Isaiah 43:1-5). And our Lord’s presence inspires all our services to him (Matthew 28:20). The presence of Christ with his church on earth makes one day in his temple more desirable than a thousand days spent anywhere else. His presence makes his tabernacles on earth amiable tabernacles (Psalm 84:1, 2, 10). We find satisfaction even here in this world, our highest satisfaction, in the manifestation of God’s presence with us.
How gloriously happy and satisfied those saints must be who have entered into the immediate presence of God in heaven, never to be separated from him again. Blessed indeed are those in heaven who have entered into perpetual, uninterrupted communion with the triune God. The presence of God in heaven means that God’s saints there enjoy perpetual satisfaction. What fellowship they enjoy in the full experience of “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost!”
There is nothing in all the world so delightful to the hearts of believing sinners as sitting with Christ at his table, to be brought into his banqueting house, smell the sweet spikenard of his grace, and have him display the banner of his love over us (Song of Solomon 2:4-6). There is nothing so glorious and satisfying in all the world as real worship! But imagine what it will be like in that world of glory to be in communion with God our Savior forever! What satisfaction! What delight! What glory!
Turn to Luke 23. Let me show you the promises of our dying Savior to a dying sinner who trusted him.
(Luke 23:39-43) “And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. (40) But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? (41) And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. (42) And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. (43) And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.”
Š “Today” — As soon as this is over.
Š ‘Thou” — You personally.
Š “Shalt be with me” — Me personally.
Š “In paradise!”
2. In that glory world we call heaven, all who now long to be like Christ shall be satisfied, for we shall be perfectly conformed to our Redeemer.
Today we see him by faith. And beholding him by faith we “are changed into the same image from glory to glory” by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:18). But in heaven we shall see Christ clearly as he is. We shall have a full and perfect view of him. And when we see him as he is we shall be like him (1 John 3:2).
It was the object of God in predestination, that we should be conformed to the image of his Son (Romans 8:29). In heaven, that which God predestinated before the worlds were made shall be brought to pass. We shall be like Christ perfectly. Every power and faculty of our souls shall be a perfect reflection of our all-glorious Savior. Every faculty of the glorified soul shall be swallowed up in Christ.
Š In our understanding, we will have a clear and unclouded view of him.
Š The thoughts of our minds will be always toward him.
Š Our will will be entirely submissive to and conformed to his will.
Š The affection of our hearts will be set upon Christ and things above.
Š Our memories will be fully stored with heavenly, spiritual things.
Š We will have memories not of sorrow and pain, but of mercy and grace.
John Gill wrote, “There will be nothing irregular and disagreeable in the soul, in its motions, thoughts, and actions.”
3. Our souls will find satisfaction in heavenly conversation.
Heaven will be a place of much talk and conversation. There we shall carry on conversation both with the angels of God and with the spirits of just men made perfect. How we will communicate in that state, I do not know. What the language of heaven is, I cannot tell. But we will communicate with one another freely, spiritually, and profitably about the things of God. — What talk there will be in Mount Zion about the decease our Redeemer accomplished at Jerusalem!
4. Our souls will be satisfied with perfect knowledge in heaven.
“For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known” (1 Corinthians 13:12). — As soon as we drop this robe of flesh, everything that hinders us in spiritual knowledge shall be gone. Then we shall have perfect knowledge
Š of God in all his attributes and works,
Š of the Son of God in all his offices, works and grace,
Š of the Spirit of God in all his being and gracious operations,
Š of the angels of God in all their secret missions of mercy for us,
Š of the providence of God in all its intricate details,
Š and of one another.
I do not doubt that we shall learn forever. Yet, even while learning, our knowledge will be crystal clear and pure. It will not be contaminated by sin and unbelief!
5. We shall be satisfied with perfect holiness.
“As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness.” — In that blessed state our souls shall be entirely free from sin. The guilt of sin is now removed from us by the blood of Christ. But when we stand before God’s throne we will be completely free from the pollution of sin, the dread of sinning again, the body of sin, the being of sin, and all the consequences of sin.
In heaven, there will not even be any more sorrow for sin! That happy, eternal day cannot come soon enough, when we shall no longer groan and struggle with sin. In heaven, as soon as we leave this world, we will be perfectly and completely holy, unblameable, and unreproveable, without spot or blemish. We will have no sinful thoughts, no impure desires, no evil inclinations, no wicked will. This holiness and freedom from sin will not in any measure be the result of our own free will or good works. We have none. It will be the result of God’s work alone.
6. And in heaven, we shall be satisfied with perfect, eternal peace (Psalm 37:37).
(Psalms 37:37) “Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.”
Peace! Sweet peace! Nothing is more desirable and satisfying than peace. Perfect peace is given to all who trust Christ now. But what shall that peace be which we shall have when we enter into the joy of the Lord? (See Isaiah 57:1-2; Matthew 25:21).
(Isaiah 57:1-2) “The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come. (2) He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.”
(Matthew 25:21) “His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”
Immediately after death, God’s saints enter into heaven to forever behold his face in righteousness and find perfect satisfaction in the presence of God, in conformity to Christ, in heavenly conversation, in perfect knowledge, in perfect holiness and in perfect peace. We cannot even begin to imagine the glory awaiting us…
Š Perfect, Complete Commitment to Christ!
Š Perfect, Complete Communion with Christ!
Š Perfect, Complete Conformity to Christ!
Yet, there is another, even higher stage of heavenly glory.
In the resurrection our bodies as well as our souls shall find perfect satisfaction in heavenly glory. David referred to the resurrection of the body when he said, — “I shall be satisfied, when I awake with thy likeness.”
We often speak of the salvation of the soul; but the Bible never does. The Bible speaks of the salvation of people, the salvation of both the body and the soul. And the salvation of God’s elect will not be complete until Christ has redeemed our bodies from the grave at the resurrection (Romans 8:23; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Ephesians 1:14; 4:30; 1 Corinthians 15:41-58).
(Romans 8:23) “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.”
(Ephesians 1:14) “Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”
(Ephesians 4:30) “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”
(1 Corinthians 1:30) “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:”
(1 Corinthians 15:41-58) “There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. (42) So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: (43) It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: (44) It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. (45) And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. (46) Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. (47) The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. (48) As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. (49) And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. (50) Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. (51) Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, (52) In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (53) For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (54) So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. (55) O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (56) The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. (57) But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (58) Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”
At the resurrection there will be a glory put upon the bodies of God’s saints, as well as that which is put upon their souls. The purpose of God will not be satisfied, the soul travail of Christ will not be satisfied, and the hearts’ desire of God’s saints will not be satisfied until all the bodies of God’s elect are saved and gathered into glory.
This body must be sown in the earth in corruption. It is a vile body, corrupted by sin. It shall be brought into the corruption of death and laid in corruption in the dust of the earth, where it must rot and decay. But this very same body must be raised up to glory in incorruption, where it will no more be corrupted by sin, disease, or death. — “This corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” Then shall Death be swallowed up in victory!
This body must be sown in the earth in dishonor. If there is anything noble, appealing and pleasing about it, it will quickly fade away. Soon this body will become fit only for the company of worms beneath the cold, dark sod of the earth. But it shall be raised in glory. Yes, this body shall come forth from the grave in the perfection of beauty and comeliness, fashioned like unto the glorious body of Christ. And it shall shine like the sun in heaven.
This body of flesh must be sown in the earth in weakness. Soon it will lose all strength and vigor. In the end it shall be carried by pall-bearers to the grave. But it shall be raised in power. It shall be raised in strength and fitness, able to live forever without aging or getting weak, able to move quickly from place to place, even from earth to heaven in an instant, able to attend the service of God and the Lamb forever, without weakness and weariness. In the resurrection, we will never again have to complain that “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41).
This body must be sown in the earth a natural body. By reason of sin, it is an animal like body, supported by animal food. And it must die as animals do (Ecclesiastes 3:19-20). But it shall be raised a spiritual body, subsisting like the angels of God forever, never to die again. Then our bodies will no longer be encumbrances to our souls as they are now. Then our bodies will assist us in spiritual services. They will be fitted for spiritual employments and suited to spiritual worship. And in our resurrection bodies we shall be satisfied. When our bodies are raised from the earth and united with our souls, in the perfection of our whole being we shall be brought into a heavenly state of everlasting glory. I do not know that I can adequately describe the glorious satisfaction that awaits us. But it is so blessed that I must try to give some sense of it.
In heaven’s glory we shall see the living God (Job 19:25-27).
(Job 19:25-27) “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: (26) And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: (27) Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.”
Now we walk by faith. Then we will walk by sight. Now we see God by faith, through his Word. Then we shall behold his face in righteousness. We shall see him face to face, as he is (2 Corinthians 5:7; Psalm 17:15; 1 Corinthians 13:12; 1 John 3:2). I do not mean that we will see God physically, in the essence of his Being, and comprehend him. That is not possible, because God is the infinite, incomprehensible Spirit. But I do mean that we shall have a clear, unclouded apprehension of God’s perfections and glory as we behold the full revelation of God in Christ, the God-man. We will see all the fulness of the Godhead bodily in Christ (Colossians 2:9).
As we behold Christ, we will perfectly apprehend God the Father in all that he is and has done, God the Son in all that he is and has done, and God the Holy Spirit in all that he is and has done. — “In my flesh shall I see God!” “Then shall I be satisfied!”
In heaven’s glory we will see all the holy angels. We will see the angels in their shining forms, ranks and orders, those thrones, dominions, principalities and powers made by Christ to be ministering spirits sent forth to minister to those whom he chose to be heirs of salvation. We will see those sons of God, those morning-stars that sung together and shouted for joy when God laid the foundations of the earth. We will see those bright spirits who sang at Christ’s incarnation, attended him in his ascension, and shall return with him when he comes to judge the world in righteousness.
All God’s saints will see and know one another in this glorious world of bliss. Just before he died, someone asked Martin Luther, “Sir, will we know one another in the other world?” Luther answered, “As Adam knew Eve to be bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh by the revelation of God, though he had never seen her before, so shall the saints of God know one another in heaven.” As the apostles knew Moses and Elijah on the mount with Christ, though they had never seen them, or even a picture or description of them before, so shall we know the saints of God in heaven. In heaven we will know parents, wives, husbands, children, and friends far more perfectly than ever we knew them on the earth.
There will be no strangers in heaven. If there were a stranger in the heavenly company, freedom and joy would be greatly hindered. Who is free around a stranger? In heaven’s glory when the bodies of God’s saints are raised up to glory we shall see and know one another and all God’s saints. We shall all see the Bride, the Lamb’s wife, in all the beauty which God has given her. We shall see and know every believer. And we shall love and esteem them all perfectly.
Here is another aspect of heaven satisfaction: — In heaven’s glory we shall possess everything that is good and be free from everything that is evil (Revelation 22:4-5).
(Revelation 22:1-5) “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. (2) In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (3) And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: (4) And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. (5) And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.”
Total deliverance from sin, freedom from Satan’s temptations, deliverance from troublesome, oppressive, wicked men, freedom from all afflictions, total freedom from distress and that which causes distress, shall be ours forever. There will be no more fightings without or fears within, no more doubts, misgivings, and no more unbelief! Everlasting joy shall be our portion. Sorrow and sighing shall flee away!
“We read of a place that’s called heaven.
It’s made for the pure and the free.
These truths in God’s Word He hath given. —
How beautiful heaven must be!
In heaven no drooping nor pining,
No wishing for elsewhere to be.
God’s light is forever there shining —
How beautiful heaven must be!
Pure waters of life there are flowing;
And all who will drink may be free.
Rare jewels of splendor are glowing —
How beautiful heaven must be!
The angels so sweetly are singing
Up there by the beautiful sea.
Sweet chords from their gold harps are ringing. —
How beautiful must be!
How beautiful heaven must be!
Sweet home of the happy and free,
Fair heaven of rest for the weary,
How beautiful heaven must be!”
Once more, the saints of God shall find satisfaction in their resurrection glory in their everlasting employments. Then all our conversations will be holy conversations. We will live in the perpetual worship and praise of our God. And we will enjoy the everlasting perfection of love. This heavenly glory is the gift of God’s pure, free grace in Christ. If we look for such great and glorious things in the world to come, it ought to affect the way we live upon the earth now (2 Peter 3:11, 14; Colossians 3:1-4).
(Colossians 3:1-4) “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. (2) Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. (3) For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. (4) When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”
(2 Peter 3:11) “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,”
(2 Peter 3:14) “Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.”
Such a hope of glory ought to inspire in us the utmost consecration to our Lord Jesus Christ.
Listen to sermons at FreeGraceRadio.com
 Danville — Sunday Morning — May 3, 2009
Mid-South Baptist Church, Merigold, MS (FRI 03/09/09)
Tape # Z-64a
Reading: Psalm 16:1-17:15