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Sermon #2146 — Miscellaneous Sermons
Title: “The Hope of Glory”
Text: Colossians 1:27
Subject: Christ the Hope of Glory
Date: Sunday Evening — March 23, 2014
Readings: David Burge and Frank Hall
Having learned from their pastor, Bro. Epaphras, of their faith in Christ, their love for the brethren and their love for him, the Apostle Paul wrote to the saints of God at Colosse these words of pastoral love and gracious instruction by the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit…
9. For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
10. That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
11. Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
12. Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
13. Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
14. In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
15. Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
16. For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17. And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
18. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
19. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
20. And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
21. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
22. In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
23. If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the Gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;
24. Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:
25. Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
26. Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
27. To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
The Gospel of God’s free and sovereign grace in Christ is a mystery hidden from the unregenerate man, hidden from every unbeliever, but revealed by his Spirit to his saints, — “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” There are three things revealed in this 27th verse.
The Riches of Glory
First, all the riches promised, proclaimed, and presented to sinners in the Gospel are in Christ. The riches of the Gospel are spiritual riches. They are called, “The riches of the glory of this mystery,” because the glory of the Gospel is, in great measure, to be seen in the riches of grace it holds in store for sinners who trust Christ.
What are these riches? They are the rich truths of grace, compared to gold, silver, and precious stones, by which God builds his holy temple (1 Corinthians 3:11-16). They are the rich truths of the Gospel:
· sovereign election,
· substitutionary redemption,
· almighty, irresistible, saving grace,
· and the infallible preservation of God’s saints in grace.
The riches Paul speaks of are the rich treasures of grace laid up for sinners in Christ. In Christ there are immense and infinite treasures of grace laid up in store for God’s elect (John 1:16; Ephesians 1:3; Colossians 2:9-10).
(John 1:16) “And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.”
(Ephesians 1:3-6) “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: (4) According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: (5) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, (6) To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”
(Colossians 2:9-10) “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. (10) And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:”
All the promises of God, relating to this life and to the life to come, are in Christ yea and amen, sure and infallible. In Christ we have
· free justification (Romans 3:24-26),
· absolute pardon (Ephesians 1:7),
· complete reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:17),
· eternal adoption (1 John 3:1-2),
· and eternal life (Romans 3:23).
The Glory of the Gospel
Second, Christ is also the glory of the Gospel. Read Colossians 1:27 again. — “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ.”
The Gospel is the revelation of the glory of God; and the glory of God is Christ. We see the glory of God in the face of Christ. That is to say, by faith in Christ every believer sees that which was revealed to Moses in Exodus 34: God’s glorious, sovereign goodness and inflexible justice in the exercise of his saving grace in Christ (Isaiah 45:20). God’s glory is known and revealed only in Christ, the incarnate God, the sinner’s Substitute (John 1:18; 17:3; 2 Corinthians 4:6).
(John 1:18) “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.”
(John 17:3) “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”
(2 Corinthians 4:6) “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
The Hope of Glory
Third, the believer’s hope of glory is Christ. — “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” We live in hope of immortality and eternal life in heavenly glory, “looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” The basis, foundation, and ground of our hope is Christ. — “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
· The cause of our hope is the grace of God in Christ.
· The basis of our hope is the finished work of Christ.
· Our hope itself is “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
That is the subject of Colossians 1. The glory which the saints will have with Christ will be the enjoyment of him forever in heaven. This hope of glory in which we live is brought to light by the Gospel (2 Timothy 1:9-10).
(2 Timothy 1:9-10) God “hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, (10) But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel.”
Christ is our hope of glory. Christ crucified is the basis of our hope. But Christ crucified is not our hope. Christ in you is the hope of glory. It is Christ in us that gives us hope, the confident expectation of glory. Christ in you (formed in you, living in you, reigning in you) is the hope, the confident, pleasurable expectation of eternal glory.
Religion that is all experience and feeling is worthless, useless religion. But religion that has neither experience nor feeling is just as worthless and useless. Hope, like faith and love, is an internal thing, something felt, experienced, and known in the soul. You can talk about faith all you want to, and define it with unmistakable precision, but until you experience it, you will never know what it is. You can read books about love, and even write books about love, but you will never know what it is until you experience it. And once you experience it, you will laugh at the definitions men attach to it. The same is true of hope. Hope is not a theory, a doctrine, or just something to talk about. Hope is something born in you, something felt in the heart and known only by experience. — “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
“Glory itself is in his hands. The gift of it is with him and through him. He has made way by his sufferings and death for the enjoyment of it, and is now preparing it for us by his presence and intercession. His grace makes us worthy of it. His righteousness gives us title to it. And his Spirit is the earnest of it” (John Gill).
The hope of glory which we have in Christ is built upon Christ himself alone. It is a hope founded upon his blood, righteousness, intercession, and grace. Here are ten facts revealed in the Scriptures which assure us that our hope of glory is a good, well-grounded, and sure hope. I hope to go to heaven when I die. I have hope of eternal life with Christ. I confidently expect the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. I am looking for and expecting immortality and eternal life in glory with Christ. But is that reasonable; or is it just a pipe dream? Let’s see.
1. God has promised eternal life and glory to his elect.
It is written, “The Lord will give grace and glory” (Psalm 84:11). God promises to believing sinners not only spiritual life that now is, but also eternal life which is to come (1 Timothy 4:8). This promise of eternal life, life with Christ forever in glory, is the principle, all-encompassing promise of the Gospel. It is the center of all the promises of God. Indeed, all other blessings of grace terminate in this. — “This is the promise that he promised us, even eternal life” (1 John 2:25).
It is a promise made by God, who cannot lie, before the world began (Titus 1:2). This is a promise that can be depended upon. It is sure and certain. When this life is over God’s saints shall enter into eternal life in glory. — “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried,” when he has been proved by the trials and afflictions of life in this world, “he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him” (James 1:12). And the crown of life is the “crown of glory that fadeth not away” (1 Peter 5:4).
2. The glory of eternal life in heaven is a glory that God has prepared for his elect.
It is a glory unseen, unheard of, and inconceivable to the minds of men and women in this world. But it is a glory prepared by God for them that love him and revealed to us by his Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).
This preparation of eternal happiness was made for us before the world began. Heaven is a kingdom prepared for God’s elect from the foundation of the world (Matthew 25:34).
(Matthew 25:34) “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:”
It was prepared in the counsels and purposes of God, which cannot be defeated, frustrated, or made void by any means.
This kingdom of glory was prepared for us by our blessed Savior’s sin-atoning death as our Substitute (John 14:1-3).
(John 14:1-3) “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. (2) In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
And this kingdom of glory shall, most assuredly, be given to those men and women for whom it was prepared by God (Matthew 20:23).
(Matthew 20:23) “And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.”
It will not be given to any but those for whom it was prepared. It cannot be purchased, earned, won, or in anyway merited by the works of men. But it shall be given freely to those for whom God prepared it.
3. God’s elect in this world are men and women he has prepared unto glory (Romans 9:23).
(Romans 9:23) “And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory.”
Not only has God promised and prepared a kingdom of glory for his elect, but his elect are “vessels of mercy which he had afore prepared unto glory.” Every work of God’s grace is a preparatory work by which he prepares his people to enter into and enjoy everlasting glory.
God prepared us unto glory in sovereign predestination, having ordained us unto eternal life. He has prepared us for glory by blood atonement. And he prepares us for glory by the experience of his grace, making us partakers of the Divine nature, putting Christ in us by the mighty operations of his Spirit. At God’s appointed “time of love” (Ezekiel 16:8), those who were ordained unto eternal life are given grace to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and effectually caused to come to him in faith by the Spirit of grace (Acts 13:48; Psalm 65:4).
(Psalms 65:4) “Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.”
(Acts 13:48) “And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.”
Those whom God has ordained to eternal life and caused to believe on Christ shall most assuredly enjoy that life in eternity to which they were ordained from eternity. The means of bringing God’s elect into eternal life in glory as well as eternal life itself has been infallibly fixed by God’s decree (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14).
(2 Thessalonians 2:13-14) “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: (14) Whereunto he called you by our Gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
“God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation,” not from the beginning of your repentance, faith, and conversion, but from the beginning of all things, from the beginning of time, from eternity. All who now believe, and all who ever shall believe, were chosen by God to salvation before the world began. The means by which God determined to save us is plainly revealed.
· “Through sanctification of the Spirit” — Regeneration.
· “And belief of the truth” — Faith in Christ.
· “Whereunto he called you by our Gospel” — The preaching of the Gospel.
That salvation and eternal life to which we have been elected, predestinated, and called is eternal glory – “To the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” We shall obtain that very same glory which Christ has entered into and now possesses for us.
· He has it in his hands to give to God’s elect (John 17:2).
(John 17:2) “As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.”
· He declares that it is ours (John 17:5, 22).
(John 17:5) “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.”
(John 17:22) “And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one.”
· We have been predestinated to it (Romans 8:29).
· He has prepared it for us and us for it.
· And we shall have it (Romans 8:28-31).
(Romans 8:28-31) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (29) For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (30) Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. (31) What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?”
Here is a marvelous, golden chain of grace which cannot be broken. It begins in predestination and ends in glorification. — “Whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified!”
A Sure Covenant
4. The hope of glory arises from the covenant of grace ordered in all things and sure (2 Samuel 23:5).
(2 Samuel 23:5) “Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow.”
The covenant of grace includes among its many blessings an everlasting inheritance of happiness and glory, and assures every believer of its possession (Ephesians 1:3-14).
(Ephesians 1:3-14) “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: (4) According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: (5) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, (6) To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. (7) In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; (8) Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; (9) Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: (10) That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: (11) In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: (12) That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. (13) In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, (14) Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”
It is called a covenant of grace, because it arises from and is founded upon the pure, free grace of God in Christ and is filled with all the blessings of grace. In the Scriptures it is called the covenant of peace (Ezekiel 37:26), because it has for its end the restoration of sinners to God in peace and reconciliation by Christ. And it is called the covenant of life (Malachi 2:5) for the same reason. It finds its full accomplishment in eternal life in glory.
It is a covenant ordered in all things and sure. Everything necessary for our spiritual and eternal welfare was provided, secured, and bestowed upon us by our God in this covenant before the world was made (Ephesians 1:3-9). The blessings of the covenant are all that is involved in our salvation. It comprehends and secures everything respecting our spiritual happiness in this world and in the world to come.
This covenant of grace is all our desire. There is nothing good, nothing desirable for our souls’ everlasting happiness and glory that is not provided and secured in the covenant. The hope of glory in which we now live arises from the covenant of grace made between God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit before the world began.
Christ our Surety
5. The suretyship engagements and performances of Christ as our Covenant Head and Representative assure us that our hope of glory is not vain.
All that God promised and pledged to his elect in the covenant was made sure to us by Christ, the Surety of the covenant (Hebrews 7:22-25).
(Hebrews 7:22-25) “By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. (23) And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: (24) But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. (25) 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.”
Christ became a Surety for his people in the covenant of grace. As such, he pledged himself not only to bring the blessings of grace to us in time, but also to bring us to glory in eternity. He pledged not only that he would bring us to himself in faith and into the fold of his church upon earth, but also to set us before his Father’s face in heaven (John 10:16).
(John 10:16) “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”
As Judah became surety for Benjamin (Genesis 43:9), promising to bring him and set him before the face of his father, Jacob, or bear the blame forever, so Christ, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, became Surety for God’s elect and promised to bring them everyone to glory at last.
As our great Surety, Christ looked upon himself as being under obligation to do everything required by the law and justice and mercy and grace of God to bring us home to God in heaven. He became responsible to God for our everlasting salvation. Therefore, in the fulness of time, he came into the world to remove our sins, establish righteousness for us, and open the way before us unto God. He came that we might have life and that we might have it more abundantly (John 10:10). He came to give us a more excellent and abundant life than Adam had in innocence, or the angels have in heaven. He came to give us a life of glory with himself.
Christ our Surety gives us “the hope of glory.” He is the Captain of our salvation. As such, he will bring many sons to glory and present them to the Father, saying, “Behold, I and the children whom God hath given me” (Hebrews 2:10-13). This is what the Apostle means when he says, “Wherefore he is able to save them to the uttermost that come to God by him!”
6. We are further assured of the hope of glory by Christ’s entrance into glory as our Forerunner (Hebrews 6:20).
(Hebrews 6:20) “Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”
After his resurrection from the dead, the Lord Jesus Christ ascended up into heaven and entered into glory, not for himself, but for us, as the Head and Representative of God’s elect, for whom he suffered, bled, and died upon the cursed tree. He entered into heaven as our Forerunner, took possession of it in our name, and now appears in the presence of God for us (Hebrews 9:24).
Our Redeemer’s representation of us in glory is so real a representation and so absolutely secures our entrance into glory with him that we are said to be already seated together with him in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6).
7. The prayers and preparations of Christ for the future glory of his people assure us of the hope of glory.
Our Savior has gone to heaven to prepare a place for us (John 14:2). He says, “In my Father’s house are many mansions” — abiding houses of wealth, places filled with peace, joy, and happiness. “If it were not so, I would have told you.” If heavenly glory were nothing but a dream and vain delusion, I would have told you. I would not deceive you with a false hope. “I go to prepare a place for you.”
Our all-glorious Savior has gone to heaven, the Father’s house, to prepare a place for us, his beloved friends. Yes, heavenly glory is a kingdom prepared for us from the foundation of the world by the purpose and decree of God, and prepared for us by our Savior’s sin-atoning death. Yet, it required another, fresh preparation by the bodily presence, blood atonement, and gracious intercession of Christ. Christ is in heaven preparing a place for chosen sinners. This is his particular business in heaven. He is preparing a place for us!
One great part of that preparation is our Savior’s intercession to God on our behalf. Christ, our great High Priest, is making intercession to God on behalf of his elect, redeemed people. He is praying for…
· the salvation of those who yet believe not (Hebrews 7:25),
· the non-imputation of sin to his erring people (1 John 2:1-2),
· the spiritual unity of his church (John 17:21),
· the preservation of his elect (John 17:15),
· and the eternal happiness of his saints in heaven (John 17:24).
When our place in heaven is perfectly prepared for us and we for it, our blessed Christ will come to take us home to glory (John 14:3). — “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” Sickness is the voice of our Beloved calling us home. Death is the car he sends to take us home. Our departed brothers and sisters in Christ, our friends and companions in the kingdom of God are already there, at home with Christ in the Father’s house.
The Spirit’s Call
8. The hope of glory is born in our souls by the effectual call of God the Holy Spirit.
The apostle Paul admonished Timothy to “lay hold on eternal life,” to look for it, expect it, anticipate it, and believe that he would enter into it at last. The basis for his admonition was, “whereunto thou art also called” (1 Timothy 6:12). — “I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord as long as I live.”
Like Timothy, every believer has been called to eternal life and glory in Christ. Therefore, we are exhorted to “walk worthy of God, who hath called (us) unto his kingdom and glory” (1 Thessalonians 2:12). And we are assured that “the God of all grace, who hath called (us) unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus” (1 Peter 5:10) will bring us safely home to glory at last. Those whom he has called, he will also glorify. We are called to glory; and we shall enter glory by the grace of God.
9. The hope of glory which we have in Christ is a good and lively hope, because we have the earnest of the Spirit (2 Corinthians 5:5; Ephesians 1:14).
(2 Corinthians 5:5) “Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.”
(Ephesians 1:14) “Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”
The Holy Spirit has been given to us in regeneration as the earnest, the down payment, the first installment, of our inheritance in glory. We are sealed by him until the day of our full redemption and entrance into everlasting glory. As surely as God has given us his Spirit, the earnest of our inheritance, in regeneration, he will also give us the fulness of our inheritance in Christ in glorification. The Holy Spirit, and eternal life by his grace and power, is a well of living water in the hearts of God’s saints springing up into everlasting life in glory (John 4:14).
10. The hope of glory which we have in Christ fills the believer’s heart with desires for glory with Christ (Psalm 27:4).
(Psalms 27:4) “One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple.”
In this tabernacle of flesh we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with the perfection of everlasting glory in the presence of Christ, that mortality might be swallowed up of life (2 Corinthians 5:1-4).
(2 Corinthians 5:1-4) “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (2) For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: (3) If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. (4) For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.”
As we begin to apprehend the glory that awaits us, we desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better than anything we can experience in this world (Philippians 1:23).
(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.”
We choose rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord than to go on in this weak and sinful frame of flesh (2 Corinthians 5:8).
Those who die in faith, die in happiness, knowing that they are going to a city whose Builder and Maker is God (Hebrews 11:3). They are confident, with David, that as God has guided them in life with his counsel, he will at the end of life receive them up to glory (Psalm 73:24).
(Psalms 73:24) “Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.”
(2 Corinthians 5:1) “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”
How many saints, and even martyrs, have cried, as they were about to leave this world, “Glory! Glory! Glory!” as if they had seen it and were leaving this world to go to it. The infidels of this world think such men and women to be enthusiastic dreamers. But the believer looks with envy upon his departing friends, because we have within us the hope of glory to which they are have gone.
The believer’s “hope of glory” is a matter of unquestionable fact, plainly revealed in Holy Scripture. Yes, “our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace.” Believers, as soon as they depart from this world, are immediately with Christ in glory. Those who die in Christ are truly blessed of God, from the moment of their death and forever.
“The angels stand around their dying beds waiting to do their office; and as soon as the soul is separated from the body, escort it through the regions of the air to heavenly bliss” (John Gill).
Lazarus, as soon as he died, was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom (Luke 16:22). The penitent thief, on the day that he died by Christ’s side, was carried with Christ into Paradise (Luke 23:43). Every believer who has died in faith is now in heaven. And you and I, if we are born of God, if we live by faith in Christ, as soon as we die, shall be with Christ in glory!
“Say, sinner, will you meet me,
Say, sinner, will you meet me,
Say, sinner, will you meet me
On Canaan’s happy shore?
By the grace of God, I’ll meet you,
By the grace of God, I’ll meet you,
By the grace of God, I’ll meet you
On Canaan’s happy shore!
Can any sinner in this world be confident of such grace? Can I reasonably expect eternal life and glory with the Son of God? Can I be certain that Christ is in me, the hope of glory. Indeed, I can. It is written, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.” — “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.” Therefore, I say, “Yes, by the grace of God I’ll meet you on Canaan’s happy shore!”
There we’ll shout and give Him glory,
There we’ll shout and give Him glory,
There we’ll shout and give Him glory,
For Glory is his name!”
(2 Thessalonians 2:16-17) “Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, (17) Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.”