Sermon #1621 Miscellaneous Sermons
Title: “The Ransomed
the Lord Shall Return!”
Text: Isaiah 35:10
Date: Sunday Evening — May 29, 2005
Tape # Y-71a
Readings: Bob Poncer and James Jordan
I want to pick up tonight right where I left off this morning at Isaiah 35:10. The title of my message is “The Ransomed of the Lord Shall Return!” Let’s read the chapter together.
(Isaiah 35:1-10) “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. 2 It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God. 3 Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. 4 Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you. 5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. 6 Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. 7 And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes. 8 And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. 9 No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there: (Here’s our text.) 10 And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”
God’s revelation to Zechariah was…
(Zechariah 1:16-17) “Therefore thus saith the LORD; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith the LORD of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem. (17) Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the LORD shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem.”
What “good words and comfortable words” those are! When the Lord God has finished all things, all “the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”
Proposition: Every sinner loved and chosen of God, every sinner ransomed by the sin-atoning death of the Lord Jesus Christ shall be brought to glory by the mighty operations of his grace.
· They shall enter Heaven triumphantly, as a people prepared and made worthy to possess it.
· They shall enter with songs of praise in their hearts and everlasting gladness upon their heads.
I want us to think and meditate for a little while about this promised ingathering of the Lord’s ransomed ones into heaven. May God the Holy Spirit give us grace to put everything else out of our minds. Let us, O Lord our God, set our hearts on things above this hour, for Christ’s sake. Set our hearts now upon heaven, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. Keep from our hearts and minds the things of the earth.
Let us now focus our hearts and minds on our all-glorious Savior and on the everlasting joys of heaven with him. My reason for preaching this message is that our hearts may long for those glorious mansions that are yonder provided for us by the Lord Jesus.
A Short Description
I. I will begin by giving you a short description of Heaven.
Heaven is a place of rest without rest. This is clear from Hebrews 4:9 and Revelation 4:8.
(Hebrews 4:9) “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.”
(Revelation 4:8) “And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.”
It is a place where the soul is always satisfied yet never satisfied. — The psalmists says, and we say with him, “I shall be satisfied, when I awake with thy likeness!”
There we shall always see God in Christ. Yet, we shall ever want to see more of Him. We shall always embrace Him, yet want to embrace Him more; always feed on Him, yet want to feed on Him more. In heaven there is both satisfaction and hunger. Heaven is full of mysteries.
Heaven is a place where joy and love eternally flow into our souls, while admiration and praise eternally flow out to our God and Savior. — All the saints’ language in heaven is, “Hallelujah! Praise to the Lamb who sits on the throne.” O what shall it be to be taken within the gates of that blessed to hear that heavenly music? What shall it be to enter into that rest in which we shall never rest from Immanuel’s praise? What will it be to be satisfied with that great satisfaction that ever hungers and thirsts for Christ without lack of satiation?
Second, think for a moment or two about the employment of God’s saints in Heaven.
There are five things that exercise the saints in heaven: admiration, praise, joy, love and gazing upon blessed face of the incarnate God, our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb who died, the Lion who reigns, the God who is!
There is not one look there that is not fixed on our precious Redeemer, — not one movement of the tongue that is not spent in commending Him, — not one step of the feet that is not bent on following Christ, — not one stir of the hand that is not occupied in unfolding Christ, — not one thought that is not filled with Christ, — not one desire that is not taken up with loving Christ!
What makes heaven such a lovely house? Is it not Christ, who is precious to our hearts? The Lamb is its light. (Rev 21:23). Heaven would be a dark house if Christ were not there. The Lamb of God, crucified, risen, reigning, glorious is the light of that house.
Do you see what I am saying? – Heaven is that everlasting world of light, adoration, holiness, perfection and ceaseless worship to which God’s saints are rapidly moving. If you only knew, the charms of that place would make you long to join us there in eternity. All the three persons of the Blessed Trinity cry, “Come up hither!” “Come up here to us who are here.” All the angels and saints cry, “Come up here to us who are here.”
Third, I have a question. — Will you be taking up your lodging there? Only if you are made clean every wit by the blood of Christ and robed in the spotless garments of salvation and righteousness by faith in him.
(Revelation 7:13-17) “And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. 16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. 17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”
(Revelation 14:1-5) “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: 3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. 4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. 5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.”
(Revelation 14:13) “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.”
(Revelation 21:1-8) “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. 6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. 7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
(Revelation 21:22-27) “And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. 24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. 25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. 26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. 27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”
The Excellence of Heaven
Fourth, let me direct your thoughts, as best I can in this feeble frame, to the great excellence of Heaven.
We know that heaven is a pleasant place. But what makes it pleasant, except that its windows and streets are all sprinkled over with the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the Valley?
What a great sight John had when the angel talked with him and said, “Come up here, and I will show you the Bride, the Lamb’s wife,” and carried him to an exceedingly high mountain, and showed him the holy city, the New Jerusalem (Rev 21:9-10).
What is it that makes heaven such an excellent place? It is the soul-satisfying vision of God that we have there in the person of his dear Son, our Mediator, in all his glory! There we shall see God face to face! What could be more excellent and glorious? What could be more rewarding and honoring? What could be more joyous and satisfying?
Here we see Christ dimly, through the veil of ordinances. There we shall see Him face to face. What will be the Bride’s thoughts when Christ first takes her in His arms? Who can imagine such things? – “This is my Beloved! – He has brought me now into his banqueting house! – His banner over me is love!”
Andrew Gray once said to his congregation, “What shall be your thoughts when Christ shall take you in His arms, if ever He will take you? I think we shall fall apart! O is not heaven an excellent place?”
What shall I say there is in heaven? There is no outcast there, no desertion, no unbelief, no misconstruing of Christ, no questioning His wisdom, no misunderstanding of His ways. When we go through the gates of the New Jerusalem we shall pass over the graves of desertion, and jealousy, and unbelief, and all our idols, and we shall never return to them!
As we enter the gates of Zion, we will forever say “good-bye” to those two sweet companions who have carried us through this vale of tears: faith and hope. But a sweet good-bye it will be, when faith and hope yield themselves to love and sight. Faith and hope are our sweet companions here, but love and sight shall be our eternal companions above.
· Faith and hope fight the battle, but love and sight sit at home and divide the spoil.
· Faith and hope embrace Christ through the veil, but love and sight embrace him with the eyes.
· We must leave our faith and hope, but we shall never weep for leaving such companions.
And now, what shall I say more to commend heaven? What shall I say more of eternity? Time would fail me.
“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!”