“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Col. 3:2)
“But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:” (Matt. 6:20)
“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.” (Rev. 21:4)
I am going to repeat myself again, for this statement is worth repeating, only those who are heavenly minded are of any earthly good. But I add something to it today, that good may be for you.
Without the assurance of your salvation, heaven is nothing less than a hopeful desire, it is nothing more than a place you hope you can attain to. I will not burden you, though they are not truly burdens, but blessings, that provide the proof that we are saved by grace through faith, that works in an attempt to gain the favor of the Living God towards justification is a fool’s errand. If you have not trusted in Christ alone, in His shed blood, if you believe you must add some work to His sacrifice, then you have no assurance of salvation, and heaven will not be your destination, but eternal damnation will.
“Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.” (1st Cor. 15:50)
The body you now reside in is the one you will have for all eternity, but changed, glorified, pain will be a distant memory, never to be felt again, but as the marks in our Lord’s hands, feet and sides will always be there as an eternal reminder of the price paid for us, you will also have scars, if you have suffered for Him.
As His are, some will be visible, not in a deforming way that causes the eye to turn away, but as a testament of the one who followed Him through the fire of suffering in the flesh. As for those broken and contrite hearts that have in part been healed here, and fully there, I cannot say.
“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.” (1st Cor. 13:12)
The scars on Paul’s back, the furrows on Jeremiah’s face from decades of tears, the edges around Samson’s eyes that now gaze on the Living God with adoration, the acceptance at the hands of the wicked men pain for the glory of God, all visible in millions of our brothers and sisters who believed in the truth of 1st 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.”
The assurance of our salvation is the assurance of heaven, of the blessing of eternal life without pain and sorrow; it is more than hope, it is a known fact.
“Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.” (John 14:28)
You must have that same confidence, if you desire to glorify your Father in heaven, you must have that same confidence that His Son did, that just a few moments after you say, “It is finished” here, you will go home.
“We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” (2nd Cor. 5:8)
No works, grace, more than hope, blessed assurance.
Perhaps in a sense this poorly written letter will now help you to understand Luke 21:19 a little better. “In your patience possess ye your souls.” The race we run is a race to the door of death, with little care in how it arrives for us, our sights are fixed on the Lord Jesus Christ, not the manner in which He decides to call us home.
The perfect love that casts out all fear is the love that has been with you since the moment the Holy Spirit came to live in your life, to reveal the truth of Luke 12:32 to you. “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
Your treasure here is the Lord Jesus Christ, your treasure in heaven is Christ, your affections here and in heaven are set upon Christ. He has not forsaken you here, He will not forsake you in your final moments in this life.
Those who are left to continue serving after someone they loved dies who also served, we grieve with, but only for a time, then we rejoice with them, because of that assurance.
“For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” (2nd Tim. 1:12)