Matthew Henry states in his commentary on John 7:
“They should in vain expect a place in heaven: Where I (Jesus) am, and where all believers shall be with Me, thither ye cannot come. Not only because they are excluded by the just and irreversible sentence of the judge, and the sword of the angel at every gate of the new Jerusalem, to keep the way of the tree of life against those who have no right to enter, but because they are disabled by their own iniquity and infidelity: You cannot come, because you will not. Those who hate to be where Christ is, in His Word and ordinances on earth, are very unfit to be where He is in His glory in heaven; for indeed heaven would be no heaven to them, such are the antipathies of an unsanctified soul to the felicities of that state.”
He makes a good point. For many of us heaven would be a boring, too sterile and unpleasant place to be, so we are not forbidden by God, but by the choices we have made regarding our own lives, and therefore will not have to concern ourselves being in a place which would be totally unsatisfactory to us.
With reference to my early days, my late teen years of life, when I finally legal, I did enjoy dancing. I enjoyed music. I enjoyed women and I did enjoy drinking. Now, all of these things I liked would take place in a bar, or nightclub, but I did not like being in those places. Things I liked took place in places I did not like, therefore, my experience was not pleasant and I learned early to stay out of those places, probably God’s answer in helping me to eventually dislike all of those things I mentioned so my focus could be on more important, mature and valued.
How about you? Would you find heaven a place too sedate? We’re told “no eye have seen or ear have heard” of what heaven is like, but let us be honest about ourselves: do you believe you will enjoy being in a place where you are not able to participate and enjoy what you do here? Using my own experience, there will be no drinking there. There will be no music, at least the type I like now there. There will be women, or men, for those of the opposite sex, or “same” sex for that matter, who will be there to satisfy one’s fantasies. I doubt there will be dancing of any sort, so would you enjoy being there? So, I would have needed to purge these things from my “like” list and place them on my “dislike” list in order to prepare myself for this more sedate place. If I now live in the Philippines and am going to return to the United States, it would take preparation before arrival. I would have to purchase winter clothing again. I would have to find housing again, I would have to do many things so my arrival there would be comfortable. The same goes for heaven. Like one of the secular songs say, I would need a “new attitude”, in order to even be fitted there because I can surely guarantee you this: there will be no sadness there, and so we all must have been changed to get there.
One of the most intriguing and recognized fact about ourselves is the ONLY thing we will bring with us to heaven is our character. Therefore, if our character is not suitable, we definitely would not find heaven a place enjoyable and desirable. Our character has to be molded to the character of Jesus. THIS IS WHY I can forcefully and with confidence state those who do not know Him will not be there. Those who do not accept Him, will not be there. It takes becoming Him and it took Him becoming us in order to set the stage for our eventual and soon arrival, so while we’re still at the station, there is some baggage which need not only to be checked but some must be discarded before we are able to take the trip of a lifetime.
Check to make certain yours is ready. And, like they say at the airport: “Make sure you do not leave your bags unattended.” Satan is trying to corrupt our stuff so we will not make it past security!
December 17, 2015