By Ronny Milliner
What comes to your mind when you hear the word “home”? I think of a little brick ranch house, of Bullitt County, Kentucky, of knobs, of a basketball goal attached to a shed, and many other things.
What feelings do you get when you hear the word “mother”? Hopefully there is affection, respect, tenderness, and concern among others.
Now think of the word “Heaven.” What images come to your mind? What emotions are stirred within you? One emotion which should be there is a longing for Heaven.
The early Christians had a great desire for Heaven. Paul expressed such a longing in 2 Corinthians 5:2 when he wrote, “For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven.” Also listen to Peter in 2 Peter 3:11-14, “Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless. ” Our cry should be that of Paul in 1 Corinthians 16:22, “O Lord, come!”, and of John in Revelation 22:20, “Amen, Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”
Are we truthful when we sing, “What a joy ’twill be ‘when I wake to see Him for whom my heart is burning! Nevermore to sigh, nevermore to die -For that day my heart is yearning.” Or what about, “Closing my eyes at eve and thinking of heaven’s grace, Longing to see my Lord, yes, meeting Him face to face.” Let us ever raise our voices to proclaim, “O Zion, Zion, I long thy gates to see; O Zion, Zion, When shall I dwell in thee?” Truly, “sing to me of Heaven” ought to be on the lips of every Christian.
The Preparer of Heaven
When you sing to me of Heaven, sing to me of the Preparer of Heaven. Sing to me of Jesus, for He said in John 14:1-3, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 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. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” Oh, what an experience to be with Jesus!
So, sing to me of “Walking and talking with Christ, the supernal one, Won’t it be wonderful there? Praising, adoring the matchless eternal One, Won’t it be wonderful there?” And sing to me that “When all my labors and trials are o’er, And I am safe on that beautiful shore, Just to be near the dear Lord I adore, Will thru the ages be glory for me.”
The apostle Paul had the hope of being with his Lord. He expressed in 2 Corinthians 5:8, “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” That desire can also be seen in Philippians 1:23. “For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.” He spoke to the Thessalonians of “our gathering together to Him” (2 Thess. 2:1).
That day will be a day of great marvel. We will marvel at His own glory. The apostle declares in 2 Thessalonians 1:10, “When He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.” We will also marvel in the fact that we will be like Him. Paul says in Philippians 3:20-21 that Jesus “will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.” And John tells us in I John 3:2, “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”
The Parting From The Troubles And Cares of This Life When you sing to me of heaven, sing to me of the parting from the troubles and cares of this life. Job described man as one who “is of few days and full of trouble” (Job 14:1). Paul experienced some rough times. In 2 Corinthians 11:23-28 he said he had “stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness – besides the other things, what come upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches.” Yet consider what he wrote in Romans 8:18. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
Yes, sing to me of “When with the Savior we enter the gloryland, Won’t it be wonderful thre? Ended the troubles and cares of the storyland, Won’t it be wonderful there?” And sing to me how “Beyond this land of parting, losing and leaving, Far beyond the losses, darkening this, And far beyond the taking and the bereaving Lies the surnmerland of bliss. Beyond this land of toiling, sowing and reaping, Far beyond the shadows darkening this, And far beyond the sighing, moaning and weeping, Lies the surnmerland of bliss.” Oh, sing to me that “In heaven, no drooping nor pining, No wishing for elsewhere to be; God’s light is forever there shining, How beautiful heaven must be. How beautiful heaven must be, Sweet home of the happy and free; Fair haven of rest for the weary, How beautiful heaven must be.”
Reflect on the sweet rest Heaven will bring. As John recorded in Revelation 14:13, “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on. ‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.”‘
The Prettiness of Heaven
Have you ever witnessed the beauty of a radiant sun setting in the Gulf of Mexico? Have you ever been amazed at the glistening autumn leaves of the Smokey Mountains? Have you ever seen the beauty in the rolling white fences of a Lexington horse farm? While we appreciate the beauty in these things, the beauty of Heaven is really beyond compare. So sing to me of the prettiness of Heaven.
Revelation 21:10-27 describes a great city having the glory of God. It tells of a light like a crystal-clear jasper stone, and a foundation of rainbowcolored gems. We can read of gates made of a single pearl, and of streets of pure gold, like transparent glass. Friends, let’s not allow the figurativeness of this passage to hinder us from appreciating the truthfulness of its point, that is, the beauty and richness of the final state of God’s redeemed people. Be assured that the literal beauty is far greater than this symbolic description.
So, sing to me of “Beautiful robes of white, Beautiful land of light, Beautiful home so bright, Where there shall come no night; Beautiful crown I’ll wear, Shining and bright o’er there, Yonder in mansions fair, Gather us there.” Sing to me how that “Up in the beautiful paradise valley, By the side of the river of life, Up in the valley, the wonderful valley, We’ll be free from all pain and a strife; There we shall live in the rose-tinted garden. ‘Neath the shade of the evergreen tree, How I long for the paradise valley, Where the beauty of heaven I see.”
The Passing Of Sin
When you sing to me of Heaven, sing to me of the passing away of sin. We try to do our best here, yet there are times when we slip. The Devil is still active here; he won’t be in Heaven. We are still being tempted, and unfortunately, we still yield to it. But in Heaven that will all be gone.
Sing to me how that “In this world we have our troubles, Satan’s snares we must evade; We’ll be free from all temptations Where the roses never fade.” Sing to me the words, “Having overcome sin, ‘hallelujah amen’ Will be heard in that land o’er the foam, Every heart will be light and each face will be bright, When all of God’s singers get home.”
The curse of sin will be no more. Revelation 22:3 says, “And there shall be no more curse.” Satan will have had his due according to Revelation 20:10, where John wrote, “And the devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” Also the influence and trials from the wicked will be no more for John writes in Revelation 21:27, “But there shall no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book. of Life.”
Listen to the description of those who have gained the victory in Revelation 14:1-5. “Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps. And they sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth. These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile, for they are without fault before the throne of God.”
The Painlessness of Heaven
While singing to me of Heaven, sing to me of the painlessness of Heaven. Consider the great promises God had made for us. Revelation 21:4 declares, “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Listen also to the Lord in Luke 20:35-36. He said, “But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.”
Thus, there will be no more blindness or cancer. There will be no more arthritis, diabetes, or ulcers. Never again will one have to pick out a coffin for a departed loved one. There will be no more rides behind the hearse. Cemetaries and death will not be in Heaven.
Sing to me “How sweet will be the welcome home, When this short life is o’er; When pain and sorrow, grief and care, shall trouble us no more.” Sing to me that there will be “No tears in heaven, no sorrows given, All will be gladness, When we shall join that happy band.” Sing how that “I have heard of a land on the far away strand, ‘Tis a beautiful home of the soul; Built by Jesus on high, there we never shall die, ‘Tis a land where we never grow old.”
The Praising Of God In Heaven
When you sing to me of Heaven sing to me of praising God. Sing to me that “When we the lovely promised land with spirit eyes shall see; We’ll join the holy angel band In Praise, dear Lord, to Thee.” Sing to me saying, “What a song of delight in that city so bright Will be wafted ‘neath heaven’s fair dome, How the ransomed will raise happy songs in His praise, When all of God’s singers get home.”
When we think of all the blessings God has bestowed upon us, we can not help but praise Him. John recorded in Revelation 7:15, “Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them.” Later in the fifteenth chapter, he wrote in verses two through four, “And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying: ‘Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, 0 King of the saints! Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For you alone are holy, For all nations shall come and worship before You, For your judgments have been manifested!'”
The Perpetualness of Heaven
When you sing to me of Heaven, sing to me of the perpetualness of Heaven. Why? Because we are not talking of just a brief vacation, a two or three year leave, or even a lifetime, but eternity.
The Scriptures are clear as to the permanent nature of our reward. 1 Peter 1:4 says we have “an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.” Paul affirms in 1 Corinthians 15:42 that though one’s “body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption.”
So sing to me that “I am going to a city Where the streets with gold are laid, Where the tree of life is blooming, And the roses never fade. Here they bloom but for a season, Soon their beauty is decayed; I am going to a city Where the roses never fade.” Sing how that “A rose is blooming there for me, Where the soul never dies. No sad farewells, No teardimmed eyes, Where all is love, And the soul never dies.”
The People Of Heaven
Sing to me of the people of Heaven, because Heaven will be the grand reunion of all God’s people. Paul wanted to assure the Thessalonians concerning this fact when he wrote in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.”
Sing to me of “When I meet the ransomed over on the golden shore, I’ll be satisfied.” Sing to me about the “Saved ones gone to be with Jesus, In their robes of white arrayed. Now are waiting for my coming Where the roses never fade.” Sing, “O think of the saints over there, Who before us the journey have trod, Of the songs that they breathe on the air, In their home in the palace of God. Over there, over there, over there, O think of the saints over there.”
Think of being able to talk with Noah about the flood. Reflect on speaking with Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, and Jeremiah. What an experience to get a first hand account of Pentecost from Peter! What a thrill to see Stephen and the man who held the garments of those who stoned him walking side by side!
O think of the saints of our own time who are over there. Gospel preachers, elders, Bible class teachers who have helped us to be what we are before God. Also think of those dear to us who are over there – wives, husbands, fathers, mothers, children, friends. Hasten the day!
Yes, “Sing to me of heaven, sing that song of peace, From the toils that bind me it will bring release; Burdens will be lifted that are pressing so, Showers of great blessing o’er my heart will flow.”
“Sing to me of heaven, as I walk alone, Dreaming of the comrades that so long have gone; In a fairer region, ‘mong the angel throng, They are happy as they sing that old, sweet song.”
“Sing to me of heaven, tenderly and low, Till the shadows o’er me rise and swiftly go; When my heart is weary, when the day is long, Sing to me of heaven, sing that old, sweet song.”
“Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream Of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam; Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall, Sing to me of heaven, Sweetest song of all.”
Friends, if You miss Heaven, you’ve missed it all.
Guardian of Truth XXXI: 16, pp. 496-498
August 20, 1987