2751. A Prepared Place For A Prepared People

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“A Prepared Place For A Prepared People”

No. 2751-47:517. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Evening, May 25, 1879, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, November 3, 1901.

I go to prepare a place for you. {Joh 14:2}

Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. {Col 1:12}

 For other sermons on this text:
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1741, “Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled” 1742}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2751, “Prepared Place for a Prepared People, A” 2752}
   Exposition on Joh 14:1-12 Col 1:1-19 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2751, “Prepared Place for a Prepared People, A” 2752 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Joh 14:1-16 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2382, “Holy Spirit’s Chief Office, The” 2383 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Joh 14:1-20 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3510, “Fainting Soul Revived, The” 3512 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Joh 14:1-21 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2672, “Neither Forsaken nor Forgotten” 2673 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Joh 14 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2515, “Something Worth Seeking” 2516 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Joh 14 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3076, “Cause and Effect of Heart Trouble, The” 3077 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Joh 14 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3307, “Over the Mountains” 3309 @@ "Exposition"}
    {See Spurgeon_SermonTexts "Col 1:12"}

1. My real text is not in the Bible; it is one of those Christian proverbs, which are not inspired in words, but the spirit of which is inspired, “Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people.” You have often heard that sentence; it is familiar in your mouths as household words, and well it may be.

2. Yet I shall have two texts from the Scriptures; the first will be our Saviour’s words to his disciples, “I go to prepare a place for you,” from which we learn that “Heaven is a prepared place”; and the second will be Paul’s words to the Colossians, “Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light,” from which we learn that there is a prepared people, a people qualified to be partakers of the inheritance which Christ has gone to prepare for them.

3. I. I am not going to have any further preface, but I will begin at once to speak on THE PREPARATION OF HEAVEN: “I go to prepare a place for you.”

4. It is many months since I began to think this sentence over; I think I might truly say that, for several years, I have thought of it, and thought of it again, and thought of it yet again, — that our Lord Jesus Christ, before returning to heaven, should say to his disciples, “I go to prepare a place for you.” Is there any difficulty about this passage? Yes, it is very difficult to explain; indeed, I do not think that we really can know here all that Christ meant when he uttered these words. A father said to his children, when the summer sun had become hot, “I shall go to the seaside today, to prepare a place for you.” His little child asked, “What does father mean when he says that he will prepare a place for us?” And his mother answered, “My child, I cannot tell you all that your father means, but you will see when you get there; and now, it must be enough for you that, although you do not know what father will have to do at the seaside in preparing a place for you, he knows what he is going to do.” And, dear friends, there is this consolation for us that, even if we can hardly guess what it is that Christ can find to do to prepare heaven for us, he knows what is needed, and he knows how to do it; and that is infinitely better than our knowing, because, even if we knew what was needed, we could not do it. But, with Christ, to know and to do are two things that run parallel. He knows that there are certain preparations to be made, he knows what those preparations must be, and he is equal to the task of making them; he has not gone on an errand which he cannot fulfil; and when we get to heaven, we shall know — perhaps it may take us a long while to find it all out, — but we shall know and discover throughout eternity what he meant when he said, “I go to prepare a place for you.”

5. I do not profess to be able to explain our Lord’s words, but I am going simply to make a few remarks on them; and, first, I ask you to notice that heaven is already prepared for Christ’s people. Christ has told us that, when he comes in his glory, he will say to those on his right hand, “Come, you blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” So there is an inheritance which the Father has already prepared for the people whom he gave to his Son, and this inheritance is reserved for them. But if it was prepared from the foundation of the world, how can it be said to be prepared by Christ? The explanation probably is, that it was prepared in the eternal purpose of the Father, — prepared by wise forethought, — arranged for, — predestinated, — prepared in that sense, — it was provided, in the eternal arrangements of Jehovah, that there should be a suitable place for his people to dwell in for ever. He made the pavilion of the sun, and he gave the stars their appointed positions; would he forget to prepare a place for his people? He gave to angels their places, and even to fallen spirits he has appointed a prison-house; so he would not forget, when he was arranging the entire universe, that a place would be needed for the twice-born, the heirs of grace, the members of the mystical body of Christ Jesus, his brethren who were to be made like him. Therefore, in purpose, and plan, and decree, long before God had laid the foundations of this poor world, and the morning stars had sung together over creation’s six days’ work accomplished, he had prepared a place for his people; it was not actually prepared, but it was in the purpose and plan of the eternal mind, and therefore might be regarded as already done.

6. Our Lord Jesus Christ has gone to heaven, he says, so that he may prepare a place for his servants, and we may be helped to form some idea of what he means by this expression if we just think a little about it. And, first, I am sure that must be a very great and glorious place which needs Christ to prepare it. If we do not know all that he means, we can get at least this much out of his declaration. He spoke this world into being. It was not; but he said, “Be,” and it was at once made. Then he spoke it into order, into light, into life, into beauty. He had only to speak, and what he willed was done. But now that he is preparing a place for his people, he has gone to heaven on purpose to do it. He used to stand still here on earth, and work miracles; but this was a miracle that he could not perform while he was here. He had to go back to his home above in order to prepare a place for his people. What kind of place, then, must it be that needs Christ himself to prepare it? He might have said, “Angels, garnish a mansion for my beloved.” He might have spoken to the firstborn sons of light, and said, “Pile up a temple of jewels for my chosen.” But, no, he does not leave the work to them; but he says, “I go to prepare a place for you.”

7. Brethren, he will do it well, for he knows all about us. He knows what will give us the most happiness, — and what will best develop all our spiritual faculties for ever. He loves us, too, so well that, since the preparing is left to him, I know that he will prepare us nothing second-rate, nothing that could possibly be excelled. We shall have the best of the best, and much of it; we shall have all that even his great heart can give us. Nothing will be stinted; for, since he is preparing it, it will be a very royal and divine preparation. If, when the prodigal came back to his father, there was the preparation of the fatted calf, and the music and dancing, and the gold ring and the best robe, what will be the preparation when we do not come home as prodigals, but as the bride prepared for her husband, or as the beloved children, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, coming home to the Father who shall see his own image in us, and rejoice over us with singing? It is a grand place that Christ prepares, I think, for never was there another such a lordly host as he is. It is a mansion of delights, I think, that he prepares, for never was there another architect with thought so magnificent as his, and never were any other hands so skilled at quarrying living stones, and putting them one upon another, as his hands have ever been. This thought ought to cheer us much; it must be something very wonderful that Christ prepares as a suitable place for his people.

8. And I think I may add to this, that it must be something very sweet when it is prepared. If you go to a friend’s house, and just fall in with the ordinary proceedings of the family, you are very comfortable, and you are glad not to disturb anything; but if, when you arrive, you see that everything has been done on an extra scale to prepare for your coming, you feel even more grateful. It has often happened to an honoured guest that he could not help observing that he was not being treated as his friends lived every day of the week, and all the year round. That guest-room had evidently been newly furnished, and everything that was possible had been thought of to honour him. If you were treated like this as a guest, there was pleasure for you in the fact that so much had been prepared for you. Did your husband ever take you to a new house, and point out to you how he had purchased everything that he thought would please you? Had that little room been furnished especially for you, and did he anticipate your tastes, provide this little thing and that thing that he knew you would like? Well, it was not merely that you enjoyed the things themselves, but they all seemed to you so much sweeter because they had been prepared for you by your beloved. And when you get to heaven, you will be astonished to see this and that and the other joy, that was prepared for you, because Christ thought of you, and provided just what you would most appreciate. You will be no stranger there, beloved; you will say, “There has been here a hand that helped me, when I was in distress; there has been here, I know, an eye that saw me when I was wandering far from God; there has been, in this place, a heart that cared for me, — that very same heart that loved me, and that bled for me down below on the cross. It is my Saviour who has prepared this place for me.”

9. I do not know whether I can convey to you all my thoughts on this theme, but it does seem to me so pleasant to think that we are going to a place where we shall not be the first travellers through the country; but where a Pioneer has gone before us, — the best of pioneers, who went before us with this one object in his mind, that he might get everything ready, and prepare the place for us. I think, brethren, that those who will be there before us will say, when we arrive there, “We are glad you have come, for everything has been prepared for you.” It would be an eternal sorrow in heaven if the saints should miss their way, and perish, as some croakingly tell us; for, then, what about the preparations for their reception? They would all have been made in vain; — harps prepared, which no fingers would ever play, and crowns which no heads would ever wear. I do not believe it; I have never dreamed that such a thing could happen. I feel certain that he, who prepared the place for the people, will prepare the people for the place; and that, if he gets everything ready for them, he intends to bring them home so that they may enjoy the things which he has laid up for those who love him.

10. I know that I am not explaining the preparation of heaven, yet I hope I am drawing some comforting thoughts out of the subject. If Christ is preparing heaven, then it will be what our Scottish friends call “a bonny place”; and if it is prepared for us, when we get there, it will exactly suit us, it will be the very heaven we wanted, — a better heaven than we ever dreamed of, — a better heaven than we ever pictured even when our imagination took its loftiest flights, — the heaven of God, and yet a heaven exactly suited to such happy creatures as we then shall be.

11. Now, however, let us try to come a little closer to the subject, and attempt to explain our Lord’s words. Jesus Christ has gone to prepare a place for his people; does this not refer, if we keep it to its strict meaning, to the ultimate place of God’s people? You see, Christ mentions a place, not a state; and he speaks of going to it, and coming back from it: “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.” Christ is speaking of himself in his full manhood, without any figurative meaning to his words. He meant that he was going, with all his human nature in him, away from this world; and that he was going to prepare a place for us, intending to come again, with all that glorified human nature about him, to receive us to himself. This does not mean his spiritual coming in death; nor any kind of spiritual coming, as for its first meaning, at any rate. I am persuaded that the clear rendering of the words involves our Lord’s coming, in his second advent, when he will come to receive, not you or me as individuals who, one by one, will enter into rest, but to receive his whole Church into the place which he shall then have prepared for her. After the resurrection, you must remember, we shall need a place to live in, — a literal, material place of abode, for this body of ours will be alive as well as our spirit, and it will need a world to live in, a new heaven and a new earth.

12. I am not going to enter into any speculations about the matter, but it seems clear enough to me, in this text, that Christ is preparing a place somewhere — not for disembodied spirits, for they are already before the throne of God perfectly blest, — but for the entire manhood of his people, when spirit, soul, and body shall be united again, and the complete man shall receive the adoption, that is, the redemption of the body, and the entire manhood of every believer shall be perfected in the glory of Christ. I do not know what better world, in many respects, there could be than this, so far as material nature is concerned; it is so full of the beauty and loveliness that God pours on it on every side; it is a wonderful world, —

    Where every prospect pleases,
       And only man is vile; —

but I could not reconcile myself to the idea that this world would be heaven. No; my thoughts rise far above the loftiest hills, the most flowery meadows, the rolling ocean, and the flowing rivers. Earth does not have enough space to be our heaven. She has too narrow a bound, and she is too coarse a thing, bright gem though she is, for perfected manhood to possess throughout eternity. It will do well enough for the thousand years of glory, if it shall literally be that we shall reign with Christ on it during the millennial age; but it is a drossy thing, and if it ever is to be the scene of the new heavens and the new earth, it must first pass through the fire. The very smell of sin is on it; and God will not use this globe as a vessel for honour until he has purified it with fire as he once did with water; and then, maybe, it may serve for this higher purpose; but I scarcely think it will. Even now, Jesus is preparing, and has gone away on purpose to prepare a place for us; and he will come again, “with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God,” and he will catch his people away, and will bear them to the eternal home where their felicity shall know no end. That is what I suppose to be the meaning of our Lord’s words.

13. “But,” perhaps you say to me, “what, do you mean by what you have been saying?” I reply, — I do not know to the full; I can only dimly guess at the meaning of what my Lord has said, — that he is doing something so glorious for all his people that, perhaps, if I did know it, I might not be allowed to tell you; for there are some things which, when a man knows them, it is not lawful for him to utter. Did not Paul see a great deal when he was caught up into paradise? Yet he has told us very little about it; for there was a finger laid on his lips, that told him to know it for himself, but not to tell it to others. “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love him”; and though he has “revealed them to us by his Spirit,” even the Spirit who searches the deep things of God, it is not yet possible for us to tell all that has been revealed to us.

14. It strikes me that there is a little light to be obtained concerning this preparation of heaven by Christ, if I leave the direct and literal meaning of the words, and think of the future state as a whole rather than in detail. Do you not think, dear friends, that our Lord Jesus Christ prepares heaven for his people by going there? I mean this. Supposing you were to be lifted up to a state which was looked on as heavenly, but, that Jesus was not there, it would be no heaven for you. But wherever I may go, when I do go, if Jesus is already there, I do not care where it is. Wherever he is, shall be my heaven; for, as I said in the reading, that is our very first and last thought about heaven, to be with Christ where he is. To be with Christ is far better than to be anywhere else. Well then, the first thing that Christ had to do, in order to prepare heaven for his people, was to go to heaven, for that made it heaven. Then heaven’s lamps were kindled; then heaven’s heralds rang out their supernal melodies; then all of the New Jerusalem seemed to be ablaze with a glory brighter than the sun, for “the Lamb is its light.” When he comes there, then all is bliss. Do you not see, beloved, that he has prepared heaven by going there? His being there will make it heaven for you, so you need not begin asking what else there will be in heaven. There will be all kinds of rare delights for spiritual men, but the best of them all will be that Jesus is there. As Rowland Hill used to sing, so may you and I comfort ourselves with this thought, —

    And this I do find, — we two are so joined —
    He’ll not be in glory, and leave me behind.

If I may only be where he is, that shall be heaven for me.

15. But another reflection is this, — that our Lord Jesus Christ has prepared heaven for his people by the merit of his atonement. By this he has opened the kingdom of heaven for all believers. He tore the veil, and made a way into the holiest of all for all who trust him; but, in addition to that, he perfumed heaven with the fragrance of his sacrifice. If heaven is the place of the Godhead, as we know it is, we could not have stood there without the Mediator. If heaven is the throne of the great King, we could not have stood there without the cloud of perfumed, incense from Christ’s meritorious death and righteousness always rising up before that throne. But, now, heaven is a safe place for the saints to enter. Now they may tread that sea of glass, like fire; and know that it is glass, and that no fire from it will consume them. Now they will be able to come up near to God, and not be afraid. I quote again a passage that often leaps to my lips, — a text of Scripture which is often shamefully misused: “Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?” Why, none of us could so dwell unless Christ had changed us by his grace; but now we may do so. What is the scriptural answer to those questions, “Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?” What does the Scripture say? Listen: “He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly, he who despises the gain of oppressions, who gestures with his hands, refusing bribes, who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed, and shuts his eyes from seeing evil: he shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given to him; his waters shall be certain. Your eyes shall see the King in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.” {Isa 33:15-17} This is the man who shall dwell there. With God, who is a consuming fire, we, like the holy children in the burning fiery furnace, shall find it safe to dwell, and find it bliss to dwell, because Christ is there. But there would have been no heaven, in the presence of God, for any man who lives, after sin had once come into the world, if Jesus had not gone there as the high priest of old went up to the blazing throne on which the shekinah shone, and sprinkled it with blood out of the basin, and then waved the censer to and fro until the thick smoke hid the cherubim, and, for a while resting, spoke with God. Even so, Christ has gone within the veil, and sprinkled his own atoning blood on his Father’s throne, and then waved aloft the censer full of the incense of his mercy; and now it is safe for us to have access with boldness to the throne of glory as well as to the throne of grace. So he has prepared a place for us.

16. Another meaning, I think, is allowable, namely, that Christ has prepared heaven for us by appearing there in his glory. I said that his very presence made heaven, but now I add that his glory there makes heaven even more glorious. How does Christ describe the heavenly state? “Father, I will that they also, whom you have given me, be with me where I am; so that they may behold my glory.” It will be their bliss, then, to see his glory; but there would have been no glory for them to see if he had not gone there in his glory. But now his presence there, in all his majesty and splendour, makes heaven even more glorious. Oh, how I long to see him in his glory! Long to see him, did I say? I would part with all the joys of time and sense to gaze on him seated on his throne. Oh! what will it be to see him? You have seen how painters have failed when they have tried to depict him. The bravest artist may well tremble, and the brightest colours fade, when anyone tries to paint him even in his humiliation. There is no other face marred so much as his face was; but what will it be in heaven when it is marred no more? No tear in his eye! No spittle running down his cheeks! No giving of his face to those who pluck out the hair; but, oh, the glory of perfected manhood, and allied with Deity! “The King in his beauty!” Why, I think, to see him only for a minute, if we never saw him again, might furnish us with an eternity of bliss; but we shall gaze on him in his glory, day without night, never fainting, or fatiguing, or tiring, but delighting for ever to behold him smile, for evermore to call him ours, and to see him still before us. He has gone to heaven, then, in his glory; and, surely, that is preparing a place for us!

17. Besides that, we cannot tell what arrangements had to be made, in order to prepare a place of eternal blessedness for the Lord’s redeemed. It is certain that, in the economy of the universe, everything has its place. Men have discovered, as you know, what they call evolution. They think that one thing grows out of another, because, long before they were born, everyone with half an eye could see that one thing fitted into another; and just as one step rises above another step by a beautiful gradation, so do the created things of God. Not that they grow out of each other any more than the stones of a staircase grow out of each other; they rise above each other, but they were made so from the first by the skill and wisdom of God. That a dewdrop should be precisely of the size and shape that it is, is necessary for the perfection of the universe. That there should be insects born in such a month to fertilize the flowers that bloom in that month, and others to suck the sweetness of those flowers, is all necessary. God has arranged everything, from the little to the great, with perfect skill. There is a place for everything with God, and everything in its place. It was a question where to put man. He had a place once. When God created this world, he made a pyramid, and set man on the very top of it, giving him dominion over all the works of his hands; but then man fell. Now, it is more difficult to restore than it is at first to place. Very often you must have found that, when a thing has gone awry, it has cost you more trouble to fix it than if it had to be made over again. Where, then, was the place for man to be? Oh matchless love, oh sacred wisdom, that provided that man’s place should be where Christ’s place was and is! Lo, he who came down from heaven, and who also was in heaven, has gone back to heaven. He carried manhood with him; and, in doing so, one with him his Church has found her place. His union to the Godhead has found a place for his Church at the right hand of God, even the Father, where Christ sits; and all is as it should be.

18. As I have already told you, I do not know much about this matter; but I should not wonder if there has been going on, ever since Christ went up to heaven, a putting things straight, — getting this race of creatures into its proper place, and that other race, and the other race; so that, when we get to heaven, no one will say, “You are in my place.” Not even Gabriel will say to me, “Why, what business do you have here? You are in my place.” No, no; you shall have a place of your own, beloved; and all the members of Christ’s Church shall find a place prepared which no one else shall be able to claim, for no one shall be displaced or put out of his rightful position.

19. It struck me, as I thought this subject over in my mind, that our Lord Jesus Christ knew that there was a place to be prepared for each one of his people. It may be — I cannot tell, — that, in some part of the society of heaven, one spirit will be happier than it might have been in another part. You know that, even though you love all the brethren, you cannot help feeling most at home with some of them. Our blessed Lord and Master had no sinful favouritism, yet he did love twelve men better than all the rest of his disciples; and out of the twelve he loved three, whom he introduced into mysteries from which he excluded the other nine; and even out of the three, there was one, you know, who was “that disciple whom Jesus loved.” Now, everyone here has his likings; I do not know if we shall carry anything of that spirit to heaven. If we do, Christ has so prepared a place for us that you shall be nearest, in your position and occupation, to those who would contribute most to your happiness. You shall be where you can most honour God, and most enjoy God. You would be glad enough to be anywhere, — would you not? — with the very least of the saints in heaven if there are any degrees of glory among their thrones, or at his feet, as long as you might see Christ’s face. But, depend on it, if there is any association — any more intimate connection — between some saints than among others, Jesus Christ will so beautifully arrange it that we shall all be in the happiest places. If you were to give a dinner party, and you had a number of friends there, you would like to arrange the seating for them. You would say, “Now, there is So-and-so, I know that he would like to sit next to So-and-so”; and you would try to arrange it like that. Well, in that grand wedding feast above, our Saviour has so prepared a place for us that he will find us each the right position. I was talking, this afternoon, with one whom I very dearly love, and she said to me, “I hope my place in heaven will not be far off from yours”: and I replied, “Well, I trust so, too; but we are not married or given in marriage there.” Such ties and such relationships must end, as far as they are after the flesh; but we know that there have been bonds of spirit that may still continue. I sometimes think that, if I could have any choice concerning those I should live near in heaven, I should like to live in the region of such strange folk as Rowland Hill and John Berridge. I think I should get along best with them, for we could talk together of the way where God led us; and of how he brought souls to Christ by us, though some said that we were a good deal too merry when we were down here below, and that the people laughed when they listened to us, and some spoke as if that were a great sin. We will make them laugh up there, I warrant you; as we tell again the wonders of redeeming love, and of the grace of God, their mouths shall be filled with laughter, and their tongues with singing; and then, —

       Loudest of the crowd I’ll sing,
    While heaven’s resounding mansions ring
       With shouts of sovereign grace;

and I expect each of you, who love the Lord, will say the same.

20. I have no time for the other part of the sermon. You must come again to hear about THE PREPARED PEOPLE. But let me just say this to you, — The place is prepared, are you prepared for it? Do you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ? If so, your preparation has begun. Do you love the Lord, and love his people? If so, your preparation is going on. Do you hate sin, and do you pant after holiness? If so, your preparation is progressing. Are you nothing at all, and is Jesus Christ your All-in-all? Then you are almost ready; and may the Lord keep you in that condition; and before long, swing open the gates of pearl, and let you into the prepared place! May the Lord bring us all safely there, for Jesus’ sake! Amen.

Expositions By C. H. Spurgeon {Joh 14:1-12 Col 1:1-19}

14:1. “Do not let your heart be troubled:

This is one of those verses that you may read as slowly as you like, and spell out every letter, and find honey in it all.

1. You believe in God, believe also in me.

As Jews, they had already known and seen the power of God. They were now to rise to the faith of Christians, and to believe in Jesus their Saviour. Even though they should see him die, they were not to doubt him: “You believe in God, believe also in me.”

2. In my Father’s house are many mansions:

So there is room for many, there are homes for many, there is wealth for many; “In my Father’s house are many mansions”:

2. If it were not so, I would have told you.

The Saviour seems to say to his disciples, “I keep nothing back from you; had there been some sorrowful fact to be revealed to you, I would at length have told you about it.”

2. I go to prepare a place for you.

“There must be a heaven, for I am going there myself, and I am going on purpose to make it ready for you.”

3. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to myself; so that where I am, you may be there also.

That is the first and simplest idea of heaven, to be with Christ; and I think it is the last and most sublime idea of heaven, too, — to be with Christ: “that where I am, you may be there also.”

4, 5. And where go you know, and the way you know.” Thomas says to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going; and how can we know the way?”

The disciples blundered, and lost themselves in the words of their Master, instead of entering into the spirit of what he said; so we must not wonder if we often do the same. Unless we wait on God to be instructed by his Spirit, even the plainest passages of Scripture may be obscure to us.

6, 7. Jesus says to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man comes to the Father, but by me. If you had known me, you should have known my Father also: and from henceforth you know him, and have seen him.”

Jesus had been talking about the many mansions, and now he talks about the Father. Is the Father, then, the same as heaven? Yes, indeed; to come to the Father is to come to perfect blessedness, to know the fulness of his eternal love, and to enjoy it in face-to-face communion; — this is heaven. What higher bliss can we desire?

8, 9. Philip says to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it suffices us.” Jesus says to him, “Have I been so long a time with you, and yet have you not known me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father; and why do you say then, ‘Show us the Father’?

Do we, then, see the Father when we see Christ? And is the Father’s presence heaven? Then, Christ is heaven; and to be with him is heaven. It is even so. He is the way to heaven, the truth of heaven, the life of heaven. He is heaven’s everything.

    His track I see, and I’ll pursue
    The narrow way, till him I view; —

and when I view him, shall I not have seen the Father, and have entered into the Father’s rest?

10-12. Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak to you, I do not speak by myself: but the Father who dwells in me, he does the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake. Truly, truly, I say to you, ‘He who believes in me, the works that I do he shall also do’; and he shall do greater works than these; because I go to my Father.”

The result of Christ’s going to the Father, and the Spirit of God descending on Christ’s disciples, was that they are enabled to outdo their Master in some forms of holy service. For example, some of them brought more to the faith than Christ himself had done during his lifetime, and so experienced the fulfilment of this promise, “The works that I do he shall do also; and he shall do greater works than these; because I go to my Father.”

Reading from Colossians:

1:1-14. Paul an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colosse: Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which you have for all the saints, for the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; which is come to you, as it is in all the world; and produces fruit, as it also does in you, since the day you heard about it, and knew the grace of God in truth: as you also learned of Epaphras our dear fellow servant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; who also declared to us your love in the Spirit. For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that you might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; so that you might walk worthy of the Lord fully pleasing him, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

As we read these words, we cannot help noticing how positively the apostle speaks. There are no “hope so’s,” “trust so’s,” and “ifs,” and “buts”; but it is all, “it is so,” and “it is so.” And, beloved brethren, concerning eternal matters, nothing but certainties will suffice for us. Allow uncertainties about your estates if you wish, but we must have positive assurance concerning eternal things; and nothing short of this ought to satisfy our spirits. Can we all say, as we listen to these words, “God has delivered us from the power of darkness; he has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son, in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins?”

15. Who is the image of the invisible God, —

Admire this delightful passage, in which the apostle seems to burn and glow while he describes his Lord and Master: “who is the image of the invisible God,” —

15-19. The firstborn of every creature: for by him all things were created, that are in heaven, and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether they are thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; so that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell.

Blessed be his glorious name! Amen.

 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Heaven — Sweet Fields” 875}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Aspirations for Heaven — The Church Triumphant” 852}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Heaven — The Heavenly Jerusalem” 866}

Extracts From “Notices Of Books” In The “Sword And the Trowel” For November: —

It will be a pleasant surprise for our readers to learn that Mrs. C. H. Spurgeon has now been able to write so many of her “Personal Notes on a Text” that Messrs. Passmore and Alabaster expect to publish a new volume of them, in time for the Christmas sales, uniform with “A Carillon of Bells” and “A Cluster of Camphire, ” and at the same price (1s. 6d). Since most of the chapters have been written during summer-time, it is entitled “A Basket of Summer Fruit”; and it is hoped that its contents will prove to be what a poet has called “The summer fruit of the great Summer Land.”

Mr. Spurgeon had long ago, intended to gather into a volume a selection of his Addresses at the Metropolitan Tabernacle and other Prayer Meetings, but the opportunity of doing so was never permitted to him. His talks on those occasions were on such varied topics, and of such permanent interest, that his idea has been carried out: and Messrs. Passmore and Alabaster will shortly issue the volume, under the title, “Only a Prayer Meeting!” — the title of the first of the forty Addresses included in the book, which will be uniform with Mr. Spurgeon’s other works entitled “Till He Come, ”“ The Soul Winner, ” and “An All-Around Ministry, ” and will be the same price as those volumes (3s. 6d). It will be most helpful to conductors of Prayer Meetings, and to all who desire to increase the number and efficiency of such gatherings.

London: Passmore and Alabaster, 4, Paternoster Buildings; and from all Booksellers.



The Christian, Heaven
875 — Sweet Fields
1 There is a land of pure delight,
      Where saints immortal reign;
   Infinite day excludes the night,
      And pleasures banish pain.
2 There everlasting spring abides,
      And never-withering flowers:
   Death, like a narrow sea, divides
      This heavenly land from ours.
3 Sweet fields beyond the swelling flood
      Stand dress’d in living green;
   So to the Jews old Canaan stood,
      While Jordan roll’d between.
4 But timorous mortals start and shrink
      To cross this narrow sea,
   And linger, shivering on the brink,
      And fear to launch away.
5 Oh! could we make our doubts remove,
      Those gloomy doubts that rise,
   And see the Canaan that we love
      With unbeclouded eyes!
6 Could we but climb where Moses stood,
      And view the landscape o’er,
   Not Jordan’s stream, nor death’s cold flood,
      Should fright us from the shore!
                        Isaac Watts, 1709.


The Christian, Aspirations for Heaven
852 — The Church Triumphant
1 Give me the wings of faith to rise
      Within the veil, and see
   The saints above, how great their joys,
      How bright their glories be.
2 Once they were mourning here below,
      And wet their couch with tears;
   They wrestled hard, as we do now,
      With sins, and doubts, and fears.
3 I ask them whence their victory came?
      They, with united breath,
   Ascribe their conquest to the Lamb,
      Their triumph to his death.
4 They mark’d the footsteps that he trod,
      His zeal inspired their breast,
   And, following their incarnate God,
      Possess the promised rest.
5 Our glorious Leader claims our praise
      For his own pattern given,
   While the long cloud of witnesses
      Show the same path to heaven.
                        Isaac Watts, 1709.


The Christian, Heaven
866 — The Heavenly Jerusalem
1 Jerusalem! my happy home!
      Name ever dear to me;
   When shall my labours have an end,
      In joy, and peace, and thee?
2 When shall these eyes thy heaven-built walls
      And pearly gates behold?
   Thy bulwarks, with salvation strong,
      And streets of shining gold?
3 Oh when, thou city of my God,
      Shall I thy courts ascend,
   Where congregations ne’er break up,
      And sabbaths have no end?
4 There happier bowers than Eden’s bloom,
      Nor sin nor sorrow know:
   Blest seats, through rude and stormy scenes,
      I onward press to you.
5 Why should I shrink at pain and woe?
      Or feel at death dismay?
   I’ve Canaan’s goodly land in view,
      And realms of endless day.
6 Apostles, martyrs, prophets there
      Around my Saviour stand;
   And soon my friends in Christ below
      Will join the glorious band.
7 Jerusalem, my happy home!
      My soul still pants for thee;
   Then shall my labours have an end,
      When I thy joys shall see.
                  Eckington Collection, 1790.

Spurgeon Sermons

These sermons from Charles Spurgeon are a series that is for reference and not necessarily a position of Answers in Genesis. Spurgeon did not entirely agree with six days of creation and dives into subjects that are beyond the AiG focus (e.g., Calvinism vs. Arminianism, modes of baptism, and so on).

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Modernized Edition of Spurgeon’s Sermons. Copyright © 2010, Larry and Marion Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario, Canada. Used by Answers in Genesis by permission of the copyright owner. The modernized edition of the material published in these sermons may not be reproduced or distributed by any electronic means without express written permission of the copyright owner. A limited license is hereby granted for the non-commercial printing and distribution of the material in hard copy form, provided this is done without charge to the recipient and the copyright information remains intact. Any charge or cost for distribution of the material is expressly forbidden under the terms of this limited license and automatically voids such permission. You may not prepare, manufacture, copy, use, promote, distribute, or sell a derivative work of the copyrighted work without the express written permission of the copyright owner.

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