2004-10-04 - Heavenly Rest
Matthew 11:28, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest."
When the Trojans had been about the Mediterranean Sea, they finally found their country. They cried, "Italy!" "Italy!" with great joy. The Children of God also, after their long toils in this world, the ending of the assaults of sin, will enter Heaven saying, "Rest!" "Rest!" There is a rest for the people of God. It is not far away. Life is but a breath, and our rest awaits and comes quickly. We can get a taste of rest here before Heaven, but never a complete rest. Any rest we experience here is imperfect. In Heaven, our rest will be complete.
Here, any rest we experience is interrupted by temptation and sin, but in Heaven, we will experience uninterrupted rest. There will be no sin, or temptation or false friends in Heaven. There will only be rest from all things that assault us now. Here we experience joy, but it is mixed with sorrow. Here we have health, but also endure sickness. Here we have light, but also know it comes with darkness. In Heaven, we will never have a mix of the good with the bad. All will be blessedness when we enter our rest in heaven. Here we are often, both literally and spiritually, seeking rest. In Heaven, we shall enjoy an uninterrupted, permanent and constant rest.
Let us not come to the conclusion that Heaven will be a permanent siesta. Heaven will be a place of rest, but not of laziness. I don't like to speculate on eternal things, but I believe Heaven will be a place of occupation. Whether it be praising the Lord or growing in the knowledge of Him, Heaven will be a place of rest, because we will not have the cumbrances that come with sin. We will always be growing in our knowledge of God. While we may know the Lord inwardly, spiritually, transformingly, and practically now, it will be in Heaven where we will know and experience knowing God in a fuller sense. The best knowledge of God is reserved for Heaven. The clearest revelation of God to us will be in Heaven.
Hiero, a tyrant, asked Simonides to tell him what God was. Simonides asked for a day to contemplate. He then asked for another day. Then he asked for two days more. Then he asked for four days, and every time after, he doubled the number of days he needed to answer the question. Such is the nature of God. When we consider Him, we find Him to be incomprehensible. In Heaven, we will know Him and continue to grow in our knowledge of Him, and this also is part of our resting in Heaven. We shall be growing in the knowledge of God. Augustine had a great answer to the question, "What is God?" "Surely it is he, who when he is spoken of cannot be spoken of, who when he is considered of cannot be considered of, who when he is compared to any thing cannot be compared, and when he is defined, groweth greater by defining of him."
Our rest in Heaven will not mean inactivity. Rest will involve a clearer vision and understanding of God, that is not hindered by sin. "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known," 1 Corinthians 13:12. In Heaven, we will experience God's presence. Many things hinder our experiencing God's presence in this world, but all those things will be removed in Heaven. This is our rest in Heaven. It is a rest from sin, forgetfulness, bodily pain, emotional swings and all those things that hinder our focus on God's glory. In Heaven, we will be free from these things - and for the Christian, Heaven is but a breath away. Our rest is soon, soon.
Soli Deo Gloria,