|by Mrs. Vesta J. Farnsworth
One evening, a little girl was gazing with delight at the brilliant stars shining in the darkened sky. Suddenly she exclaimed: "I was thinking if the wrong side of heaven is so glorious, what must the right side be?"
Our view of the heavenly home has been marred because of sin. We see the "wrong side" of heaven. The earthly home, at its best, is a type of the better one for which we long.
On a mountain summit stands a large building surmounted by a circular dome. Night after night, a sleepless watcher points his telescope toward the stars and looks into infinite space. He studies the secrets of the heavenly bodies, and watches suns and worlds and systems, and records their movements.
How far away they seem! Men often inquire if other worlds are inhabited. Astronomers cannot tell us. Science can only reason from conditions in our own earth, and these conditions form a basis for speculation only, in which astronomers are not agreed. Doubtless other worlds like our own were formed to be inhabited. Definite knowledge must wait for future revealings. ...
When we try to understand the truth about our home in heaven, "as yet we see things dimly, reflected in a mirror; but then, - face to face! As yet knowledge is incomplete; but then when we reach that blest abode it will be as full as God's knowledge of us is now." 1 Corinthians 13;12, Twentieth Century New Testament.
In ancient times, mirrors were made of polished metal, which did not give back a perfect reflection. One translation of the above text reads, "Now we see through a [dim] glass obscurely." Long ago thin plates of horn, transparent stone, ill-prepared glass, were used in windows to admit light through which objects might be imperfectly seen.
As the traveler rejoices at the end of a long, wearisome journey, as he hastens his steps when he sees his native hills, so the Christian who has reached the last stage of his earthly pilgrimage eagerly inquires, "Are we almost there?"
HEAVEN IS A PLACE
We are traveling to "a country." This world is "a strange country" to those who, like Abraham, look "for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God."
Those who have died in faith "confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth." This was not their home. They desired "a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He hath prepared for them a city." "Here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come."
HEAVEN IS A HOME
Those who live in that country form one large, loving, united family. None lack "good society" there. None but pure, holy beings dwell in heaven. "Thy people also shall be all righteous." There is no caste there, and every one will have right to the glories, beauties, and privileges of that home.
When we reach that abode, we "shall go no more out." We shall "move no more." No packing and picking up, no loaded van leaving the door with our earthly belongings! We shall have a permanent home, a residence lacking in nothing that is desirable. The chief joy will be that we shall see our best Friend, we shall be "Forever with the Lord." ...
FOOD AND CLIMATE
There will be an abundance of food there. No one will be hungry or thirsty, for "they shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb ... shall lead them unto living fountains of waters."
The climatic conditions will combine and exceed the best features of the most salubrious climate on earth. There will be no tornadoes or hurricanes, no thunderstorms, no tempests or earthquakes. Through the clear atmosphere, multitudes of happy homes can be seen, and music will echo and reecho from hill to valley through all that fair land.
No doctors, nurses, dentists, or lawyers will be needed there. "The inhabitant shall not say, I am sick," "neither shall there be any more pain." The undertaker's services will not be required, for "there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying." All have been changed from mortality to immortality, and the saying has been brought to pass that is written, "Death is swallowed up in victory."
"THAT GREAT CITY"
Heaven has a grand metropolis. It is a more wonderful city than the imagination can conceive. It baffles all powers of description. But we have a few of its marvels and beauties made known. "The city lieth foursquare." It is three hundred and seventh-five miles in length and breadth. It is surrounded by a wall "great and high," and twelve flashing, glittering, precious stones form the foundation of this wall. On the north, the south, the east, and the west, three gates give entrance to the city. "And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl." There is an angel guardian at each one; "and the gates ... shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there."
No electric power plant lights this great city; "for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof." Through its broad street flows a glorious living river. On its banks is the tree of life, bearing its fresh, luscious fruit of different variety each month....
THE VALUE OF A HOME THERE
What will a residence in such a city be worth? How much shall we invest in it? It is a part of the "inheritance ... reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."
Have you made your reservation?
This great city, New Jerusalem, is the queen of the new earth. To her, "from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me, saith the Lord." In that holy city, "God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God."
"And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."
"For the Lord shall comfort Zion: ... and He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody."
LIFE IN THE COUNTRY
The "nations of the saved" who enter the city of God may also have residence in the country. The whole earth will be made new, and God's purpose will be fulfilled that it shall be inhabited. There "the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose."
"Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert."
"They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea."
"NO MORE CURSE"
The fatal malady which has been the curse of our world will be forever cured. Sin shall never exist again. The controversy between good and evil will eternally end. There will be no more death. After millions of years in that holy, happy land, there will be as many millions multiplied by millions more still to live; and on and on, ever and forever on through the ages of eternity, the inhabitants of that world shall live, with the certain knowledge that "they shall die no more."
We may have a home there. We may invite others to go with us. Our children must not be left behind; but like Moses, we say, "We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters ... will we go."
WHERE HEAVEN BEGINS
Heaven for us must begin on earth. What we make our homes here will, in a measure, determine what they will be there. We cannot imagine that those who are unfaithful and unloving in their home here would be prepared for a home in heaven. This life is a training school where the lessons of patience, fidelity, faithfulness, and obedience must be mastered.
One writer has beautifully said: "The colored sunsets and the starry heavens, the beautiful morning and the shining sea, the fragrant woods and the painted flowers are not half so beautiful as a soul that is serving Jesus out of love, in the wear and tear of everyday, common, and unpoetic life."
No other work committed to us is so important, none other reaches into the future so far, no other is so often or so easily marred, as our homemaking. The goldsmith works on precious stones and metals. The artist skillfully paints his canvas. It matters little if their work is not entirely perfect; but the imprint our lives and characters leaves on human souls with whom we associate in the home is as lasting as the ages, and it will never - no, never be effaced.
We must have a home in God's land. Those who have bravely borne the trials and tests of life, those who have patiently labored and fainted not, will be there. Those who have striven to attain highest excellence as husband, wife, father, mother, brother, sister, son and daughter, shall, through the merits of Christ and by His grace, inherit the home everlasting.
This article is Chapter 9 of the book "The Real Home" and is in the public domain
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