THE BEAUTY OF HEAVEN based on Rev. 21:9-21
By Glenn Pease
Among the world's famous short stories is the one called, The Lost Words Of Love, by the French writer, Mendes.
It is the fascinating tale of how an evil spirit sought to ruin man by stealing three words out of his vocabulary.
The three words were, I love you.
The spirit succeeded in this vicious vocabulary vanishing trick, and the results were tragic.
Friends drifted apart, couples broke up, and quarreling and depression spread like a plague.
People stopped singing, poets stopped writing, and it appeared that hell on earth would soon be a reality.
The story ends happily, however, because the spirit himself falls in love, and the world recovers the lost words of love.
It may sound weird, but it does have a message of profound truth.
For if you destroy man's love he is as good as in hell, and without love there can be no heaven.
In verse 8, John lists for us those who are excluded from heaven and cast into the lake of fire.
They are all products of hatred.
They hate God, and do not believe; they hate man and thus they murder; they hate what is pure, and thus they pollute and corrupt the beauty of human love; they hate the truth and thus they are habitual liars.
Hatred on earth is the beginning of hell, just as love on earth is the beginning of heaven.
Love and hate--heaven and hell, are almost parallel phrases.
The ugliness of hate is what will determine the environment of hell.
Earl Panzram murdered 23 people, and was executed in 1930.
His last words were, "I wish the whole human race had one neck and I had my hands around it."
God will cleanse the new heaven and the new earth of all such hate.
The world itself will be cleansed by fire, and all that blots the beauty of God's creation will be eliminated.
Love only, will be allowed in heaven, and they result will be beauty beyond our wildest dreams.
Love will reign supreme and no evil spirit will be able to rob men of it.
D. L. Moody recognized the connection of love and beauty in heaven.
He wrote, "Heaven is the only place where the conditions of love can be fulfilled."
Then he quotes the poet-
Beyond these chilling winds and gloomy skies;
Beyond death's cloudy portal,
There is a land where beauty never dies-
Where love becomes immortal.
Heaven began in the beauty of God's love.
John 3:16 begins with God's love, and ends with God's heaven--everlasting life.
In between is the gift that links us to both His love and His heaven--God's Son.
He is the source of all that is beautiful in both time and eternity.
Just looking at the beauty of this fallen and this sin stained world, is enough to make us marvel at what the beauty of heaven must be.
Someone looking up at the stars said, "If the suburbs are so beautiful, how beautiful the city of heaven must be.
All of our enjoyment of the beauty of this world is a mere faction of the creative work of God.
Much is never seen by anyone.
Full many a gem of purest ray serene
The dark, unfathomed caves of ocean bear;
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen
And waste it's fragrance on the desert air.
Since we know this to be true, we know by God's own handiwork that He is a lover of beauty.
This means, even if the Bible had nothing in it about heaven, we would still know that James Montgomery spoke true theology when he wrote--
If God hath made this world so fair,
Where sin and death abound,
How beautiful, beyond compare
Will paradise be found!
The Bible tells us much about the beauty of heaven.
John was caught up to see it for himself, and he tells us much of what he saw.
First of all, he compares the holy city to a bride in verse 9. Back in verse 2 he had stressed the beauty of the bride by saying she was adorned for her husband.
The bride adorned is the universal symbol of beauty.
She represents not only the beauty of love, but the beauty of the physical.
Her gorgeous gown and magnificent jewelry set her apart as the object of adoration.
All commentators agree that the bride represents the church in it's ideal state.
This being the case, the beauty of this heavenly bride is relevant to all believers.
They will be a part of the beauty of heaven just as the lost will be a part of the ugliness of hell.
The eternal destiny of all men is either beauty or ugliness.
It is safe to say that every Christian will be eternally beautiful.
The Bride of Christ will be without spot or wrinkle.
No Christian will bear any defect of any kind.
Paul will not longer have his thorn in the flesh, and every physical problem will cease to exist, when we receive our resurrected bodies.
Joni stresses her hope of being rid of her wheel chair and dancing with the angels.
There is no reason to doubt that her hope will be fulfilled.
Imagine what this hope must have meant to the first readers of the book of Revelation.
Christians were of the poor class.
Many were slaves, whose bodies revealed the lack of adequate food and care.
The hard life of millions of Christians left them scarred and maimed.
Like Lazarus at the gate of the rich man, the only medical care they had was that of the dogs, who came and licked their sores.
What a glorious hope heaven was to them.
Even with all our progress in medical care, we still experience enough of the problems of the flesh to appreciate John Mason Neal's joyful poem of heavenly expectation--
O how glorious and resplendent,
Fragile body, shalt thou be,
When endued with heavenly beauty,
Full of health and strong and free,
Full of vigor, full of pleasure,
Thou shall last eternally.
No one in the Old Testament was allowed into the presence of God who had any bodily defect.
No sacrifice was acceptable that had even the slightest blemish.
All of this was to stress that God is a God of beauty and perfection.
Nothing short of perfect beauty can please Him.
This being the case, all who love His Son are assured of being perfectly beautiful forever.
If Christ is our Savior, we will be a part of this lovely bride adorned for her heavenly husband.
We may not always appreciate our photograph now, but we shall all be satisfied when we awake in His likeness.
Meanwhile, with all of our defects, we can still let the beauty of Jesus be seen in us, if we heed the wisdom of Paul and focus our minds on what is true, noble, and lovely.
Christian people should have the highest standards in every realm of life.
Quality and beauty should characterize all that they appreciate.
Margerie Holmes writes,
Lord, let me take time for beauty.
Time for a jug of flowers on the table, or a plant if flowers
arn't in bloom.
Time for a dap of lipstick or a fresh blouse
before the family comes home.
Don't let me settle for the
dingy, the shabby, the ugly--either with myself or with my
house, just because I'm too lazy to make the effort.
Give me the energy and the will to provide a bit of beauty.
You've made the world so beautiful, Lord, let me take time
to see it.
Even as I'm rushing to the market or driving children