Thursday, September 22, 2005

Journey's End

This Sunday evening, we reach the end of the journey for Christian in Pilgrim's Progress as he reaches the Gates of the Celestial City along with Hopeful. The description is breathtaking:

"I saw in my dream, that these two men went in at the Gate; and lo as they entered they were transfigured, and they had raiment put on that shone like gold. There were also those that met them with harps and crowns, and gave them to them, the harps to praise withal, and the crowns in token of honour. Then I heard in my dream, that all the bells in the City rang again for joy; and that it was said unto them, 'Enter ye into the joy of the Lord.' I also heard the men themselves, that they sang with a loud voice saying, 'Blessing, honour, glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb, for ever and ever.'

"Now, just as the Gates opened to let in the men, I looked in after them; and behold, the City shone like the sun; the streets also were paved with gold, and in them walked many men with crowns on their heads, palms in their hands, and golden harps to sing praises withal. There were also of them that had wings, and they answered one another without intermission, saying, 'Holy, holy. holy, is the Lord.' And after that, they shut up the Gates; which when I had seen, I wished myself among them."

The Puritans (pastors like Bunyan) believed it was very important that Christians talk about heaven and long to be there. As we bring this summer series to a close, it is my fervent prayer that you may have this assurance that heaven awaits you. It is an assurance that Chistians (and only Christians) can maintain.

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