Sunday, 22 November 2015

Sunday Thoughts - What will happen at the resurrection?

I read recently a sermon on Psalm 17:15 called Awaking in Glory. The text says, ‘I shall be satisfied when I awake with thy likeness,’ found in the KJV because the sermon was preached in Banff during the nineteenth century by the local Free Church minister, George Grant. In addition to having read that psalm on countless occasions, I have sung the metrical versions of the psalm many times, but never focussed so directly on the point being made by David as to what he will think at the moment of resurrection. So I was glad to read what Grant had to say about it.

So what things will make believers satisfied at that great, wonderful, future moment? Here are the items that Grant suggested. (1) The soul and the body of the believer will be united again, except then they will be perfect; (2) Finding himself positioned at the right hand of the Judge; (3) Hearing his name read out as one of the redeemed and discovering that he is now acquitted and accepted, and invested with the robes of immortality; (4) Inexpressible happiness as he hears the joyful welcome to enter, with others, into the Father’s kingdom; (5) Happiness too big for utterance when the crown is put on his head and the palm in his hand; (6) He is not only with the Lord, but like the Lord in outward glory and inward purity.

As Grant pointed out, ‘then indeed the glorified saint is fully satisfied with himself, his condition, his occupations, his company, and his prospects.’ The believer cannot do any of them perfectly in this life. Yet when that day arrives, ‘his prospects are now bright and glorious, without a cloud to darken his sky – a fear to trouble his mind – a temptation to ruffle his soul – the feeling of pain or disappointment to cause a sigh – a single want unsatisfied to excite discontent. The sting of sin is extracted, death and the grave are vanquished, there is fullness of joy, God is to the glorified all in all.’

Grant lived in an age when people thought a lot about the eternal world of glory because they lived as those who would yet be in it. They drank deeply out of that well of consolation and anticipated by faith their future experience of the presence of the exalted Jesus. And they remind us that we are only travellers to eternity and they still exhort us to think much about our destination.