There’ll be a lot of benefits to heaven. No more tears. No mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore. For death will be done (Rev. 21:4). No more darkness. No lies, nor deception, nor suppressing of the truth. For the prince of darkness will be defeated (Rev. 20:10). No more sin. No transgressing, nor rebelling, nor going astray as we seek our own way. For only those who have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb, having received His righteousness, will be permitted entrance (Rev. 22:13-14). Yup, a lot of benefits to heaven, if only because of what won’t be there: No more tears; No more darkness; No more sin.
Wrapped up John 17 this morning (verse 20 through 26). And, while the primary focus of the first part of Jesus’ prayer has been on His disciples, this part is specifically about me and all those who will believe in Jesus through their word (17:20). And what’s captured my thoughts this morning is another benefit to heaven– I’m thinking the primary benefit of heaven. And it won’t be found in the things we won’t find there but in what we will see there.
“Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given Me, may be with Me where I am, to see My glory that You have given Me because you loved Me before the foundation of the world.” ~ Jesus (John 17:24 ESV)
To see His glory. That’s what Jesus wants. For His people to be with Him where He is, to see His glory.
Today I have some inkling of that glory. Known through creation, having been given eyes to see through regeneration. Seen in His Word through the Spirit who illuminates the Scripture. Experienced through the mystery of abiding in Him. All of it, and probably more that isn’t coming to mind right now, revealing something of the glory of the blessed Son of God, though now “in a mirror dimly” (1Cor. 13:12).
But then face to face. Entering into the fullness of experiencing all that Jesus is. Observing with sustained attention the One who is “the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature.” Eyes fixed solely on the One who now “upholds the universe by the word of His power.” Worshiping alone the One who has made “purification for sins.” Bowing down before the One who is “sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb. 1:3). The One who even now waits until that day when those the Father has given Him might be with Him . . . to see His glory.
Faith giving way to sight. The things of earth give way to the reality of heaven.
On that day when the Son’s prayer is answered in full and we are with Him. Where He is. That we might see the glory. “The glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
For whatever else heaven will be, that will be heaven . . . To see His glory.
All because of grace. And all for His glory.