“Breath the home atmosphere. Jesus tells us that the atmosphere of His home is love, “You loved Me before the foundation of the world.”
Brethren, can you follow me in a great flight? Can you stretch broader wings than the condor ever knew, and fly back into the unbeginning eternity? There was a day before all days, when there was no day but the Ancient of Days. There was a time before all time, when only God was, the uncreated, the only existent One. The Divine Three, Father, Son, and Spirit, lived in blessed consort with each other, delighting in each other. Oh the intensity of the divine love of the Father to the Son! There was no world, no sun, no moon, no stars, no universe, but God alone and the whole of God’s omnipotence flowed forth in a stream of love to the Son, while the Son’s whole being remained eternally one with the Father by a mysterious essential union. How came all this which we now see and hear? Why this creation; this fall of Adam, this redemption, this church, this heaven? How came it all about? It needed not to have been, but the Father’s love made Him resolve to show forth the glory of His Son. The mysterious volume which has been gradually unfolded before us has only this one design—the Father would make known His love to the Son, and make the Son’s glories to appear before the eyes of those whom the Father gave Him.
This Fall and this Redemption, and the story as a whole, so far as the divine purpose is concerned, are the fruit of the Father’s love to the Son, and His delight in glorifying the Son.
Those myriads, those white-robed myriads, harping to music infinitely deep, what do they all mean? They are the Father’s delight in the Son. That He might be glorified forever, He permitted that He should bear a human body, and should suffer, bleed, and die, so that there might come out of Him, as a harvest comes from a dying and buried corn of wheat, all the countless hosts of elect souls, ordained forever to a felicity exceeding bounds. These are the bride of the Lamb, the body of Christ, the fullness of Him that fills all in all. Their destiny is so high that no language can fully describe it. God only knows the love of God, and all that it has prepared for those who are the objects of it.
Love wraps up the whole in its cloth of gold. Love is both the source and the channel, and the end of the divine acting. Because the Father loved the Son He gave us to Him, and ordained that we should be with Him. His love to us is love to the Son. “Not for your sakes do I this, O House of Israel; be ashamed and be confounded.” Because of the boundless, ineffable, infinite love of the great Father toward His Son, therefore has He ordained this whole system of salvation and redemption, that Jesus in the church of His redeemed might everlastingly be glorified. Let our saintly ones go home, beloved, if that is the design of their going. Since all comes of divine love, and all sets forth divine love, let them go to Him who loves them—let divine love fulfill its purpose of bringing many sons unto glory. Since the Father once made our Lord perfect by His sufferings, let Him now be made perfectly glorious by the coming up of His redeemed from the purifying bath of His atonement. I see them rise like sheep from the washing, all of them gathering with delight at the feet of that great Shepherd of the sheep.
Beloved, I am lost in the subject now. I breathe that heavenly air. Love surrounds all, and conquers grief. I will not cause the temperature to fall by uttering any other words but this—Hold your friends lovingly, but be ready to yield them to Jesus. Detain them not from Him to whom they belong.
When they are sick, fast and pray, but when they are departed, do much as David did, who washed his face, and ate, and drank. You cannot bring them back again, you will go to them, they cannot return to you. Comfort yourselves with the double thought of their joy in Christ and Christ’s joy in them; add the triple thought of the Father’s joy in Christ and in them.
Let us watch the Master’s call. Let us not dread the question—who next, and who next? Let none of us start back as though we hoped to linger longer than others. Let us even desire to see our names in the celestial conscription. Let us be willing to be dealt with just as our Lord pleases.
Let no doubt intervene, let no gloom encompass us. Dying is but going home, indeed, there is no dying for the saints. Charles Stanford is gone! Thus was his death told to me—“He drew up his feet and smiled.” Thus will you and I depart. He had borne his testimony in the light, even when blind. He had cheered us all, though he was the greatest sufferer of us all, and now the film has gone from the eyes, and the anguish is gone from the heart, and he is with Jesus. He smiled. What a sight was that which caused that smile!
I have seen many faces of dear departed ones lit up with splendor. Of many I could feel sure that they had seen a vision of angels. Traces of a reflected glory hung about their countenances.
O brethren, we shall soon know more of heaven than all the divines can tell us. Let us go home now to our own dwellings, but let us pledge ourselves that we will meet again. But where shall we appoint the trysting place? It would be idle to appoint any spot of earth, for this assembly will never come together again in this world. We will meet with Jesus, where He is, where we shall be-hold His glory. Some of you cannot do this. Turn from your evil ways. Turn to the right, where stands that cross, and keep straight on and you will come to Jesus in glory. Blessed be the name of the Lord! Amen.”
Charles Spurgeon’s Sermon #1892 ‘Why They Leave Us’