“Salvation Ready to be Revealed”
1 Peter 1:3-9
The Scriptures speak often of our salvation in the future tense. Truly, with regard to this matter of our salvation, “the best is yet to come.” There is a very real sense in which the salvation of our souls is a salvation yet to be revealed (1 Pet. 1:3-9). Obviously, I cannot say much about this aspect of our salvation, because I do not yet know much about it; but I know a little.
Not Unclothed, but Clothed Upon
Soon, I will drop this robe of flesh and live. — Then, I shall be saved (2 Cor. 5:1-9). For the unbeliever, death is a horrible thing. For the unbeliever, anything short of death is mercy. But, for the believer, death is a great blessing. John Trapp wrote, “To those that are in Christ death is but the day-break of eternal brightness; not the punishment of sin, but the period of sin. It is but a sturdy porter opening the door of eternity, a rough passage to eternal pleasure.”
For us death is not a thing to be feared, but anticipated. Why should Israel be afraid to cross the swelling Jordan into the land of promise, with the ark of God before them? Believers do not die in the sense that others do. Our Lord said, “Whosoever liveth and believeth on me shall never die.” To the ungodly, death is the penalty of sin; but to the believer it is just a change of location. Death to the wicked is the execution of justice, but to the believer it is a deliverance from sin. To the worldling death is the beginning of sorrows, but to the believer it is admission into glory. To the rebel death is imprisonment, but to the believer it is freedom.
Death will bring us into the presence of many friends. Death takes a wife from her husband, a child from its mother, and a father from his family. We cheer ourselves, however, with the prospect of a happy reunion in glory. It is true, above all else, that we will see Christ and be with Him. But it is also promised that we will sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. When we die we will leave some behind, but we are going up to “the general assembly and church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven.” And we shall know one another then, even better than we do now, even as the disciples knew Moses and Elijah on the mount.
Dying in Christ means our most earnest and constant prayers will all be answered. How often have we prayed to be free from our trials and temptations! When we close our eyes in death, we will leave this veil of tears behind. Does your soul long to be free from all sin? It will be when this body lies in the grave. Oh, how our hearts long to be more like Christ! And we shall be perfectly like Him in glory, when we have put off this body of flesh. We pray for a brighter and clearer vision of Christ in His glory. After we are no longer hindered by the sight of things in this world, our eyes will be opened to see the Son of God as he is! We need not to weep for those who have died in the Lord! We might well envy them, but not weep for them.
The death of God’s saints is accompanied with many comforts. Death can never separate us from the love of Christ. He will go with us through the dark valley. It may be that we will have fuller revelations of Christ’s love, grace, glory, and greatness in the hour of death than at any other time this side of eternity. The Lord will make His people triumphant over all their enemies in that hour (Ex. 15:16).
When Christ Comes
Then, when Christ comes again in his glorious second advent, our bodies shall be raised from the grave (1 Thess. 4:13-18). This body must die. But, blessed be God, we shall arise! This is my soul satisfying confidence: “I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me!” With such a hope, the grave causes me no alarm!
When we are raised in incorruption and immortality, we shall be glorified forever with Christ, glorified with the very glory of Christ himself (John 17:5, 22). What will that everlasting thing we call “glorification” be? What will heavenly glory be? No words of man can begin to describe that which awaits us. But we are told a few things about it. There will be no sorrow more or sighing forever! There will be no more sickness, bereavement, or death forever! There will be no more pain forever! There will be no more crying forever! — “Our God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes!” There will be no more sin forever! And we “shall see his face” forever!
“We read of a place that’s called heaven. It’s made for the pure and the free.
These truths in God’s Word He hath given. — How beautiful heaven must be!
In heaven no drooping nor pining, no wishing for elsewhere to be.
God’s light is forever there shining. — How beautiful heaven must be!
Pure waters of life there are flowing; and all who will drink may be free.
Rare jewels of splendor are glowing. — How beautiful heaven must be!
The angels so sweetly are singing up there by the beautiful sea.
Sweet chords from their gold harps are ringing. — How beautiful must be!
How beautiful heaven must be! Sweet home of the happy and free,
Fair heaven of rest for the weary, — How beautiful heaven must be!”