Today’s quotations on meditating on the heavenly life are from Cyprian and Pastor William Perkins. Cyprian was a Latin church father who converted from paganism a little more than 12 years before he was martyred for his faith in Jesus in AD 258. He has had a great deal of influence in what was a very short ministry. Perkins was a Puritan preacher and pastor at Cambridge in England, who died in 1602.
In these quotations, both men are encouraging us to have abundant hope concerning the Day of Christ’s return. Cyprian teaches us to “meditate on the future life” as Calvin later put it so well, and Perkins encourages all people in this world to give heed to the fact that Jesus said: “I come shortly.” As the people of God, are we watching soberly and alertly for Christ’s return? Do you anticipate it? Our constant struggles with our sins can cause us to cling all the more tighter to Christ’s forgiveness and awaken our our desires to hope passionately for the Day when we can permanently put off our flesh and be like him- – fully redeemed! (1 John 3:1-3). These struggles with sin and difficult frustrations in our life help us to be homesick for our true home!
In the day-to-day, never ending blinding blitz of lightning-fast bandwidth, bustle, busyness and buzz, do not allow yourself to forget to be hopeful of heaven. Meditate on the future life. Take time to think about heaven and your future home. Think on your Savior and the reality that he is awaiting you.
Cyprian of Carthage
“Let us consider, beloved brethren, that we have renounced the world, and are passing our time here as strangers and pilgrims. We embrace the day which assigns each to his home, which restores Paradise and a kingdom, us who have been plucked from the world and set free from worldly snares. Who would not hasten home? Paradise we count our fatherland, and the patriarchs our fathers (Heb. 11). Why should we not hasten homewards to salute our parents?
There the mighty multitude of dear ones await us- -the crowd of parents, brothers, sons, longs for us, already secure of their own safety…. How great the joy to us and to them, of beholding and embracing each other! What the blessedness of these celestial realms; without fear of death, and possessed of an eternity of life, how supreme and abiding the joy and felicity!
There the glorious choir of apostles; there the crowd of exulting prophets; there the innumerable throng of martyrs crowned because of victory in conflict and suffering; the compassionate rewarded, who, obeying their Lord’s command, transferred their earthly inheritance to a heavenly treasure-house. To these, brethren most beloved, with eager desire let us hasten, longing to be speedily with them and with Christ. These our desires and purposes, let our God, and our Lord Christ, behold, who will give the larger reward of His glory to those who after Him have had larger desires for it.”
“The daily persuasion of the speedy coming of Christ is of notable use; for, first, it will daunt the most desperate wretch that is, and make him tremble in himself, and restrain him from many sins. And if a man belong to God, and yet be a loose liver, this persuasion will rouse him out of his sins and make him turn to God; for who would not seek to save his soul, if he were persuaded that Christ is now coming to give him his final reward?
Secondly, if a man have grace and do believe, this persuasion is a notable means to make him constant in every good duty, both of piety to God and of love towards his brethren. Thirdly, this serves to comfort any person that is in affliction and painful struggles; for, when he shall believe that which Christ has said, I come shortly, he cannot but think but that his deliverance is soon at hand; for at His coming He brings perfect redemption to all His people.”
“And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book…. The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.”- Revelation 22:7, 17
In Christ’s love,