1 Corinthians 13:8-10
Charity never fails: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease…
I. THE CAUSE AND FOUNTAIN OF LOVE IN HEAVEN. — The God of love Himself dwells there, and this renders heaven a world of love; for God is the fountain of love, as the sun is the fountain of light.
II. THE OBJECTS OF LOVE THAT IT CONTAINS.
1. There are none but lovely objects in heaven (Revelation 21:27). All the persons that belong to the blessed society of heaven are lovely. The Father of the family is lovely, and so are all His children. There are no false professors or hypocrites there.
2. They shall be perfectly lovely. There are many things in this world that in the general are lovely, but yet are not perfectly free from that which is the contrary.
3. All those objects that the saints have loved above all things here while in this world shall be in heaven.
III. THE SUBJECTS OF LOVE IN HEAVEN. And these are the hearts in which it dwells. In every heart in heaven love dwells and reigns. The heart of God is the original seat or subject of love. The love of God the Father flows out toward Christ the head, and to all the members through Him. And the light of their love is reflected in the first place, and chiefly back to its great source. There is no enemy of God in heaven; but all, as His children, love Him as their Father.
IV. THE PRINCIPLE OF LOVE IN HEAVEN.
1. As to its nature. It is altogether holy and Divine.
2. As to its degree. It is perfect. The love that dwells in the heart of God is absolutely perfect. The love of angels and saints to God and Christ is perfect in its kind, or with such a perfection as is proper to their nature. It is perfect with a sinless perfection, and perfect in that it is commensurate to the capacities of their nature.
V. THE EXCELLENT CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH LOVE SHALL BE EXPRESSED AND ENJOYED IN HEAVEN.
1. It is always mutual. It is always met with answerable returns of love — with returns proportioned to its exercise.
2. Its joy shall never be interrupted or damped by jealousy.
3. There shall be nothing within themselves to clog or hinder it in the saints. In this world they find much to hinder them in this respect.
4. It will be expressed with perfect decency and wisdom.
5. There shall be nothing to keep us at a distance from each other, or to hinder our most perfect enjoyment of each other's love.
6. We shall all he united in very near and dear relations.
7. All shall have property and ownership in each other. Love seeks to have the beloved its own; and Divine love rejoices in saying, "My beloved is mine, and I am his."
8. We shall enjoy each other's love in perfect and uninterrupted prosperity.
9. All things shall conspire to promote our love, and give advantage for mutual enjoyment.
10. We shall know that we shall for ever be continued in the perfect enjoyment of each other's love.
VI. THE BLESSED EFFECTS AND FRUITS OF THIS LOVE, AS EXERCISED AND ENJOYED IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES.
1. The most excellent and perfect behaviour of all the inhabitants of heaven toward God and each other.
2. Perfect tranquillity and joy.Conclusion:
1. If heaven be such a world as has been described, then we may see reason why contention and strife tend to darken our evidence of fitness for its possession.
2. How happy those are who are entitled to heaven! But here some may be ready to say, "Without doubt; but who are these persons? By what marks may they be distinguished?"(1) They are those that have had the principle or seed of the same love that reigns in heaven implanted in their hearts in regeneration.
(2). They are those who have freely chosen the happiness that flows from the exercise and enjoyment of such love as is in heaven, above all other conceivable happiness.
(3) They are those who, from the love that is in them, are, in heart and life, in principle and practice, struggling after holiness.
3. What has been said on this subject may well awaken and alarm the impenitent.
(1) By putting them in mind of their misery, in that they have no portion or right in this world of love (Revelation 22:15).
(2) By showing that they are in danger of hell, which is a world of hatred.
Parallel VersesKJV: Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.