After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven…
I. THE PLACE TO WHICH WE ARE INVITED — "HITHER." Geographers, geologists, and travellers have described the earth, its islands, continents, mountains, rivers, plains, and products; but heaven is a domain beyond all merely scientific research. What we know of it is from revelation alone.
1. It will be a place exempt from ignorance. Seated there, we shall know as we are known; our views of things will not be as "through a glass, darkly," "but face to face," and in the highest sense we shall have an unction from the Holy One, and know all things.
2. It will be free from all kinds of evil.
(1) No slavery will be there. All its sons, of whatever clime, are freeborn. All are without shackle, brand, or chain. All walk at liberty.
(2) No sin will be there. The imagination will never conceive an unholy thought, the lips never utter a corrupt speech, nor the judgment, the conscience, the will stoop to an unholy action.
(3) No famine will be there. The bread is enough and to spare. The supply of fruit from the tree of life is constant and abundant.
(4) No tears, sorrows, pains, or death will be there.
3. Then there is nothing wanting to complete its happiness.
(1) There are great possessions.
(2) The society there is most blessed.
(3) The joys there are lasting.
(4) The life there is everlasting.
II. THE INVITATION ITSELF — "COME UP HITHER."
1. There is a way to reach this place.
(1) What road to heaven is wrong?
(a) Sin is the wrong road.
(b) Self-righteousness is the wrong road.
(2) What road is right? In Virginia, in South America, and other parts, there are natural bridges of solid rock, whose stupendous arches join mountains together, and make a path firm and safe over the rolling rivers and dashing torrents beneath them. But there is no natural bridge to heaven. There was once, but man broke it down by sin. But there is still a path for man, formed by the Son of God — a path formed by His blood and righteousness. Along this path our pious fathers travelled and never found it give way, nor shall we. It is the path that leads from guilt to mercy, depravity to holiness, earth to glory.
2. Then the invitation also implies you cannot reach the place unless it be obeyed. Heaven in the gospel is set before men as an open door. It is not Christ that closes it, but unbelief. Let this be gone.
Parallel VersesKJV: After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.
WEB: After these things I looked and saw a door opened in heaven, and the first voice that I heard, like a trumpet speaking with me, was one saying, "Come up here, and I will show you the things which must happen after this."