And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:…
When all whom God has foreknown and predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son, shall have fought the good fight of faith, then will come the perfecting — the day of the manifestation of the sons of God. At present all who have died in the Lord wait the fulfilment of the promise. Abel, Noah, and Abraham are not to be perfected in glory by the redemption of their bodies until the last soul has been converted to God, and the valley of the shadow of death has been traversed by the last pilgrim. When the top stone of the building has been brought in with shouts of "Grace, grace unto it," from all the redeemed and angelic hosts, then the glory of the Lord will descend upon His spiritual temple and transfigure it with everlasting light. Then, to change the figure, the saints in one glorious company, with no member of the Christ-named family absent, clothed upon with their spiritual bodies, shall enter the gates of the New Jerusalem, and celebrate the marriage supper of the Lamb. There they shall recount their trials and victories, compare their experiences of redeeming love, and drink together of the river of God's pleasures. There is something very sublime in the spectacle presented to us of this ever-gathering host. Daily, nay hourly, the number which no man can number is being increased. If the saints waiting for the resurrection are permitted to hold fellowship with souls as they arrive from this world of sin and sorrow, how they must have lifted up their heads of late years as sinners from earth's remotest end have come bending at the feet of Him who has redeemed them with His blood. Surely His kingdom is increasing, they must think, when from India, China, and the islands of the Pacific saints of God are being gathered in, when the chariots of fire bring up martyrs from heathen lands. This plan of God, to confer redemption on all the saints together, none anticipating the rest, must give Abel, the oldest saint in heaven, an intense interest in the youngest born of the heavenly family, whose birth into the kingdom will herald the long-looked-for day of Christ's appearing. Christians on earth may feel that they have divided interests, but when waiting for the day of glory they must feel that their interests are one. Party names, earthly distinctions, how completely lost these must be in the expectation of this glorious hope.
(E. W. Shalders, B. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: