Revelation 22:5
There will be no more night in the city, and they will have no need for the light of a lamp or of the sun. For the Lord God will shine on them, and they will reign forever and ever.
Sermons
A Blessed CountryThos. Heath.Revelation 22:5
HeavenH. Melvill, B. D.Revelation 22:5
Light the Blessing of HeavenDean Scott.Revelation 22:5
On the Happiness of Heaven as an Everlasting KingdomJames Robe, M. A.Revelation 22:5
The Happiness of HeavenJames Robe, M. A.Revelation 22:5
The Light of the BlessedF. J. Scott, M. A.Revelation 22:5
The World Without a NightHomilistRevelation 22:5
The Conditions of BlessednessR. Green Revelation 22:1-6
Subjective Christianity: 3. an EmpireD. Thomas Revelation 22:3-5
They shall see his face. We often think, and think truly, that it must have been a great joy to see our Lord as he was here on earth. What would we not give could we now see him as his apostles did? Everything associated with him has gained sacredness and sanctity by that association. The land where he lived -

"Those holy fields,
Over whose acres walked those blessed feet
Which, many hundred years ago, were nailed,
For our redemption, to the cruel cross," = - that Land we call the Holy land. the particular places Most closely connected with His Life On earth we call the Holy places. the Men whom He chose to Minister to and for him we call Holy ones, or saints. the Day On which He rose from the Dead we observ

I. THAT WE SHALL SEE THE LORD JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF. No doubt that in that blessed future world:

1. There is very much besides that is blessed. The scene, how glorious! See St. John's descriptions. The inhabitants, how illustrious, how glorious, how holy, how blessed! And some of them beloved ones of our own; how blessed will be the sight of them! But, after all:

2. The chief joy will be our seeing him For think what seeing Jesus, even in our present poor and imperfect way, has done for men. At the beginning of their life as his disciples, when filled with fear because they had seen somewhat of the iniquity of their sin, the seeing of Jesus allayed that fear and gave them peace. During the progress of that life, when sin has reasserted its cruel power, and they have been heart crushed in consequence; when the cares of this world have well nigh overwhelmed them; when sorrow has saddened their very souls; when temptation has drawn near in its most deadly, because in its most enticing, form; - at all such times the seeing of Jesus, by the quickened eye of faith, has given hope and help, strength and deliverance, according as the need has been. And in the hour of death the seeing him has soothed the sufferings of that last time, and snatched victory from the last enemy, death, and given it to the dying saint whose succour and salvation the sight of Jesus has then secured. If, then, our poor vision here has been so full of blessing, what shall not our perfect vision yonder be?

II. AND IT WILL BE A SEEING HIM. Not a mere hearing concerning him.

1. Hearing is a great blessing. What do we not owe to the gospel story that we have heard read or preached, so many times? "Faith" - the faith that saves - "cometh by hearing."

2. But seeing is far better. Word pictures describing some fair landscape are often interesting, and sometimes so well done that they help us much to realize what the scene described must be. But how the best of such descriptions fails before the seeing Of the landscape itself! And even the gospel story of Jesus will be as nothing to the seeing him - seeing his face.

III. AND HIS GLORIFICATION WILL BE NO BAR TO OUR JOY. For we have not to say of him now that he is a spirit. If he were that, if his glorification had transformed him into an entirely spiritual being, then our Lord would be lost to us, for we could form no idea, no clear conception, of him. But it is not so. He wears his humanity; he has glorified that, and still he is the Son of man. The pierced hands and feet, the brow that was crowned with thorns, the side that was riven by the spear, he has taken with him into heaven. Therefore we shall see his face - the very face that sweat great drops of blood, and that was marred more than any man's. Literally our text is true.

IV. AND WE SHALL KNOW HIM. Not merely recognize him, but know him as here we have never done. His people will read his heart, will understand him as now they cannot. Much there is here which hinders our understanding, our true knowledge of him. Sin, sorrow, worldly pursuits, earthly mindedness of all kinds, serve to hide him from our hearts, and so hinder our knowledge of him. But there these things shall not be.

V. AND IT WILL BE "A LASTING SIGHT." It will not be a mere glimpse - a fitful, fleeting vision, which is all that we now enjoy. But our "joy shall remain."

VI. AND IT IMPLIES MUCH THAT IS VERY BLESSED. For example:

1. That we are really his. Were we not, the sight of that face would be unendurable. The wicked cannot bear it. And yet they must behold it. Ah! would that all such would think of this, and. now be reconciled to God! But the fact that we rejoice to see his face is "an evident token of salvation."

2. That we shall not see our sins. Whether or no we shall remember our sins in heaven, and if so, whether that memory will sadden heaven for us, is a question that has often been asked. That we can actually and entirely forget them is impossible; but that the "remembrance of them" will be "grievous to us, and the burden of them intolerable," as here we confess they are, we cannot think. For, on a bright starry night, what is it that we notice, that arrests our attention, as we delightedly gaze and gaze upon the magnificent scene? Is it the black stretches of cloud through which the stars shine down upon us? Certainly not, but the stars themselves. And so "his face," as compared to our sins, will be as those stars to the clouds. In that beatific vision the darker memories will be swallowed up and, as it were, unseen.

3. That we shall be like him. For seeing assimilates. "We shall be like him," says St. John; "for we shall see him as he is."

CONCLUSION. Are we of the number who shall enjoy this beatific vision? How can we tell? St. John supplies the answer. "He that hath this hope in him purifieth himself" - that is the test. Are we thus striving after Christ-like purity? - S.C.







There shall be no night there.
This declaration would be no good news to us in our present state. Night brings rest and refreshment to wearied bodies, and often over-laden minds. Yet who of us all remembers to give thanks, because daylight does not invite us unceasingly to toil and anxiety? But, if we think upon the subject, we shall see that the blessings of the night are all connected with a state of trouble, labour, and imperfection. Hence we may understand there being in heaven no time of sleep and darkness. For centuries we have been trying to light up a dark world, and trying in vain. There is indeed a light come into the world, but it shineth in a dark place. It is pleasant news to many that Christ died to save sinners, but when told that all thin was to bring them nearer to God, to enable them "to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts," then the greater number turn from the light and plunge back into the darkness. Some there are who do humbly and thankfully accept that light. Their path shineth more and more; yet even with them it is very far from being "perfect day." They have light, but it is to guide them through darkness, for life here is, and must be, "this night" to the Christian, though he sees afar off the rising of the dawn. He is here in much ignorance of God's character, works, and ways. He knows enough to save him, but not enough to satisfy him. God's dispensations are full of mystery; God's dealings in his own case are often a trial to his belief. Again, Satan tempts the Christian to doubt the love of God, the truth of God, and the word of God, and to question whether he is really in a state of salvation. At times he feels in much darkness through these temptations; almost lost. "There shall be no night there." Once more, the Christian's life on earth is darkened by frequent mourning, and by death. Fears dim his vision, friends pass out of his reach, he beholds them no more! But there are no graves, no funerals, in heaven; for there shall be no more sorrow, nor sighing, nor any night there.

(F. J. Scott, M. A.)

We may safely say that those who muse much on heaven are often privileged with such foretastes of what God hath prepared for His people, as serve, like the clusters of Eshcol, to teach them practically the richness of Canaan. With them it is not altogether matter of report that the inheritance of the saints is transcendently glorious. They have waited upon the Lord, until, according to the promise of Isaiah, they have been enabled to "mount up with wings as eagles."

I. WITH OUR PRESENT CONSTITUTION THERE WOULD BE NOTHING CHEERING IN AN ARRANGEMENT WHICH TOOK AWAY NIGHT FROM OUR GLOBE. The alternation of day and night, the two always making up the same period of twenty-four hours, is among the most beautiful of the many proofs that God fitted the earth for man, and man for the earth. We know that other planets revolve in very different times on their axis, so that their days and nights are of very different lengths from our own. We could not live on one of those planets. We could not, at least, conform ourselves to the divisions of time: for we require a period of repose in every twenty-four hours, and could not subsist, if there were only to come such a period in every hundred, or in every thousand. And besides this, it is very easy to speak of night as the season of dreariness and gloom, as the representative of ignorance and error — but what should we be without night? Where is there so eloquent an instructor as night? What reveals so much of the workmanship of the ever-living God? So that there is not necessarily anything very desirable in the absence of night: it would be the reverse of a blessing to us in our present condition, and would imply the diminution rather than the enlargement of knowledge. What then are we to learn from the statement that there shall be no night in heaven? We learn much, whether it be the natural, or the figurative, night, whose total absence is affirmed. Night is now grateful, yea necessary, to us, as bringing quiet and repose to overwrought bodies and minds. But all this arises from the imperfectness of our present condition; we are so constituted that we cannot incessantly pursue either occupation or enjoyment, but must recruit ourselves. And it would evidently be to raise us very greatly in the scale of animated being, to make it no longer needful that we should have intervals of rest; body and soul being incapable of exhaustion, or rather of fatigue. There is no night there, because there we shall need no periods of inactivity; we shall never be sensible of fatigue, and never either wish or want repose. It is given as one characteristic of Deity, that He never slumbers nor sleeps. It is affirmed moreover of the four living creatures which are round about the throne, that they "rest not day and night, saying, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come." And, therefore, I read the promise of a splendid exaltation, of an inconceivable enlargement of every faculty and capacity, in the announcement of the absence of night. And though it be true that night now discloses to us the wonders of the universe, so that to take from us night were to take a revelation of the magnificence of creation, whence comes this but from the imperfection of faculties — faculties which only enable us to discern certain bodies, and under certain circumstances, and which probably suffer far more to escape them than they bring to our notice? Be it so, that night is now our choice instructor. I feel that night is to cease because we shall no longer need to be taught through a veil, because we shall be able to read the universe illuminated, and not require as now to have it darkened for our gaze. I shall be adapted in every faculty to an everlasting day. And if from considering night in its more literal, we pass to the considering it in its metaphorical sense, who can fail to be struck with the beauty and fulness of the promise of our text? We take night as the image of ignorance, of perplexity, of sorrow. And to affirm the absence of night from the heavenly state may justly be regarded as the affirming the absence of all which darkness is used to represent. I behold the removal of all mistake, of all misconception; conjectures have given place to certainties; controversies are ended, difficulties are solved, prophecies are completed, parables are interpreted. I behold the hushing up of every grief, the prevention of every sorrow, the communication of every joy. I behold the final banishment of whatsoever has alliance with sinfulness, the splendid reimpressment of every feature of the Divine image upon man, the unlimited diffusion of righteousness, the triumphant admission of the fallen into all the purities of God's presence, and their unassailable security against fresh apostacy.

II. St. John is not content with affirming the absence of night: HE PROCEEDS TO ASSERT THE ABSENCE OF THOSE MEANS OR INSTRUMENTS TO WHICH WE ARE HERE INDEBTED FOR THE SCATTERING OF DARKNESS. "They need no candle, neither light of the sun." And what then is to make their perpetual day? "The Lord God giveth them light." The whole apparatus of mirror, and temple, and sun, will be taken away, because we shall be admitted to the beatific vision, to all those immediate manifestations of Deity which are vouchsafed to the angel or the archangel. "The Lord God giveth them light"; is not this to say that the Lord God giveth them Himself? for you will remember what is affirmed by St. John, "This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all." And therefore God in some ineffable way is to communicate Himself to the soul. There will probably be a communication of ideas: God will substitute His ideas, great, noble, luminous, for our own, contracted, confused, obscure; and we shall become like Him, in our measure, through participating His knowledge. There will be a communication of excellences: God will so vividly impress His image upon us, that we shall be holy even as He is holy. There will be a communication of happiness: God will cause us to be happy in the very way in which He is happy Himself, making what constitutes His felicity to constitute ours, so that we shall be like Him in the sources or springs of enjoyment. The expression, "the Lord God giveth them light," seems to indicate that our future state, like our present, will be progressive; there is to be a continued communication of light, or of knowledge, so that the assertion of Solomon, "The path of the just is as the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day," may be as true hereafter as here. Whatever may be the attainments of the just man whilst on earth, he sees only "through a glass, darkly." But he has yet to pass into a scene of greater light, and to read, in the opened volume of God's purposes, the explanation of difficulties, the wisdom of appointments, the nice proportions of truth. Then shall the Divine attributes rise before him, unsearchable indeed and unlimited, but ever discovering more of their stupendousness, their beauty, their harmony. Then shall redemption throw open before him its untravelled amplitude, and allow of his tracing those unnumbered ramifications which the Cross, erected on this globe, may possibly be sending to all the outskirts of immensity. Then shall the several occurrences of his life, the dark things and the bright which chequered his path, appear equally necessary, equally merciful; and doubt give place to adoring reverence, as the problem is cleared up of oppressed righteousness and successful villany. But it shall not be instantaneous; for if the mysteries of time were exhausted, and redemption presented no unexplored district, God would remain infinite as at the first, as sublime in His inscrutableness as though ages had not been given to the searching out His wonders. Thus will the just proceed from strength to strength; knowledge, and love, and holiness, and joy, being always on the increase; and eternity one glorious morning.

III. "AND THEY SHALL REIGN FOR EVER AND EVER" — "they shall be kings for ever and ever." Wonderful assertion! wonderful, because made of beings apparently insignificant. Yes, of us, who are by nature "children of wrath," of us, who are "born to trouble as the sparks fly upwards," even of us is it said, "They shall be kings for ever and ever." And on what thrones shall we sit in heaven? over whom shall we be invested with dominion? I connect the different parts of the verse; and I read in its last clause, only differently expressed, the same promise, or prophecy, which I find in all the rest. I shall reign over the secrets of nature; all the workmanship of God shall be subject to me, opening to me its recesses, and admitting me into its marvels. I shall reign over the secrets of Providence; my empire shall gather back the past, and anticipate the future; and all the dealings of my Maker shall range themselves in perfect harmony before my view. I shall reign over the secrets of grace; the mediatorial work shall be as a province subject to my rule, containing no spot in all its spreadings which I may not explore. I shall reign over myself: I shall be thorough master of myself: no unruly desires, no undisciplined affections: I shall not be what an earthly king often is, his own base slave: no war between the flesh and the spirit, no rebellion of the will, no struggle of corrupt inclinations; but with all that true royalty, the royalty of perfect holiness, I shall serve God without wavering, and find His service to be sovereignty.

(H. Melvill, B. D.)

I. WHO THESE HAPPY PERSONS ARE WHO SHALL PARTAKE OF THIS HAPPINESS.

II. POINT OUT SOMETHING OF THE HAPPINESS OF HEAVEN AS EXPRESSED THEREIN.

1. The happiness you shall have in heaven is light, and sweet as light.

(1)Knowledge.

(2)Purity.

(3)Joy.

2. There shall be no intermission of that happy day and light you shall have in heaven, for there shall be no night there.

3. The light the saints have in heaven is not by such means and instruments as they have it here.

4. The Lord God will give you light immediately from Himself. As the sun is seen by its own light, so will God be known by you in heaven. He will communicate Himself immediately unto you for your joy, happiness, and satisfaction, without means, and be instead of all means; for you shall "behold His face, and be satisfied with His likeness."

5. You shall be made capable in heaven to take in this light from the Lord God to your comfort and satisfaction.

6. Your light of all kinds in heaven shall be full and perfect, your knowledge, your enjoyment, your conformity to His image shall be full and perfect, for it shall be immediately from Himself.

7. Your light from the Lord God in heaven shall be everlasting and endless.Conclusion:

1. Be persuaded, without delay, to enter into that state in which you will get a right to this happiness, be made meet for it, and be actually admitted into it when you die, and at the resurrection of the just.

2. As for you who have a right and title to this happiness, give all diligence to have your right to it made clearer to your knowledge and faith, and kept clear, and to arrive unto the full assurance of the hope of it unto the end.

(James Robe, M. A.)

I. PERFECT ILLUMINATION.

1. MATERIAL ILLUMINATION. "No night."

2. Individual illumination. "No candle" — a candle lights only one or two persons.

3. Universal illumination. "Light of the sun" illumines the world.

4. Spiritual illumination.

II. PERFECT REST. "The Lord giving them light."

1. No anxiety.

2. No exertions.

3. No dread.

III. PERFECT TRIUMPH. "They shall reign."

1. Over self.

2. Over sin.

3. Over materialism.

4. Over ignorance.

IV. PERFECT CONTINUANCE. "For ever" — unbroken by any shock, or change, or chance.

(Thos. Heath.)

Homilist.
I. A REALM EVER CLEAR IN VISION.

1. There will be no error in our conception of things there. Far enough am I from believing that we shall ever see all things in heaven. There will always be universes lying beyond the ken of the most penetrating eye. Nor do I believe that different minds will ever have exactly the same view of things, see things in exactly the same light. Our views will necessarily be relative. They will be true to us, but not necessarily true to others. God alone can see the whole of a thing. We only see sections and sides. Not only does it appear impossible, but undesirable. Diversity of view gives a freshness and charm to society. Still, our range of vision, though limited, and our views, though relative, will be clear and accurate.

2. No doubt as to the path of duty. God's Will, will radiate on everything without, and will express itself in every impulse within.

II. A REALM EVER PURE IN CHARACTER. There are the holy angels whose natures, through the ages of their being, have never been clouded with one impure thought or touched by the thrill of one unholy passion. The redeemed of all ages are there. They have had their robes washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb. Christ, whose love for purity was so unconquerable, that He gave His life's blood to cleanse the pollution of the world, is in the midst of its throne. He who is light, and in whom there is no darkness at all, fills with the sunshine of His presence the whole of that blessed scene.

III. A REALM EVER BEAUTIFUL IN ASPECT.

1. All natural beauties will be there.

2. All artistic beauties will be there. The very instinct of genius is to invent, imitate, and create, and there genius will flourish in perfection.

3. All moral beauties will be there. The beauty of holiness, the beauty of the Lord, will adorn every spirit. Thus all wilt rejoice in each other, and all rejoice in the Lord whence all their beauty came.

IV. A REALM OF EVER UNCHECKED PROGRESS.

1. No check to the advance of life. The vital energies will always be increasing. Sinew and soul, character and conscience, will be ever growing in force. No blight to wither, no shadow to chill there. But all the influences that play around existence there, inspire, invigorate, and uplift.

2. No checking of labour. Our range of action will be unrestrained. We shall be always abounding in the work of the Lord.

V. A REALM EVER JOYOUS IN SPIRIT. A bright day sets the world to music. What happiness, then, must there be in a world where there is no night.

(Homilist.)

1. There shall be no sin there. The works of darkness are excluded, and all that have fellowship with them. And more than that — the past sins of those who are admitted shall not enter there to haunt them.

2. There shall be no more sorrow there. Heaviness may have endured for the night, but this is the morning-tide, and joy cometh. It is the harvest of joy after the seed-time of tears; and all the light and brief afflictions of the mortal life shall be turned into an exceeding and eternal weight of glory.

3. There shall be no chastisement there. The fatherly correction, which brought them home, shall be no more.

4. There shall be no trial there, and no temptation any more. For they have endured, and are blessed; yea, they have endured unto the end, and they are saved.

5. There shall be no weariness there.

6. There shall be no ignorance there; but they shall all know, even as also they are known.

7. There shall be no decay there, Because there is no corruption, there shall be no more "drawing to an end as soon as we are born."

8. There shall be no loneliness there. For this also is of the night.

9. There shall be no adversary there — no spiritual wickedness any more to wrestle with in heavenly places — no powers of darkness! The prince of this world is cast out of the next; his engines, his lies, his fury, all are spent.

10. To crown all — There shall be no estrangement from God there; no more darkness of spirit; no more clouds and gloom between our spirits and their Lord. This is blessedness indeed, because it is holiness! But for that very reason, it is not blessedness for all. The night-bird, if it is disturbed at noonday, is only blinded by the sunbeams. And the light of that world will be indeed insufferable to those who in this world have loved darkness rather than light. They have refused to come to the light because their deeds were evil. And now the light has come to them, and made their deeds manifest. They have had their choice. And their place henceforth is in the outer darkness, lighted only by the fire that never shall be quenched.

(Dean Scott.)

They shall reign for ever and ever
I. THAT YOU, WHO ARE THE LAMB'S FAITHFUL SERVANTS NOW, SHALL REIGN WHEN YOU COME TO HEAVEN.

1. I give you some of the characters of those to whom heaven is promised as a kingdom.

2. Some Scriptural account of your reign in heaven.(1) As to what it shall consist in. Your reign in heaven will consist in your sharing, and communion with Jesus Christ, in all His communicable glory, according to your capacity. Your reign in heaven will consist in your immediate subjection unto God and the Lamb. Your reign in heaven will consist in an equality with the angels of God in glory and happiness. Your reign in heaven will consist in a satisfying possession of all happiness in God.(2) The qualities of your reign in heaven.

(a)You shall reign there gloriously.

(b)You shall reign in heaven jointly and severally with all the saints.

(c)Your reign in heaven will be quiet and peaceable, calm and undisturbed.

(d)You shall reign in heaven joyfully.

(e)Your reign in heaven shall be just and righteous.

(f)Your reign in heaven shall be very long, longer than the thousand years' reign of the saints with Jesus Christ upon the earth. It will be for ever and ever.

3. Whence it is that you shall reign in heaven.(1) The original cause of your future reign in heaven is the sovereign, rich, free love, and grace of God the Father.(2) That you shall reign in heaven is owing to the mediation of Jesus Christ our Lord.(3) That you shall reign in heaven will be owing to the effectual grace of the Holy Ghost. He calls you effectually to this kingdom and glory.

II. THE HAPPINESS OF HEAVEN IS "FOR EVER AND EVER."

1. Your reign and happiness in heaven will be immutable: if it admitted any change, it would not be for ever and ever.

2. Your reign and happiness in heaven will be everlasting and without all end. It is everlasting life, everlasting consolation, an eternal inheritance, an eternal weight of glory, eternal salvation, pleasures for evermore, a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

3. But if you now inquire what the eternity of heaven and the happiness of it is founded upon, I answer, It is founded upon the eternity and unchangeableness of God and His perfections, in covenant with His people through Jesus Christ.(1) But, particularly, it is first founded upon the eternity and unchangeableness of the love, grace, mercy, and kindness of God to them.(2) It is founded upon the will and pleasure of God; it is His express will and pleasure that it shall be so (John 6:40).(3) It is also founded upon the power of God, that is not only almighty, but an eternal power; and the strength of this power will endure for ever, to make you happy for ever, and to lengthen out your immortality.(4) It is founded upon the holiness of God.(5) It is founded upon the justice and righteousness of God (2 Timothy 4:8; 2 Thessalonians 1:6, 7). Indeed, not justice to any merit in your own works, but justice to Christ's merits and His own promise.(6) It is founded upon the everlasting efficacy of the media. tion of Jesus Christ. His kingdom and glory, into which you shall have an abundant entrance, is an everlasting kingdom and glory.(7) It is founded upon your eternal union and communion with the Holy Ghost. He came into you, not to stay for a time, but for ever (John 14:16).Infer:

1. Shall your reign and happiness be for ever and ever? Then hence see the inconceivable greatness of the hope and happiness laid up for you in heaven.

2. Then things are valuable and precious here in proportion to the influence they have in bringing us to the enjoyment of an eternity of happiness.

3. The love of God to you who are His people is incomprehensibly great, which hath designed for you a glory not only so great in itself, but also for ever.

4. Learn hence the wisdom and sagacity of the people of God, who renounce a present and temporary happiness, and choose an unseen and future blessedness because it is eternal.

5. Then let me prevail with you to seek after this eternal happiness first and most, with the utmost earnestness, industry, and self-denial.

6. Then let the servants of God and the Lamb comfort themselves and one another with the consideration of the eternity of their reign and happiness in heaven.

7. Let the consideration of the eternity of your happiness in heaven engage and excite you to the duties of holiness and obedience.

(James Robe, M. A.)

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