Saturday, April 08, 2017

Swete: the age to come

Saturday, April 8, 2017
    Commemoration of William Augustus Muhlenberg of New York, Priest, 1877
    And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
    —Ephesians 2:6-7 (NIV)
    For the saints in the world to come there can be no change in the object of their faith and hope and love. They have Christ, they have God, and they are satisfied. There can be no monotony in the contemplation and worship of the Infinite. Their great possession is unchangeable, but also inexhaustible; no change is possible where all is love and truth. The centre of the heavenly life is fixed and immovable, but the circumference may ever be advancing towards the centre, the saints may ever be drawing nearer and nearer to a goal which they can never reach. There may be progress in knowledge, progress in enjoyment, progress in service—a progress which at every point will open up new wonders, new opportunities, new outlooks into a greater future, and as that future unfolds itself, new and unexpected scopes for the energies of redeemed men, new ways of fellowship with God in Christ, new companionships with the good and great of past generations, and with angelic beings who have watched and guarded us in life, and rejoiced over our repentance, and are ready to welcome us into the eternal mansions, and will share our worship and our work, our service and our joy, in the ages to come.
    ... Henry Barclay Swete (1835-1917), The Life of the World to Come, London: Society for the Promoting of Christian Knowleldge, 1918, p. 106-107 (see the book)
    See also Eph. 2:6-7; Rom. 6:4-5; 2 Cor. 4:17; Eph. 1:18-21; Col. 3:1-3
Quiet time reflection:
    I praise you, Lord, for the promised glory that is to come.
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Anonymous Tim Warlick said...

I really love this Quotation post, the scripture reference, and your prayer, which I sincerely pray with you, and would add to it, God willing.

There is also a glory that comes before the glory in the world to come: the glory that God gave Jesus when Jesus was in this world. This is the glory Jesus gave all believers when He was here, and to all believers yet to come, that we may be one in His one Spirit of the One Shepherd who gives His life for all believers, who all believe in the name of Jesus of Nazareth as the One, perfect lamb and Son of God, who gave His life's blood, was raised to life after three days, and ascended on the next Pentecost to join His Father in heaven, in all power in heaven and earth, for the sole purpose on earth of saving and gathering from this world all the sheep the Father gave Jesus.

“14 "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life— only to take it up again. 18 No-one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."” (Joh 10:14-18 NIV)

“If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.” (Joh 15:10 NIV)

“12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (Joh 15:12-13 NIV)

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” (1Jo 3:16 NIV)

And this is the opportunity we believers give the world, that the world may believe with us, when they see the glory the Father gave Jesus, and Jesus long ago gave us believers, all, for the sole purpose that we love and forgive all, one another believers, with our lives laid down for every one of them, by the power of His one Spirit of the One Shepherd He gives to live in every one of us the same, simply through faith in His name for repentance and forgiveness of sins, including all who so believe, in every Christian denomination and faith group.

“22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23 I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (Joh 17:22-23 NIV)

“18 ¶ I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me any more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."” (Joh 14:18-21 NIV)

“12 No-one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 13 We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.” (1Jo 4:12-13 NIV)

“13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” (Col 3:13-14 NIV)

“46 He told them, "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” (Lu 24:46-47 NIV)

We praise you, Lord, for the promised glory that is to come, both in this world and forever in the next.

April 8, 2017 at 4:17 PM  
Blogger Robert McAnally Adams said...

Thank you for your thoughtful comments. Of course, in so short an excerpt, there is reference only to the glory to come, without mentioning the glory that has already come. But we should never forget the glory that is Christ, who was, and is, and is to come.

April 9, 2017 at 12:30 PM  
Anonymous Tim Warlick said...

Thanks for your kind reply. I see now, as you say, that in so short an excerpt, the author intended only reference to the glory to come in the next world. And I very much agree with you that in all we say here, we exemplify the Spirit He gives us as we remember to seek together only the glory of Christ, the only Holy One who deserves it, and whose is the glory forever.

April 10, 2017 at 10:31 AM  

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