The Bible often describes heaven not as “heaven,” but as where Christ is. When you think of heaven, do you think of being with Christ? “If I were to go to heaven, and find that Christ was not there, I would leave immediately; for heaven without Christ would be hell to me.” – Thomas Goodwin
The excerpt is taken from the full sermon, “Suffering and the Eternal Weight of Glory“.
Paul says, “having a desire to depart and be in heaven…” No, he doesn’t say that. “Having a desire to depart and be with Christ.” That’s what he was looking forward to. So when he’s saying all these things about our light afflictions and so on, he’s thinking of Christ. , “Willing rather to be absent from the body and to be in heaven…” No, “absent from the body, present with the Lord.” “Father, I desire that they also whom Thou hast given Me be in heaven…” “Be with Me where I am that they may behold My glory.” “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places. If it were not so, I would have told you. For I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go and prepare a place for you, I’ll come again and receive you into heaven…” No, “I’ll receive you unto Myself.” Steven as he’s dying: “I’m going to heaven.” No. “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Death for the Christian is not going to heaven. Death for the Christian is going to be with the Lord. The bride eyes not her garment, but her dear Bridegroom’s face. I will not gaze at glory, but on my King of grace. Not at the crown He gifteth, but on His pierced hand. The Lamb is all the glory of Immanuel’s land. Payson, that thing he wrote: “The Son of righteousness (Christ) has been gradually drawing nearer and nearer, appearing larger and brighter as He approaches. Now He fills the whole hemisphere pouring forth a flood of glory.” That’s heaven. People say when I see Jesus, I’m going to ask Him such-and-such. I doubt that. John, who rested in the Lord’s bosom, he said when I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. The King there in His beauty without a veil is seen. It were a well-spent journey, though seven deaths lay between. Isn’t that true? Suppose you had to die seven times. Well-spent journey. It will be worth it all when we see Jesus. Life’s trials will seem so small when we see Christ. One glimpse of His dear face, all sorrow will erase. So gladly run the race till we see Christ. The Lamb is all the glory in Immanuel’s land. And heaven is to be with Him where He is.