Third, we shall have rest. Revelation 14:13 declares, “And I heard a voice from heaven saying, ‘Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ‘Blessed indeed,’ says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!’ ” Jesus promised rest to those who come to Him (Matt. 11:28), and in Hebrews 3–4 we are told that the promise of entering His rest remains. So we strive to enter His final rest, holding fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm to the end.
Each Lord’s Day we have a partial taste of this rest when in corporate worship we meet with Christ and draw nourishment from His Word. But when He comes, our souls will have a fullness of rest from all our toils. The fight in the wilderness will be finished. The burden of war with a wicked world, with internal corruption, with a tempting and accusing devil, will all be over. The very creation from which we were alienated will no longer strive against us. Christ will have reconciled all things so that we will be in a state of total peace. This will be true rest.
That leads to a fourth blessing: peace. Isaiah is full of the images of peace. He speaks of the coming of the Prince of Peace, saying there will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace (Isa. 9:6–7). But in Isaiah 26:3, as the prophet is describing the strong city in which the Lord’s delivered people will dwell in the last days, he says, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind in stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” The idea here is God’s people will be steady and undistracted in their state of mind. We will be entirely focused on the Lord and thereby kept in a state of perfect peace. Nothing will pull our attention away from the object of our affection.
John Owen comments concerning our present condition:
Our minds are apt to be filled with a multitude of perplexed thoughts; fears, cares, dangers, distresses, passions, and lusts, do make various impressions on the minds of men, filling them with disorder, darkness, and confusion. But where the soul is fixed in its thoughts and contemplations on this glorious object, it will be brought into and kept in a holy, serene, and spiritual frame. For “to be spiritually-minded is life and peace.”
We strive for this now, but then it will be our frame forever.
Finally, there is the blessing of love. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:8, “Love never ends.” He goes on to speak of prophecy, tongues, and knowledge as gifts ceasing, the perfect arriving, the day of seeing face-to-face and knowing fully. Then he says verse 13, “So now faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” What he seems to be indicating is in the present life of the church, faith, hope, and love will continue. But love is superior. Why? Because faith and hope belong to this imperfect world.
Faith will one day become sight. Hope will soon be realized, and you cannot hope for what you already see (Rom. 8:24). But love will never cease. We will forever bask in the love of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We will love Christ more and more as we behold His glory. For we will increasingly comprehend together with all the saints, though never fully grasp, what is the breadth and length and height and depth and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge (Eph. 3:18–19).
Our hearts will always be swelling with affection to Him who first loved us and has made us His sons, heirs of God and co-heirs together with Christ. We shall never get over the beauty of our Lord and the grace shown that we are His bride. Seeing His face will be a delight far surpassing our present conceptions. With such a sight before us, let us purify ourselves in the hope of seeing Him (1 John 3:3).