Drinking Deeply

Saturday, November 03, 2007 at 2:35 PM

Without holiness

Was reading Holiness by J.C. Ryle and blown away by this passage - Italics his. I would highly recommend the book.

Lastly, we must be holy, because without holiness on earth we shall never be prepared to enjoy heaven. Heaven is a holy place. The Lord of heaven is a holy being. The angels are holy creatures. Holiness is written on everything in heaven. The book of Revelation says expressly, "there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie"

I appeal solemnly to everyone who reads these pages, How shall we ever be at home and happy in heaven, if we die unholy? Death works no change. The grave makes no alteration. Each will rise again with the same character in which he breathed his last. Where will our place be if we are strangers to holiness now?

Suppose for a moment that you were allowed to enter heaven without holiness. What would you do? What possible enjoyment could you feel there? To which of all the saints would you join yourself, and by whose side would you sit down? Their pleasures are not your pleasures, their tastes not your tastes, their character not your character. How could you possibly be happy, if you had not been holy on earth?

Now perhaps you love the company of the light and the careless, the worldly-minded and the covetous, the reveler and the pleasure-seeker, the ungodly and the profane. There will be none such in heaven.

Now perhaps you think the saints of God too strict, and particular, and serious. You rather avoid them. You have no delight in their society. There will be no other company in heaven.

Now perhaps you think praying, and Scripture-reading, and hymn-singing, dull, and melancholy, and stupid work - a thing to be tolerated now and then, but not enjoyed. You reckon the Sabbath a burden and a weariness; you could not possibly spend more than a small part of it worshiping God. But remember, heaven is a never-ending sabbath. The inhabitants thereof rest not a day or night saying, "holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty," and singing the praise of the Lamb. How could an unholy man find pleasure in an occupation such as this?

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