There Are Many People who think Rev. 4:1 is the rapture before the Great Tribulation Starts. ” Come Up Here,” has been seen as the Church (universal) being taken up to Heaven to be with Jesus.
A higher state of mind and spiritual vision can only be achieved through the higher practice of personal character. If you live up to the highest and best that you know in the outer level of your life, God will continually say to you, “Friend, come up even higher.” There is also a continuing rule in temptation which calls you to go higher; but when you do, you only encounter other temptations and character traits. Both God and Satan use the strategy of elevation, but Satan uses it in temptation, and the effect is quite different. When the devil elevates you to a certain place, he causes you to fasten your idea of what holiness is far beyond what flesh and blood could ever bear or achieve. Your life becomes a spiritual acrobatic performance high atop a steeple. You cling to it, trying to maintain your balance and daring not to move. But when God elevates you by His grace into heavenly places, you find a vast plateau where you can move about with ease.
Compare this week in your spiritual life with the same week last year to see how God has called you to a higher level. We have all been brought to see from a higher viewpoint. Never allow God to show you a truth which you do not instantly begin to live up to, applying it to your life. Always work through it, staying in its light.
Your growth in grace is not measured by the fact that you haven’t turned back, but that you have an insight and understanding into where you are spiritually. Have you heard God say, “Come up higher,” not audibly on the outer level, but to the innermost part of your character?
“Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing…?” (Genesis 18:17). God has to hide from us what He does, until, due to the growth of our personal character, we get to the level where He is then able to reveal it.
The Glory Given To Us
From: Streams in the Desert
I do not count the sufferings of our present life worthy of mention when compared with the glory that is to be revealed and bestowed upon us” (Rom. 8:18, 20th Century Trans.).
A remarkable incident occurred recently at a wedding in England. A young man of large wealth and high social position, who had been blinded by an accident when he was ten years old, and who won University honors in spite of his blindness, had won a beautiful bride, though he had never looked upon her face. A little while before his marriage, he submitted to a course of treatment by experts, and the climax came on the day of his wedding.
The day came, and the presents, and guests. There were present cabinet ministers and generals arid bishops and learned men and women. The bridegroom, dressed for the wedding, his eyes still shrouded in linen, drove to the church with his father, and the famous oculist met them in the vestry.
The bride entered the church on the arm of her white-haired father. So moved was she that she could hardly speak. Was her lover at last to see her face that others admired, but which he knew only through his delicate finger tips?
As she neared the altar, while the soft strains of the wedding march floated through the church, her eyes fell on a strange group. The father stood there with his son. Before the latter was the great oculist in the act of cutting away the last bandage.
The bridegroom took a step forward, with the spasmodic uncertainty of one who cannot believe that he is awake. A beam of rose-colored light from a pane in the chancel window fell across his face, but he did not seem to see it.
Did he see anything? Yes! Recovering in an instant his steadiness of mien, and with a dignity and joy never before seen in his face, he went forward to meet his bride. They looked into each other’s eyes, and one would have thought that his eyes would never wander from her face.
“At last!” she said. “At last!” he echoed solemnly, bowing his head. That was a: scene of great dramatic power, and no doubt of great joy, and is but a mere suggestion of what will actually take place in Heaven when the Christian who has been walking through this world of trial and sorrow, shall see Him face to face.
Just a-wearying for you,
Jesus, Lord, beloved and true;
Wishing for you, wondering when
You’ll be coming back again,
Under all I say and do,
Just a-wearying for you.
Some glad day, all watching past,
You will come for me at last;
Then I’ll see you, hear your voice,
Be with you, with you rejoice;
How the sweet hope thrills me through,
Sets me wearying for you.
Can Christians Lose Their Salvation? (Luke 8:13)
Salvation is the work of God. It came through Jesus Christ by the shedding of his blood on the cross (see Jn 3:17; Ro 5:9). Those who experience salvation are given eternal life as a gift of grace that they receive by faith (see Eph 2:5,8)—this gift comes because of God’s mercy, not as a result of human effort (see 2Ti 1:9; Titus 3:5).
Since salvation is a work of God’s grace from beginning to end (see Ro 1:17; Gal 3:1–3), those who belong to Christ can be assured that they will never lose their salvation. They have been appointed to receive salvation, not to suffer wrath (see 1Th 5:9). There is also a subjective dimension to this assurance. The Holy Spirit “testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children” (Ro 8:16). In other words, when we are children of God, the Holy Spirit helps us know with confidence that we are heirs of eternal life.
But assurance is no excuse for complacency. God’s grace transforms those who are in Christ (see 2Co 5:21; Jas 2:14–26; 1Jn 3:3). Therefore, those whose lives show no evidence of this transformation should examine themselves to see if they have genuinely trusted in Christ (see 2Co 13:5; Heb 6:1–8). For such people the question is not whether they might lose their salvation but whether they ever possessed it in the first place.
Taken from NIV Essentials Study Bible
The way to God
“No man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6
Suggested Further Reading: Genesis 28:10-17
From the moment when Adam touched the forbidden fruit, the way from God to man became blocked up, the bridge was broken down, a great gulf was fixed, so that if it had not been for the divine plan of grace, we could not have ascended to God, neither could God in justice come down to us. Happily, however, the everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure, had provided for this great catastrophe. Christ Jesus the Mediator had in eternity past been ordained to become the medium of access between man and God. If you want a figure of him, remember the memorable dream of Jacob. He lay down in a solitary place, and he dreamed a dream, which had in it something more substantial than anything he had seen with his eyes wide open. He saw a ladder, the foot whereof rested upon earth, and the top thereof reached to heaven itself. Upon this ladder he saw angels ascending and descending. Now this ladder was Christ. Christ in his humanity rested upon the earth, he is bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh. In his divinity he reaches to the highest heaven, for he is very God of very God. When our prayers ascend on high they must tread the staves of this ladder; and when God’s blessings descend to us, the rounds of this marvellous ladder must be the means of their descent. Never has a prayer ascended to God save through Jesus Christ. Never has a blessing come down to man save through the same Divine Mediator. There is now a highway, a way of holiness wherein the redeemed can walk to God, and God can come to us. The king’s highway:
“The way the holy prophets went-
The road that leads from banishment.”
Jesus Christ, the way, the truth, and the life.
For meditation: The crucifixion of God the Son was the opening ceremony of the way to the Father. As soon as the Son announced “It is finished”, the Father marked the occasion by cutting the veil of the temple from top to bottom (Mark 15:37,38; Hebrews 10:19,20).
Sermon no. 245
27 March (1859)
‘Alas for us, if thou wert all, and nought beyond, O earth.’
‘If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.’ 1 Corinthians 15:19
Suggested Further Reading: Titus 2:11–14
The most practical thing in all the world is the hope of the world to come; and you see the text teaches this, for it is just this which keeps us from being miserable; and to keep a man from being miserable, let me say, is to do a great thing for him, for a miserable Christian—what is the use of him? Keep him in a cupboard, where nobody can see him; nurse him in the hospital, for he is of no use in the field of labour. Build a monastery, and put all miserable Christians in it, and there let them meditate on mercy till they learn to smile; for really there is no other use for them in the world. But the man who has a hope for the next world goes about his work strong, for the joy of the Lord is our strength. He goes against temptation mighty, for the hope of the next world repels the fiery darts of the adversary. He can labour without present reward, for he looks for a reward in the world to come. He can suffer rebuke, and can afford to die a slandered man, because he knows that God will avenge his own elect who cry day and night unto him. Through the Spirit of God the hope of another world is the most potent force for the product of virtue; it is a fountain of joy; it is the very channel of usefulness. It is to the Christian what food is to the vital force in the animal frame. Let it not be said of any of us that we are dreaming about the future and forgetting the present, but let the future sanctify the present to highest uses.
For meditation: It was this hope that marked the lives of even the Old Testament heroes of faith (Hebrews 11:10,13–16,35). But what men and women of action they were in God’s service! Who would dare accuse them of being dreamers and of being no earthly use?
Sermon no. 562
27 March (1864)