A Love That Lasts

By: Jill Briscoe

Paul writes, “Love will last forever” (1 Cor. 13:8) and then says at the end of his magnificent poem of love, “There are three things that will endure—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love” (v. 13).  It follows then, that if love will last forever, and if forever is in heaven, then heaven must be full of a whole lot of love!

So where is heaven?  Or rather, what is heaven?  Remember, we see only through a glass darkly.  But we can see some images, though vaguely, in the bronze face of the mirror of time.  We have words from the Scripture to help us, even though Paul says, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Cor. 2:9).

For most of us, getting to what God has prepared will require us to “walk through the valley of the shadow of death,” as the psalmist wrote in Psalm 23:4.   Death is the last enemy!  No one pretends that death itself is a friend.  The other side of death is a fine thing, but getting there is a different matter!  All of us may be forgiven for dreading the process of dying, but we can endure the pain, looking ahead to the release of the spirit from the body.

Some years ago I was asked to tour a hospital. We began by looking at the gynecological ward.  Babies burped and gurgled.  It was such a happy place.  At the end of the tour, we walked through the hospice unit.  How different the atmosphere.  “I see this is your birthing wing,” I observed to my guide.

The hospital official smiled indulgently.  “No, no, this is the hospice.  We began in the birthing wing!”

“I beg to differ,” I replied.  “This is the birthing wing!  Here the spirit struggles to be born into the afterlife, as surely as the baby struggles to be born into this life.”  The official gave me a strange look, but it led to an interesting conversation with a tour member.

So what happens when we are “birthed” into heaven?  What will it be like?  What shall we see?

There will be light—brilliant, glorious light emanating from the Lamb that will light the home of God.  “The city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminated the city, and the Lamb is its light” (Rev. 21:23).

So there will be no more night.  And there will be no Office of Homeland Security!  The Bible goes on, “Its gates never close at the end of day because there is no night” (Rev. 21:25).  Because there is such light and no dark corners in heaven, there will be no dark and secret deeds done.  In fact, there will be no wrongdoing at all, forever!  This will be a city where righteousness lives.

Because there is light forever, there will also be life forever.  Flowers will never fade; leaves will never turn brown.  There will be no more death.  Every time I go to a funeral, I think, One day I will never have to do this again!  There will be no need of medicine because no one will ever get sick.  And there will be no more pain.  Oh, won’t that be a day to look forward to?  Life, eternal life, will take care of all these things!

There will be no more tears, for “God will wipe away all their tears” (Rev. 7:17).  What tears are these and how can they be shed in heaven?  That is a mystery.  Perhaps they will be fresh on our cheeks as we arrive, crying, from the birthing wing into the rarefied air of our new environment.  Or maybe they will be tears of sorrow because the family circle is broken and loved ones are not there.  Whatever those tears are about, God will wipe them away forever.  In heaven “He will remove all of their sorrows, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain.  For the old world and its evils are gone forever” (Rev. 21:4).

In heaven there will be love that lasts.  For how long?  Beyond eternity.  Paul wrote that love lasts forever.  Above all things, there will be love!  For God is love, and heaven is His domain.  Everlasting Love will wrap His eternal arms around us, and so we shall be loved forever!

So in the light of all of this, the most important thing that should totally absorb our lives down here is the practice of real love. Why?  Because love lasts.  Love will be the only thing that matters in all eternity!

Jill Briscoe is the Founder and Executive Editor of Just Between Us magazine.  


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