|Photo courtesy of pakorn, FreeDigitalPhotos.net|
Reading the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:2-12, I notice two distinct groups. The funny thing is, both groups are blessed. (The word blessed means “blessed or happy.”) Let’s look at the two groups and what Jesus says about them.
The “negative” group:
- Poor in spirit (verse 3)
- They that mourn (verse 4)
- Persecuted for righteousness (verse 10)
- Reviled for Christ’s sake (verses 11-12)
The “positive” group:
- Meek (verse 5)
- Those that hunger and thirst for righteousness (verse 6)
- Merciful (verse 7)
- Pure in heart (verse 8)
- Peacemakers (verse 9)
Jesus says all the people in these two groups will be blessed and happy.
There are some indications in the verses themselves:
- The poor in spirit (literally, the “destitute,” in the Holy Spirit)—The kingdom of heaven is theirs.
- Those who mourn—They will be comforted.
- The meek—They will inherit the earth.
- Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness—They shall be filled.
- The merciful—They will obtain mercy.
- The pure in heart—They will see God.
- The peacemakers—They will be called God’s children.
- Those who are persecuted—The kingdom of heaven is theirs (the same as the poor in spirit).
- Those who are reviled—Their reward will be great in heaven.
Where is this blessed, happy state? Look at the benefits. This is a description of heaven! This is future blessing, something waiting for you. It’s much better than a birthday present you have to wait for! We’re talking eternal. While it is absolutely true that God comforts those who mourn and He is merciful to all and He meets every need, the fulfillment of all of these things is in heaven.
What will heaven be like? The glimpses in the Bible are awesome. They paint an incomplete picture, but they show us that there are really no words to describe it. Let’s look at some of them:
- It’s where God dwells. (Deuteronomy 26:15; 1 Kings 8:30-49; Psalm 11:4)
- God’s Word has an eternal place in heaven. (Psalm 119:89; Isaiah 40:8; Luke 21:33; 1 Peter 1:23)
- Jesus came down from heaven. (John 6:38, 51)
- Jesus sits on a throne in heaven. (Revelation 4:2)
- When saved people pass away, they go straight there. (2 Kings 2:11; Luke 16:22; 23:42)
- Babies who die go to heaven. (2 Samuel 12:23; Job 3:11-13)
- Children have angels representing them in heaven, and God doesn’t want any child to perish. (Matthew 18:10, 14)
- The way to heaven is through Jesus. (Matthew 10:32; John 14:6)
- Those who are persecuted for Christ’s sake are rewarded in heaven. (Matthew 5:10-12; Luke 6:23)
- Some people will receive golden crowns in heaven, which will be cast at Jesus’ feet. (Revelation 4:4, 10)
- People on earth can store up treasures in heaven. (Matthew 6:19-20; 19:21; Mark 10:21; Luke 12:33-34; 18:22)
- There are degrees of “status” in heaven. (Matthew 11:11; 20:21-23; Mark 10:37-40; Revelation 3:21)
- There’s no marriage in heaven. (Matthew 22:30)
- There’s a book of names in heaven. (Luke 10:20)
- There’s joy in heaven when a sinner repents. (Luke 15:7)
- There are no: tears, death, sorrow, crying, or pain. (Revelation 21:4)
- There’s a temple in heaven with an ark of the testament. (Revelation 11:19)
- There’s a pure river of the water of life that flows from the throne. (Revelation 22:1)
- The streets are paved with gold, and the walls are such pure gold that it’s as transparent as glass. (Revelation 21:18, 21)
- The gates are huge single pearls. (Revelation 21:21)
- The foundation is made of layers of precious stones. (Revelation 21:19-20)
- God and Jesus are the light. There is no darkness or night. (Revelation 21:23, 25)
- Only saved people are in heaven. (Revelation 21:24, 27)
- In the middle of the street is a tree of life. It bears twelve fruits, one for each month, and the leaves are for the healing of the nations (Revelation 22:2).
When we read the Beatitudes, we can remember that the fulfillment of the blessedness (or happiness) that’s promised will come when the meek, mourning, poor in spirit, and peacemakers are in heaven.
What a happy place that will be!
(In my next post, we examine what those men who actually saw heaven said about it.)