Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. – 2 Corinthians 5:17
Methinks, if a man feels within him a new heart, and rejoices in his new birth; if he sees in others new and holier lives, and rejoices in them; if he listens to the preaching of the gospel, and discovers in it new and better principles, such as the old worn-out world could never have discovered, why, that man is a gracious man. The eye that can see the new nature is an eye that grace has given and newly opened to new light. The heart that can rejoice in the new creation is a heart that is itself renewed, or else it would not comprehend spiritual things, and could not rejoice in them…It is a delightful thing that God should make a tree, and bid it come forth in the springtide with all its budding verdure. It is a far better thing that God should take a poor thorny heart like yours and mine, and transform it till it becomes like the fir-tree or the pine-tree to His praise. It is a charming sight when bulbs, that have slept under ground through the winter, hold up their golden cups to be filled with the glory of the returning sun. But how much better that hearts that have lain dead in trespasses and sins should be moved by the secret touch of the Spirit of God to welcome the Sun of Righteousness, and to rejoice in Him!~ C.H. Spurgeon
But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. – Isaiah 65:18
Oh, when happiness is made a precept, when joy is made a command, I cannot but hope that God’s people, to whom I am now speaking, will answer to the call! Has joy become a duty? Then we will be joyous. Has gladness become a precept? Then we will gladly enough obey, and our heart shall dance for joy.
I must confess that I think it a most right and excellent thing that you and I should rejoice in the natural creation of God. I do not think that any man is altogether beyond hope who can take delight in the nightly heavens as he watches the stars, and feel joy as he treads the meadows all bedecked with kingcups and daisies. He is not lost to better things who, on the waves, rejoices in the creeping things innumerable drawn up from the vast deep, or who, in the woods, is charmed with the sweet carols of the feathered minstrels…One of the purest and most innocent of joys, apart from spiritual things, in which a man can indulge, is a joy in the works of God. I confess I have no sympathy with the good man, who, when he went down the Rhine, dived into the cabin that he might not see the river and the mountains lest he should be absorbed in them, and forget his Savior. I like to see my Savior on the hills, and by the shores of the sea. I hear my Father’s voice in the thunder, and listen to the whispers of His love in the cadence of the sunlit waves. These are my Father’s works, and therefore I admire them, and I seem all the nearer to Him when I am among them. If I were a great artist, I should think it a very small compliment if my son came into my house, and said he would not notice the pictures I had painted, because he only wanted to think of me. He therein would condemn my paintings, for if they were good for anything, he would be rejoiced to see my hand in them. Oh, but surely, everything that comes from the hand of such a Master-artist as God has something in it of Himself! The Lord doth rejoice in His works, and shall not His people do so? ~ C.H. Spurgeon
I create new heavens…(I create) a new earth…I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. – Isaiah 65:17, 18
Do you know what this work of creation is, which is here thrice promised in the words, “I create.. I create.. I create”? It is evidently a second creation, which is altogether to eclipse the first, and put it out of mind. Shall I tell the story?
The first creation was so fair that, when the Lord looked upon it, with man as its climax and crown, He said, “It is very good;” but it failed in man who should have been its glory. Man sinned; and in his sin he was so connected with the whole of the earth, that he dragged it down with him. The slime of the serpent passed over everything. The taint of sin marred the whole of God’s work in this lower world. The creation was made subject to vanity, and it groaneth in pain together until now. But the Infinitely Blessed would not be defeated, and in infinite condescension He determined that He would make a new creation which should rise upon the ruins of the first. He resolved that under a second Adam something more than Paradise should be restored to the universe. He purposed that He would undo, through Jesus Christ, the Seed of the woman, all the mischief that had been wrought by the serpent. He has commenced to undo this mischief, and to work this new creation, and so commenced that He will never withdraw His hand till the work is done. He has commenced it thus-by putting new hearts into as many as He has called by His Spirit, regenerating them, and making them to become new creatures in Christ Jesus.
The resurrection will be to the body what regeneration is to the soul. When body and soul are thus created anew, the whole earth around them, in which they shall dwell, shall be, at the same time, renewed also; and so God shall make the spirits, the minds, the bodies, and the bodies of men, all new. Have they not new desires? Should not all above them be new? They shall tread a new earth for they have new ways.~ C.H. Spurgeon
After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. -Revelation 7:9-10
The bliss of the saved in glory teaches us to long for it. It is legitimate to long for heaven-not to long to escape from doing our duty here. It is idleness to be always wanting to have done with this world-it is clear sloth-but to be longing to be where Jesus is, is only natural and gracious. Should not the child long to go home from the school? Should not the captive pine for liberty? Should not the traveller in foreign lands long to see his native country? Should not the bride, the married wife, when she has been long away from her husband, long to see his face? If you did not long for heaven, surely you might question whether heaven belonged to you. If you have ever tasted of the joys of the saints, as believers do on earth, you will sing with full soul:
“My thirsty spirit faints
To reach the land I love
The bright inheritance of saints,
You may long for this…be patient until you get there. As it will be such a blessed place when you arrive, don’t trouble about the difficulties of the way. You know our hymn:
“The way may be rough, but it cannot be long.”
“Let us fill it with hope, and cheer it with song.”
~ C.H. Spurgeon
Blessed is the man that hungers and thirst to-day after righteousness, for he shall be filled. -Matthew 5:6
This a kind of hunger that we ought to desire to have; this is a sort of thirst that the more you have of it will be the indication of the possession of more grace. On earth it is good for saints to hunger and to thirst spiritually, but up there they have done even with that blessed hunger and that blessed thirst. Today, beloved, some of us are hungering after holiness. Oh! what would I not give to be holy, to be rid of sin, of every evil thing about me! My eyes-ah! adieu sweet light, if I might also say, “Adieu sin! “My mouth-ah! well would I be content to be dumb if I might preach by a perfect life on earth! There is no faculty I know of that might not be cheerfully surrendered if the surrender of it would deprive us of sin. But they never thirst for holiness in heaven, for this excellent reason, that they are without fault before the throne of God. Does it not make your mouth water? Why this is the luxury of heaven to be perfect. Is not this-the heaven of heaven, to be clean rid of the root and branch of sin, and not a rag or bone, or piece of a bone of our old depravity left-all gone!- like our Lord, made perfect without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing. And here, too, brethren and sisters, we very rightly hunger and thirst after full assurance and confidence. Many are hungering after it; they hope they are saved, and they thirst to be assured that they are. But there is no such thirst as that in heaven, for, having crossed the golden threshold of Paradise, no saint ever asks himself, “Am I saved?” They see His face without a cloud between; they bathe in the sea of His love; they cannot question that which they perpetually enjoy. So, too, on earth I hope we know what it is to hunger and thirst for fellowship with Christ. Oh! when He is gone from us-if He do but hide His face from us, how we cry, “My soul desires Thee in the night”! We cannot be satisfied unless we have the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost. But in heaven they have no such thing. There the Shepherd is always with the sheep, the King is ever near them, and because of His perpetual presence their hungering and their thirsting will be banished for ever. ~ C.H. Spurgeon
They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. -Revelation 7:16-17
We have not the full description of it here; but we have here a description of certain evils from which they (those who have gone before) are free. You notice they are of two or three kinds-first, such as originate within-“They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more”-they are free from inward evils; secondly, such as originate without-“Neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.” They are altogether delivered from the results of outward circumstances. Take the first: “They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more.” We are never so to strain Scripture for a spiritual sense as to take away its natural sense, and hence we will begin by saying this is no doubt to be understood physically of the body they will have in glory. Whether there will be a necessity for eating and drinking in heaven, we will not say, for we are not told, but anyhow it is met by the text, “The Lamb that is in the midst of the throne shall feed them”-if they need food-“and lead them to living fountains of water” if they need to drink. Whatever may be the necessities of the future, those necessities shall never cause a pang. Here, the man who is hungry may have to ask the question, “What shall I eat?”; the man who is thirsty may have to say, “What shall I drink?”; and we have all to ask, “Wherewithal shall we be clothed?” But such questions shall never arise there. They are abundantly supplied. Children of God have been hungry here: the great Son of God, the head of the household was hungry before them; and they need not wonder if they have fellowship with Him in this suffering. Children of God have had to thirst here: their great Lord and Master said, “I thirst”; they need not wonder, therefore, if in His affliction they have to take some share. Should not they who are to be like their head in heaven be conformed unto Him on earth? But up yonder there is no poverty, and there shall be no accident that shall place them in circumstances of distress. “They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon