THE BEATIFIC VISION
(John MacDuff, "The Words of Jesus")
"Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." Matthew 5:8
Here is Heaven! This promise of Jesus represents the future state of the glorified to consist not in locality — but in character; the essence of its bliss is the full vision and fruition of God! Our attention is called away from all vague and indefinite theories about the circumstantials of future happiness. The one grand object of contemplation, the "glory which excels" — is the sight of God Himself! The one grand practical lesson enforced on His people, is the cultivation of that purity of heart, without which none could see, or (even could we suppose it possible to be admitted to see Him) none could enjoy God!
What will Heaven be — but the entire surrender of the soul to Him, without any bias to evil, without the fear of corruption within, echoing to temptation without; every thought brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ; no contrariety to His mind; all in blessed unison with His will! And the whole being, impregnated with holiness:
the intellect — purified and ennobled, consecrating all its powers to His service;
the memory — a holy repository of pure and hallowed recollections;
the affections — without one competing rival, purged from all the dross of earthliness;
the love of God — the one supreme animating passion;
the glory of God — the motive principle interfused through every thought, feeling, and action of the life immortal!
In one word, the heart a clear fountain — no sediment to dim its purity!
Yes, this is Heaven: purity of heart — and "God all in all!" Much, doubtless, there may and will be of a subordinate kind, to intensify the bliss of the redeemed: communion with saints and angels; re-admission into the society of death-divided friends. But all these will fade before the great central glory: "and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” Revelation 21:3. They shall see His face!
Believers have been aptly called 'sunflowers' — turning their faces as the sunflower, towards the Sun of Righteousness; and hanging their leaves in sadness and sorrow — when that Sun is away. It will be in Heaven, that the emblem is complete. There, every flower in the heavenly garden will be turned God-wards, bathing its tints of loveliness in the all-excelling glory of God! Reader, may it be yours, to know all the marvels contained in these few glowing words, "we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." 1 John 3:2, "I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness." Psalm 17:15
"And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." 1 John 3:3