Before the ransomed throng is the Holy City. Jesus opens wide the pearly
gates, and the nations that have kept the truth enter in. There they
behold the Paradise of God, the home of Adam in his innocency. Then that
voice, richer than any music that ever fell on mortal ear, is heard,
saying: "Your conflict is ended." "Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit
the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."
Now is fulfilled the Saviour's prayer for His disciples: "I will that they
also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am." "Faultless before
the presence of His glory with exceeding joy" (Jude 24), Christ presents
to the Father the purchase of His blood, declaring: "Here am I, and the
children whom Thou hast given Me." "Those that Thou gavest Me I have
kept." Oh, the wonders of redeeming love! the rapture of that hour when
the infinite Father, looking upon the ransomed, shall behold His image,
sin's discord banished, its blight removed, and the human once more in
harmony with the divine!
With unutterable love, Jesus welcomes His faithful ones to the joy of
their Lord. The Saviour's joy is in seeing, in the kingdom of glory, the
souls that have been saved by His agony and humiliation. And the redeemed
will be sharers in His joy, as they behold, among the blessed, those who
have been won to Christ through their prayers, their labors, and their
loving sacrifice. As they gather about the great white throne, gladness
unspeakable will fill their hearts, when they behold those whom they have
won for Christ, and see that one has gained others, and these still
others, all brought into the haven of rest, there to lay their crowns at
Jesus' feet and praise Him through the endless cycles of eternity.
As the ransomed ones are welcomed to the City of God, there rings out upon
the air an exultant cry of adoration. The two Adams are about to meet. The
Son of God is standing with outstretched arms to receive the father of our
race--the being whom He created, who sinned against his Maker, and for
whose sin the marks of the crucifixion are borne upon the Saviour's form.
As Adam discerns the prints of the cruel nails, he does not fall upon the
bosom of his Lord, but in humiliation casts himself at His feet, crying:
"Worthy, worthy is the Lamb that was slain!" Tenderly the Saviour lifts
him up and bids him look once more upon the Eden home from which he has so
long been exiled.
After his expulsion from Eden, Adam's life on earth was filled with
sorrow. Every dying leaf, every victim of sacrifice, every blight upon the
fair face of nature, every stain upon man's purity, was a fresh reminder
of his sin. Terrible was the agony of remorse as he beheld iniquity
abounding, and, in answer to his warnings, met the reproaches cast upon
himself as the cause of sin. With patient humility he bore, for nearly a
thousand years, the penalty of transgression. Faithfully did he repent of
his sin and trust in the merits of the promised Saviour, and he died in
the hope of a resurrection. The Son of God redeemed man's failure and
fall; and now, through the work of the atonement, Adam is reinstated in
his first dominion.
Transported with joy, he beholds the trees that were once his delight--the
very trees whose fruit he himself had gathered in the days of his
innocence and joy. He sees the vines that his own hands have trained, the
very flowers that he once loved to care for. His mind grasps the reality
of the scene; he comprehends that this is indeed Eden restored, more
lovely now than when he was banished from it. The Saviour leads him to the
tree of life and plucks the glorious fruit and bids him eat. He looks
about him and beholds a multitude of his family redeemed, standing in the
Paradise of God.
Then he casts his glittering crown at the feet of Jesus and, falling upon
His breast, embraces the Redeemer. He touches the golden harp, and the
vaults of heaven echo the triumphant song: "Worthy, worthy, worthy is the
Lamb that was slain, and lives again!" The family of Adam take up the
strain and cast their crowns at the Saviour's feet as they bow before Him
This reunion is witnessed by the angels who wept at the fall of Adam and
rejoiced when Jesus, after His resurrection, ascended to heaven, having
opened the grave for all who should believe on His name. Now they behold
the work of redemption accomplished, and they unite their voices in the
song of praise.
Upon the crystal sea before the throne, that sea of glass as it were
mingled with fire,--so resplendent is it with the glory of God,--are
gathered the company that have "gotten the victory over the beast, and
over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name." With
the Lamb upon Mount Zion, "having the harps of God," they stand, the
hundred and forty and four thousand that were redeemed from among men; and
there is heard, as the sound of many waters, and as the sound of a great
thunder, "the voice of harpers harping with their harps."
And they sing "a new song" before the throne, a song which no man can
learn save the hundred and forty and four thousand. It is the song of
Moses and the Lamb--a song of deliverance. None but the hundred and
forty-four thousand can learn that song; for it is the song of their
experience--an experience such as no other company have ever had. "These
are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth." These, having been
translated from the earth, from among the living, are counted as "the
first fruits unto God and to the Lamb."
Revelation 15:2, 3; 14:1-5. "These are they which came out of great
tribulation;" they have passed through the time of trouble such as never
was since there was a nation; they have endured the anguish of the time of
Jacob's trouble; they have stood without an intercessor through the final
outpouring of God's judgments. But they have been delivered, for they have
"washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." "In
their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault" before God.
"Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night
in His temple: and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them."
They have seen the earth wasted with famine and pestilence, the sun having
power to scorch men with great heat, and they themselves have endured
suffering, hunger, and thirst. But "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 7:14-17.