Posted by: rcottrill | May 29, 2013

He the Pearly Gates Will Open

Words: Fredrick Arvid Blom (b. May 21, 1867; d. May 24, 1927)
Music: (Arranger) Elsie Rebekah Ahlwen (b. May 25, 1905; d. Jan. 6, 1986)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal

Note: This 1917 Swedish hymn was translated into English by Nathaniel Carlson (1879-1957) around 1935. The original melody was written by Alfred Olsen Duhlin (1894-c.1960), a member of the Salvation Army, as was Blom. Gospel singer George Beverly Shea did a great deal to popularize this song through the use of it in Billy Graham’s meetings, and his recordings.

The story behind the hymn is found in the Wordwise Hymns link. However, you should also read the two comments from Mats Ahlgren (and my response). His account differs from mine in several details, and I’m uncertain which is the correct version.

The biblical reference to the “pearly gates” of heaven is found in Revelation 21:21, a passage which gives many details concerning the beautiful heavenly city (vs. 10-23).

“The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass” (Rev. 21:21).

This city is what we commonly call “heaven,” where the throne of God is (Rev. 4:1-2), and where the Lord is presently preparing dwelling places for us (Jn. 14:2). As John describes it, it is glorious and beautiful, a city of gold and light. But we can be sure any words would fail to give anything more than an inkling of the marvels that await us there.

The heavenly kingdom is given several names in the Word of God, names that clearly suggest a parallel to the earthly city of Jerusalem, but show its infinite superiority with terms such as “heavenly,” “holy” and “new.” It is referred to as: [heavenly] Mount Zion; the city of the living God; the heavenly Jerusalem (Heb. 12:22); the holy city; New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:2); the great city; the holy Jerusalem (Rev. 21:10).

CH-1) Love divine, so great and wondrous,
Deep and mighty, pure, sublime!
Coming from the heart of Jesus,
Just the same through tests of time.

He the pearly gates will open,
So that I may enter in;
For He purchased my redemption
And forgave me all my sin.

The occupants of the city include: God Himself (Matt. 23:22; Rev. 4:1-5), the holy angels (Matt. 22:30; Rev. 5:11), and the saints of God (Rev. 15:3; 19:8; cf. I Thess. 3:13). Scripture is also very clear about those who are excluded: the devil and his demonic host (Matt. 25:41; Rev. 20:10), and all the unsaved sinners, those who have not appropriated God’s means of salvation (II Thess. 1:8-9; Rev. 20:15; 21:8; 22:15).

There remains only the question of how one qualifies to enter heaven. How does a sinner become a saint (one of God’s set-apart ones)? How can a condemned sinner be fitted for heaven? God’s way is truly wonderful. He sent His Son to take sin’s punishment for us, on the cross. When a sinner puts His faith in Christ, that payment is credited to his account, and he is forgiven and set free (Jn. 3:16; II Cor. 5:21; Eph. 1:7; I Jn. 1:7).

There is no other way (Jn. 14:6; Acts 4:12). The many animal sacrifices that came before Calvary were accepted by God, when they were offered in faith. But they were only a foreshadowing of what was to come. Their fulfilment came in Christ, the Lamb of God (Jn. 1:29; I Pet. 1:18-19). Now, sinners are called to “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,” and on that basis they will be saved (Acts 16:30-31).

CH-3) Love divine, so great and wondrous,
All my sins He then forgave!
I will sing His praise forever,
For His blood, His pow’r to save.

Questions:
1) How would you answer someone who feels that he/she will reach heaven by being sincere and doing the best he/she can?

2) Other that the Lord Jesus being there, what is the greatest thing about heaven for you?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal


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