Posted by: rcottrill | March 18, 2019

Face to Face

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Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words: Carrie Elizabeth Ellis Breck (b. Jan. 22, 1855; d. Mar. 27, 1934)
Music: Grant Colfax Tullar (b. Aug. 5, 1869; d. May 20, 1950)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: Interestingly, Mrs. Breck could not, herself, carry a tune. But she was skilled at writing words for others to set to music–she produced hundreds of songs, including one in 1898 called Face to Face. For the interesting story of how Tullar’s tune came about, see the first Wordwise Hymns link above.

Heaven is surely a wonderful place, and every child of God can justly look forward to going there. The Bible tells us something about it, so let’s think a little about the subject.

As the Lord readied Eden for our first parents, so He’s specially prepare heaven for the people of God. The Lord Jesus Himself tells us that (Jn. 14:2-3). And we’re told some of the things that will be missing from our home to come: tears, death, sorrow, crying, and pain (Rev. 21:4). Another thing there won’t be is any ending to it. Heaven will be forever (Rev. 22:5). In Shakespeare’s Henry VI the king calls heaven “the treasury of everlasting joy” (cf. Ps. 16:11).

The throne of God, and the Lamb (Christ) are in heaven (Rev. 4:1-2; 22:1). The saints of God and the holy angels are there too (Heb. 12:22-23; Rev. 5:9, 11-12). And believers have an inheritance reserved for us there (Heb. 9:15; I Pet. 1:3-4). Heaven is a place of indescribable beauty. It’s a city, according to Revelation chapters 21 and 22. But the word “Paradise” is also used of it, a Persian word meaning a beautifully laid out park or garden (II Cor. 12:4; Rev. 2:7).

Heaven will be filled with the resounding praise and worship of God (Rev. 7:11; 19:5). As a vehicle for this, there’ll be wonderful music (Rev. 15:2-3). We don’t know the details of things we’ll be doing in heaven, but it will involve meaningful and fulfilling service for the Lord (Rev. 7:15; 22:3). A surpassing blessing of heaven will be the presence of Christ our Saviour. It’s what made heaven a “far better” place for Paul (Phil. 1:23; II Cor. 5:8).

Hymn writer Carrie Elizabeth Breck gave us a lovely song about that.

CH-1) Face to face with Christ, my Saviour,
Face to face–what will it be,
When with rapture I behold Him,
Jesus Christ who died for me?

Face to face I shall behold Him,
Far beyond the starry sky;
Face to face in all His glory,
I shall see Him by and by!

CH-3) What rejoicing in His presence,
When are banished grief and pain;
When the crooked ways are straightened,
And the dark things shall be plain.

CH-4) Face to face–oh, blissful moment!
Face to face–to see and know;
Face to face with my Redeemer,
Jesus Christ who loves me so.

Yes, it will be wonderful for us–but that’s only half the story. Have you ever thought that it will be wonderful for the Lord too? That’s another point of view memorialized in some touching lines by hymn writer Frances Bevan. She writes:

He and I in that bright glory,
One deep joy shall share–
Mine, to be forever with Him;
His that I am there.

Amazing! The Lord intention is “that where I am, there you may be also” (Jn. 14:3). And He expressed the same to His heavenly Father in prayer, “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am” (Jn. 17:24). We are “the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints” (Eph. 1:18). “The Lord’s portion is His people” (Deut. 32:9)–was true of Israel in an earthly sense, but of the church, especially in a heavenly sense. Our citizenship is there (Phil. 3:20).

That is heaven! And who would not look forward to such a place? But, as the old Spiritual says, “Everybody talkin’ ‘bout heaven ain’t goin’ there.” It will be the home of those who’s names are in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Rev. 21:27). Pastor and theologian Jonathan Edwards said, “There are two unalterable prerequisites to man’s being happy in the world to come. His sins must be pardoned, and his nature must be changed.” And both of those are ours through faith in Christ.

“For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:26).

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7).

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (II Cor. 5:17).

Questions:

1) What does it tell you about the Lord Jesus that He is looking forward to you being there?

2) What Bible character(s) will you especially be interested in meeting and talking with in heaven?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org


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