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What Won't be in Heaven

If the presence of God is what makes heaven heavenly, is there anything whose absence from that glorious state will make it all the more glorious? Yes! Continue reading . . .

If the presence of God is what makes heaven heavenly, is there anything whose absence from that glorious state will make it all the more glorious? Yes!

Jonathan Edwards puts it this way: “There are none but lovely objects in heaven. There is no odious or polluted person or thing to be seen there. There is nothing wicked and unholy” (Charity and its Fruits, Yale, 8:370). He bases this on John’s description of the new heavens and new earth in Revelation 21:27. There John says that nothing that defiles will be granted entrance; nothing and no one that works abominations or perpetuates a lie.

There is “nothing which is deformed,” whether that be physical or moral in nature, that is allowed to defile the purity of heaven. “Everything which is to be beheld there is amiable” (370). By this Edwards means to say that God, “who dwells and gloriously manifests himself there, is infinitely lovely. There is to be seen a glorious heavenly Father, a glorious Redeemer; there is to be felt and possessed a glorious Sanctifier. All the persons who belong to that blessed society are lovely” (370).

What about the angels and demons? As for the angels, “there are none who are unlovely. There are no evil angels suffered to infest heaven as they do this world. They are not suffered [allowed] to come near, but are kept at a distance with a great gulf between them” (370).

And what of the people of God? Here on earth the church is filled with hypocrites and dissemblers. But in heaven, “in the church of saints there are no unlovely persons; there are no false professors, none who pretend to be saints, who are persons of an unchristian, hateful spirit and behavior, as is often the case in this world. There is no one object there to give offense, or at any time to give any occasion for any passion or motion of hatred; but every object shall draw forth love” (370).

Heaven, then, is a world of love and all things lovely! Indeed!

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