‘Come up hither.’ The Father seems to say this to every adopted child. We say, ‘Our Father which art in heaven.’ The Father’s heart desires to have his children round his knee, and his love each day beckons us with a tender ‘Come up hither.’ Nor will your Father and my Father ever be content till every one of his children shall be in the many mansions above. And Jesus whispers this in your ear too. Hearken! Do you not hear him say, ‘I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me;’—‘the glory which I had with thee before the world was.’ Jesus beckons you to the skies, believer. Lay not fast hold upon the things of earth. He who is but a lodger in an inn must not live as though he were at home. Keep your tent ready for striking. Be ever prepared to draw up your anchor, and to sail across the sea and find the better port, for while Jesus beckons, here we have no continuing city. No true wife has rest save in the house of her husband. Where her consort is, there is her home, a home which draws her soul towards it every day. Jesus, I say, invites us to the skies. He cannot be completely content until he brings his body, the church, into the glory of its Head, and conducts his elect spouse to the marriage feast of her Lord. Besides the desires of the Father and the Son, all those who have gone before, seem to be leaning over the battlements of heaven, and calling, ‘Courage, brothers! Eternal glory awaits you. Fight your way, stem the current, breast the wave, and come up hither. We without you cannot be made perfect: there is no perfect church in heaven till all the chosen saints be there; therefore come up hither.’
For meditation: God calls us to himself on earth first (Matthew 11:28) and to heaven afterwards. Others have added their voices to that call (Revelation 22:17). Having come to Christ on earth, we should be calling him to come again from heaven (Revelation 22:20) to receive us, as his people, to himself (John 14:3).
Sermon no. 488 27 November (Preached 23 November 1862)