In yesterday’s post, I expressed my fear that many in the American evangelical church have twisted the great doctrine of justification by faith into an excuse for complacency in the pursuit of holiness. To aid in combatting this tendency, Jonathan Edwards gives a second reason for why “none that are not holy can be in the way to heaven, and why those who never are so can never obtain the happiness thereof” (7):
“It would defile heaven and interrupt the happiness of the saints and angels. It would defile that holy place, the Holy of Holies, and would frighten and terrify the sanctified spirits, and obstruct them in their delightful ecstasies of devotion, and [the praise of the wicked man] would quite confound the heavenly society. How would one unsanctified person interrupt their happiness, and fill those regions all over with the loathsome stench of his sin and filthiness!” (8-9).
The glory and goodness of heaven, with all its delights and delicacies, will be free of defect, which is one of the reasons that Christians are to pursue holiness in this world. The power to pursue holiness in this world comes by grace, which we seek from the One who guarantees the glorification of his saints and the perfection of heaven.
NB: Today’s photo is of the Gallitin River, taken by me on a trip to Big Sky, Montana.