Dick Sheppard was a fine minister of Jesus Christ. When he died, one of the daily newspapers, not distinguished for its belief in Christian doctrine, published a picture of a church lectern, complete with open Bible, and underneath were the words: “Here endeth the reading of the first lesson.” So even secular agencies sometimes, seeing a great Christian life, will admit the view that this life is but a training ground. There is another game to play, another life to live beyond this. Well, here is a poem by Rudyard Kipling, of all people, of an artist’s dream of heaven:
“When earth’s last picture is painted, and the tubes are twisted and dried When the oldest colours have faded, and the youngest critic has died; We shall rest and faith we shall need it, lie down for an aeon or two, Till the master of all good workmen, shall set us to work anew.
And those that were good, shall be happy. They shall sit in a golden chair
And splash at a ten league canvas with brushes of camels hair. They shall find real saints to draw from, Magdalen, Peter and Paul. They shall work for an age at a sitting and never grow tired at all. And only the master shall praise them, and only the master shall blame; And no one will work for money, and no one will work for fame, But each for the joy of working, and each for his separate star Shall draw the thing as he sees it, for the God of the things as they are.”
Paul put it this way:
Listen, I tell you a mystery: we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. I Corinthians 15:51-53
And Jesus put it this way:
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. John 14:1-2
So newspapers, poets, apostles and Jesus put it their way .How do you put it?
Frail is our vessel, and the ocean is wide; but as in thy mercy, thou hast set our course, so steer the vessel of our life toward the everlasting shore of peace, and bring us at length to the quiet haven of our hearts’ desire where thou art . (St. Augustine AD 354)
Now read I Peter, Chapter 4.