“And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, even us, whom he has called, not of the Jews only, but also
of the Gentiles.” Romans 9:23, 24
Let us for a moment transport our thoughts to the future. The future! oh, how bright it is, and full of blessing, to the “vessels of mercy afore prepared unto glory”! The grace, ceasing on earth, is now succeeded by “an exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” He who has tasted that the Lord is gracious shall assuredly see that the Lord is glorious. “How may we know,” is often a trembling inquiry, “that our departed friends are with Jesus?” Were they partakers, in the most limited degree, of the grace of Jesus? then, their safety is beyond all doubt.
The grace which they possessed was the seedling, the germ, the first-fruits of glory. The light which illumined their souls was the twilight dawn of heaven. It was utterly impossible that germ could die, or that light could be extinguished. It was as imperishable and as immortal as God Himself. The weak grace battled with sin, and the feeble light struggled with darkness, but both conquered at last. There they are—”standing on the sea of glass,” chanting the high praises of the grace that brought them there. Yonder they are—in the Father’s house, in the Savior’s mansions; they conflict no more; they weep no more; they hunger and thirst no more; for He who once gave them grace, now gives them glory. “Grace is glory militant, and glory is grace triumphant; grace is glory begun, glory is grace made perfect; grace is the first degree of glory, glory is the highest degree of grace.”
Lift up your heads, you, gracious souls! Heaven is before you, and your full redemption draws near. “The Lord is at hand.” His coming is near. That “blessed hope” of the church, His “glorious appearing,” will soon be realized, bursting upon your soul in all its blissful splendor, and then you shall be perfectly like, and forever with, the Lord. But should you go to Him, before He returns to you—for if Jesus does not come for you, He will send for you—fear not to descend the dark valley, already trodden by your Lord and Savior. Dying grace is bound up in the covenant of grace; and Jesus, full of grace, to the last moment, will be there to dispense it to your need, His left hand under your head, and His right hand embracing you.
His aged saints are the especial objects of God’s loving, tender, faithful care. Lean, in all the decrepitude of years, in all the weakness, pain, and tremulousness of advanced age, in all the fears, misgivings, and becloudings of life’s close, upon this Divine rod and staff. Now that you are old and grey-headed, your God will not forsake you. Rest in the faithfulness of God, lean upon the finished work of Jesus, and hope on for the glory so soon to be revealed.
Let your believing prayer be, “Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength fails.” And God’s faithful answer will be, “Even to your old age I am He; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you.”