by Moody Adams He is already in us, the dawn of the coming day. We are in vital contact with our destiny, that marvelous destiny of companionship with God throughout the ages. We have in this experience the hope of it. Christ is in us the hope of the glory yet to be revealed. --Gregory Mantle
One day when I finished speaking south of New Orleans, a big burly Frenchman grabbed me by the arm and said, “Come with me.” I said, “Where are we going?” He replied, “Man, you are going to get the blessing of your life.” I said, “Well, that’s wonderful, but where are we going to get it?” He answered with a big smile, “To a cemetery.”
When we reached the burial ground, he jumped out; and with an exuberance that was excessive even for a Frenchman, he said, “Look at that!” And there it was. He pointed to a grave, like all of those in the marshes of South Louisiana, above ground. But this one was standing straight up. I said, “Why did they prepare the grave like that?” He said, “That was his last request, that he be buried standing up.” When they asked him why, he told them because he was a Christian. They said a lot of Christians had been buried lying down, and they couldn’t understand why he had to be different. He told them he had something more to look forward to than lying down to rest, that he wanted to be “standing and ready when the Lord Jesus came.”
He had the God-given assurance he was going to heaven.
There are only two kinds of people in the world, those with an assurance of heaven and those waiting for the undertaker. Somebody said they didn’t know why people drank and took drugs so much. I sure understand it. If I didn’t have anything to look forward to but the mortician backing up to my house, loading me up, dressing me and putting me in the ground, I’d stay drunk. I’d stay on drugs. It’s not a drug problem, it’s a death problem. But when Christ Jesus comes into our heart, He gives us logical, valid, substantial proof of life beyond the grave.
That proof that God is going to give us an eternal home in heaven is the gift He has already given—His life within us. Paul said, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ!” (Philippians 1:6).
Paul knew that God had already begun a good work, for Christ had come into him. This was his assurance that God would complete that work on the day Christ comes to take him to heaven. If God could not finish a man’s redemption, why would He have ever started it?
Scripture declared we have already received the down payment on heaven. “Who (God) hath ... given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts” (II Corinthians 1:22). When a man puts up one-third earnest money on a house, it is pretty good indication that he intends to complete the transaction. Christ within us is God’s earnest: a certain assurance of heaven to come.
God’s work within us makes us children of God and gives us every right to the inheritance of God; heaven! “The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together” (Romans 8:16-17). The hope is within us
Gregory Mantle, a great minister, said, “Our union with our risen Lord is of such a character that we become partakers of His very nature; drawing our spiritual life from His Spirit; our mental vigor from His mind; our physical strength from His risen body; and our power for service from His omnipotence. He is already in us, the dawn of the coming day. We are in vital contact with our destiny, that marvelous destiny of companionship with God throughout the ages. We have in this experience the hope of it. Christ is in us the hope of the glory yet to be revealed.
“Blessed are the sons of God, They are bought with Christ’s own blood; One with God, with Jesus one; Glory is in them begun.”
The power of the resurrection is already working within us. “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in you” (Romans 8:11). The presence of Jesus within us gives us the joyful expectancy. “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning” (Psalms 30:5).
The joy of Jesus is the only adequate joy. None of the others last long enough. “The triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment?” (Job 20:5). The wicked have fun, but death suddenly ends it. With Jesus in our hearts we possess the overflowing joy that sings: “I’m gwine to heaven On eagle’s wing; All don’t see me, Is goin to hear me sing.”
Samuel Dickey Gordon said, “Joy has its springs deep down inside and that spring never runs dry, no matter what happens. Only Jesus gives that joy. He had joy, singing its music within, even under the shadow of the cross. It is an unknown word, except as He has sway within.”