A member of our church family, Sid Sparks, has written this incredible book that’s available for free online or for a small donation after this week’s 08h00 and 09h30 service.
Here’s how Martin Morrison describes the book:
“We too seldom contemplate the importance of heaven, the next destination for every follower of Jesus. For many years, Sid has read and studied the treasures of the Puritans who were great physicians of the soul. He quotes many of them and it should cause every reader to further read the Puritans, especially those quoted in this booklet. I wholeheartedly recommend this booklet as an antidote to our cynical world and a tonic to our weary souls.”
Here’s a small taste
When I turned 80, my grandchildren wanted to know if I rested on the seventh day of creation, since I must have been around then. The best is they wanted the roots of my tree to grow ever deeper in their hearts.
Increasing age and the fact that I would soon be at the end of my pilgrimage, I determine “to engage with my aging” (J Packer). The wise man of Proverbs tells us, “grey hair is a crown of glory”; and “the beauty of old men is their grey hair” (Prov. 16:31; 20:29). I am glad I am not bald, but then who at my age wants to exchange the harvest for the seed-time, Therefore, I shall not despise my crown. “As for wrinkles—-pshaw! Why shouldn’t we have wrinkles? Honourable insignia of long service in this warfare”. (C. S. Lewis) On the other hand, Heaven is a perfect place, just think what a glorious pollution free, crime free and sin free place it must be. This broken world soon makes us realise that nothing is perfect. Sin, disease and death will unfasten us from this world. “The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty”. (Psalm. 90:10). I am so thankful that God has given me reasonable good health most of my life. I have not yet reached that stage, where everything hurts, what does not hurt does not work. Some tell me I am living with one foot in the grave. Martin Luther says otherwise; we need to “live with one foot in the air,” ready to step into Heaven. I believe we need to prepare ourselves for death so as always to be found, as J Packer says, “packed-up and ready to go.” God will eventually decide when he will call us home. Solomon gives us such a graphic description of our progressive deterioration (Ecclesiastes 12:1-5), or as Shakespeare says, “sans (without) teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.” When death comes God unties the marriage knot between body and soul. The body returns to the dust and the spirit to God who gave it. (Eccles.12:7) C. S. Lewis says, “I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that other country and to help others to do the same.”
So, since I do not know the day of my death, let me say what I want to before I am unable to. Would it not be important to find out all we can that God says about our new home. After all, is that not what most people do when emigrating? We also need to prepare ourselves for this journey. A tombstone in a cemetery had the following epitaph.
Pause, stranger, when you pass me by
As you are now, so once was I.
As I am now, so you will be.
So, prepare for death and follow me.
Someone passing by scratched these additional words below.
To follow you I’m not content,
Until I know which way you went.