Richard Baxter on God’s Love for the saints: Baxter (1615 – 1691) is well known for his monumental work “The Saints’ Everlasting Rest.” This work was a product of the turmoil the Puritan experienced throughout his life.
There was civil war and disease. Some 868,000 people died through battle and disease over three countries. At one point, Baxter, who was a chaplain for the Parliamentary forces, walked through a field where he saw “about a thousand dead bodies” and perhaps many more buried there. On top of all this, the frail Baxter was plagued with infirmities and was imprisoned. He was a man who lived under the expectation of death.
Nevertheless, he comforted himself with the truth of heaven and God’s everlasting love for the saint. Surely he has worthy lessons for modern Christians!
The following is gleaned from the The Saints’ Everlasting Rest, updated and abridged by Tim Cooper. While this is not a review, I recommend the book. It begins with a Foreword by Joni Eareckson Tada which is, in itself, a treasure to read.
Baxter reminds us that our senses will be perfected. We cannot possibly imagine the joy of experiencing the eternal love of God any more than one can describe the world and its colors to someone born blind.
The Hebrew verb רחם (rḥm) is used over 40 times in the Old Testament and is translated in the Authorized Version as “compassion,” “pity,” or “mercy.” In its basic sense, רחם may mean (1) to feel affectionate love based upon a relational bond, or (2) to show kindness to the inferior or needy. The English term “mercy” best translates the second meaning, whereas the term “compassion” brings out the affective element in the first meaning. The underlying relational bond is underscored by those passages which associate רחם with “covenant” [בְּרִית; bərît] and “covenant love” [חֶסֶד; ḥesed] (Isa. 54:8, 10; Lam. 3:32). Below we highlight the main components in the idea of רחם and apply our observations to theology proper.
"...the elegance and beauty with which God expresses His love and justice in rescuing people from eternal punishment is mind blowing. In Islam, for example, Allah capriciously grants eternal life to some and punishment to others. In this way, Allah provides love at the expense of his justice, and thus justice is left wanting." - CPost
By Jenna Blumer
Editor’s note: The following is a post from Jenna’s GoFundMe blog on May 18. She has since arrived at Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch where she is working this summer as an intern.
Imagine the God of the universe sat down and explained His entire plan for your life—start to finish. Imagine living that life, knowing exactly what was coming next. Imagine knowing that it all comes together in the end for your good and His glory. How exciting every single day would be! Every scary unknown would be exactly like He said it would be. Every joyful success would come exactly when He said it would arrive.
Over the last few months, I have been striving to view the ups and downs as if I know how the story ends. I may not understand all the in betweens, but I know that He makes all things beautiful in His time.
He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one’s lifetime; (NASB, Ecclesiastes 3:11-12)