THE LOVE CIRCLE
By Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001)
(Loyal pastor of First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana for over 42 years)
WITH WHOM WILL WE LIVE IN HEAVEN? Here is a searching question that nearly every Christian must someday face. I believe the Christian will live in Heaven with his "love circle." By that I mean he will live with that circle of people for whom God has given him "agape love." Love is foreign to the unsaved man, for he needs no preparation for Heaven. Love is a heavenly quality that is given to prepare men to enjoy the heavenly city more. The unsaved man has no preparation even to enter the city; hence, he needs no preparation for added enjoyment.
When God saves a man, He, by grace, gives him true love for some. Since the Scripture says that those who die in the Lord are followed by their works, that love (*) goes with them to Heaven (*the love that God gave them for certain individuals). God never has a subject without a predicate, never creates an appetite without a fulfillment, and never gives a gift without a promise that it will be used. Hence, when God gives us an eternal, heavenly love for another, He is preparing us to live with that person forever. God is getting our "love circle" ready for Heaven.
Love is a gift of God. The gifts and callings of God are without repentance. Love never faileth; hence, it accompanies us to Heaven. The objects of that love must do likewise.
John tells us that we will, in that day "be like Him." In Jesus' resurrected, glorified body He appeared to many, but to whom did He appear first? He appeared to those in His little circle. To Mary Magdalene first, to His closest apostles, to the women, and to His dearest followers did our Lord appear. In our resurrection bodies no doubt we will also spend much of our time with those in our "love circle."
It is true that the Bible seems to teach that the family circle will be together in Heaven. Our Lord reminds us that many shall come and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (grandfather, father, and son). We are reminded by Moses that Jacob was "called to his brethren." Yet, the same Word teaches us that there is no marriage in Heaven as we know marriage now. This is not to say that the family circle will not be together; it is to say that in Heaven one's circle will be deeper than family ties and physical relationships. It is my feeling that God will allow us in Heaven to be with those for whom He has given us the deepest love. We will be with Him Whom we love the most and Who loves us most. We will live forever with Him and with our "love circle."
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