When Jesus Christ comes knocking on the door of your heart, please don’t reject Him, as there may never be another chance, as this poignant true story narrated by the late Basilea Schlink in her book What Comes After Death? Illustrates:
Who then will have the right to live in the heavenly Jerusalem? Who will be permitted to walk through its golden streets one day? Who will be granted the privilege to dwell in the palaces of Jesus, the King, to sit at table with Him and behold His countenance of ineffable beauty? Surely, it stands to reason that in such a city where the King of kings resides no paupers with shabby, dirty clothes will be able to live, but rather only priestly, kingly figures (Revelation 1:5f).
A true incident serves as a good illustration. In London there were three sisters living together. One of them was far away from Jesus and completely taken up with the interests of this world. One night she returned home late from a dance. The next morning she was considerably distraught. Her sisters questioned her at length and finally she told them that she had had a dream. It had shaken her deeply. And it was so real that she could still see every detail. She found herself in a city of inconceivable beauty – never before had she imagined such beauty possible. Through the streets of the city people moved graciously with a kingly bearing, their faces radiant with joy. And she saw magnificent palaces, not like those on earth, but pervaded with light and brilliance. The streets seemed to be made of pure crystal. They were luminous and strikingly beautiful. She noticed that all the people who walked by were heading for the same goal, but she felt that she had nothing in common with them.
She followed them to a palace that far surpassed all the others in splendour, a sea of light for sheer beauty and exquisite loveliness. People of all nations were entering this palace and when they came out, they were clad in wonderful, dazzling white garments. As she stood there, everyone passing by called to her, ‘Come, do come in. Let yourself be purified and made happy. Then you will be given this wonderful garment!’ And one of those hastening past took her by the hand and led her into the palace. With graceful movements the regal figures glided into the hall. All joined in the anthems of adoration and moved to the strains of heavenly music, but she sat disgruntled in a corner. One of the figures moved swiftly up to her and said, ‘Won’t you come and be happy with us?’ Whereupon she replied, ‘I don’t want to sing with you; I don’t know the tunes of your songs. I don’t want to dance with you; I don’t know the steps of your dances.’
Suddenly she saw Someone step forward, who commanded more reverence than the others and excelled all in beauty, being radiant like the sun. All the music and songs were in His honour. In His presence the faces shone brighter still and the music sounded even more glorious. All the singing and rejoicing were meant for Him – the King of Kings, Jesus! He drew near to her and she was immersed in the stream of His unending love. Addressing her, He said, ‘Why are you sitting apart? Come and be happy with us and join in the anthems of praise.’ ‘I don’t want to. I don’t know the tunes,’ she retorted defiantly. ‘Then why are you here?’ came the thundering reply and at these words the earth opened and swallowed her up.
This was her dream. Her sisters sought to explain it to her and said, ‘God was speaking with you.’ But she hardened her heart and remained adamant, saying, ‘I don’t want to.’ A few days later she was suddenly found dead with a terrible expression on her face. She had fallen prey to hell.
When we stand before the gates of the heavenly world, may we not have to say, ‘I can’t go in. Everything here is so foreign to me. I don’t know these strains of love and adoration for Jesus and the Father. The world I live in is a different one. Other chords are struck in my heart. I am filled with other interests, earthly interests – my self, my reputation, my well-being!’
We are still living in a time of grace. Jesus is still knocking on the door of our hearts and showing us through the Holy Spirit the way of preparation. We still have the chance now to learn the strains of those who truly Jove Him, the songs of adoration, by letting ourselves be cleansed and delivered from our sinful ego by His blood. By consenting to the Father’s chastenings with a ‘Yes, Father’, we can still be transformed, so that one day we shall have the right to dwell in the wonderful City of God as citizens and attain the goal of supreme joy as the bride of the Lamb.