but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
Do you want to know what heaven will be like? Do you want to know how good it is going to be?
Firstly, as a Christian the Lord has removed your sins from you as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103.12). Our judgment day will never include judgment for any of our sins (Isaiah 54.7-8) because Jesus was made sin so we could be made righteous (2 Cor. 5.21).
However, we will be paid for what we have done in this body. Every time we serve God, every time we give someone a glass of water, every time we tell someone the gospel, every time we pray for a friend, every time we say something encouraging, every tongues message, every prophecy, every time you lay hands on someone – God rewards you for that. And all those rewards are being stocked up in heaven for you for when you get there.
In Romans 2.10 Paul sums up this heavenly reward with three beautiful words: glory, honour and peace.
Heaven for the Christian is a place for glory, honour and peace.
Glory means brightness, and specifically the brightness of God. Have you ever been in prayer, or maybe listening to a powerful sermon and you have in your spirit simply sensed the brightness and the beauty and the weight of God? That is the glory of God. Some people have seen it as a cloud, but it is actually invisible – the cloud is simply the manifestation of the glory. You can have the glory in the room and there be nothing to see in the natural, but if you are spiritually in tune you will know it is there.
That is what heaven is going to be like for us, but a million times more. It is going to literally be glorious. You will be bathed in the presence of God and His brightness and intensity. And the more works you do on earth, the brighter that glory will be when you get to heaven.
Honour is your rank. This is not a popular teaching at the moment in our nations which are leaning towards socialism (remember Animal Farm? all men are equal?) but the fact is God operates a kingdom not a democracy. Within the kingdom, some people are of a higher rank than others. They are not more valuable, but they have a different and more important role. In heaven when you meet people who have done mighty exploits on earth – people who have endured torture, people who have changed nations, people who have faithfully put out flowers in their church week after week – you will naturally through your redeemed and non-self-seeking heart show them the respect and reverence they are due. And when people meet you they will show you the respect you are due.
One of the most beautiful things about heaven is that we will all receive the respect and honour for what we have done. On earth, we are not respected for what we do – in fact, by the world we are despised and persecuted. I read an article recently about a Christan couple whose daughter was raped. They told a journalist that they forgave the rapist and he tore strips off them for daring to say such a thing. Yet in heaven when we meet this couple we will show them respect as the honour for their action will be on them and around them. As we perceive it, we will naturally show them their due respect. What a wonderful place! What a wonderful time!
Peace is the Greek word eirene. I am just going to let you see Strong’s definition of this word as I doubt anything I say could improve on this:
1) a state of national tranquillity
a) exemption from the rage and havoc of war
2) peace between individuals, i.e. harmony, concord
3) security, safety, prosperity, felicity, (because peace and harmony make and keep things safe and prosperous)
4) of the Messiah’s peace
a) the way that leads to peace (salvation)
5) of Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is
6) the blessed state of devout and upright men after death
In heaven you will have total tranquility, no rage, no war. There will be no one in heaven you are in disharmony with, that you owe something to, that you feel uncomfortable around. You will be secure, safe and prosperous.
Now think on this: all you have to do is one good deed today and when you die you will enter an eternity with more glory, honour and peace than what it would otherwise be. If that does not inspire you to go and do something wonderful for someone, I do not know what will.