Sunday and Heaven

Ryle Practical ReligionThe public worship of the church on Sundays, in a sense, is to be something like a preview or foretaste of heaven (even if imperfectly so). After all, in worship we are spending time in communion with our God and with the people of God. What is heaven if not spending eternity in perfect communion with God and with His people in glory?

That being the case, the way we view the public worship of the church in this life reveals something about how we really view the prospect of the life to come in heaven with the Lord. So our attitude toward worship on the Lord’s day can serve as an opportunity for self-examination.  J.C. Ryle writes,

“How could that man be happy in heaven for ever [sic], who finds the Sunday a dully, gloomy, tiresome day, – who knows nothing of hearty prayer and praise, and cares nothing whether he hears truth or error from the pulpit, or scarcely listens to the sermon?” (Practical Religion, p.12)

Do we imagine that we will find eternal happiness in heaven if Sunday (one day among seven) is a drudgery to us? We either enjoy God or we do not. We either love the people of God or we do not. Do you look forward to Sundays? Do you look forward to public worship? Is it in some sense the highlight of your week? To be sure, our worship in this life is far from perfect, and so our enjoyment of it will at times be imperfect as well. But let us search our hearts, and may we ask the Lord to change our hearts and make us more and more fit for heaven.

May we learn to delight in prayer, praise, and the true preaching of the Word of God on Sundays, so that our hearts might be better prepared for eternal happiness in heaven.