The Training School of Grace

“Without holiness on earth we shall never be prepared to enjoy heaven.

How shall we ever be at home and happy in heaven if we die unholy? Death works no change.  The grave makes no alteration.  Each will rise again with the same character in which he breathed his last.  Where will our place be if we are strangers to holiness now?

Suppose for a moment that you were allowed to enter heaven without holiness.  What would you do?  What possible enjoyment could you feel there?  To which of all the saints would you join yourself, and by whose side would you sit down?

Perhaps NOW you love the company of the light and the careless, the worldly minded and the covetous, the reveller and the pleasure seeker, the ungodly and the profane. There will be none such in heaven.

Perhaps NOW you think the saints of God too strict and particular and serious.  You rather avoid them.  You have no delight in their society.  There will be no other company in heaven.

Perhaps NOW you think praying and Scripture reading and hymn singing, dull and melancholy and stupid work, a thing to be tolerated now and then, but not enjoyed.  You reckon the sabbath a burden and a weariness; you could not possibly spend more than a small part of it in worshipping God. But remember, heaven is a never-ending sabbath.

Do you actually think that one would delight to meet David and Paul and John after a life spent in doing the very things they spoke against?

Do you actually think that you would rejoice to meet Jesus, the crucified One, face to face, after cleaving to the sins for which He died, after loving his enemies and despising His friends?

I know not what others may think, but to me it does seem clear that heaven would be a miserable place to an unholy man.  People may say, in a vague way, they ‘hope to go to heaven’, but they do not consider what they say.

To reach the holiday of glory, we must pass through the training school of grace.”


JC Ryle

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