John Piper writes:
I have recorded a section of Jonathan Edwards’ sermon on Romans 2:10. It lasts about seven minutes. The reason I recorded it is that I regard this section as the best thing I have ever read on the issue of varying degrees of reward and happiness and holiness in heaven. It is vintage Edwards. He has thought this through in an amazing way. It opens our eyes to the possibilities of heaven that we have never thought of before.
I listened to this selection from Edwards’ message yesterday and enjoyed it so much that I chased down the written version of the sermon on the internet for my own reference. You can listen to John Piper’s recording here, or you can read the actual passage below. (Or you can read along while listening if you prefer!)
I love reading Jonathan Edwards, and I like how Edwards explains the varying degrees of glory and reward in heaven, that there will be no envy in heaven to disrupt one person’s happiness over another person’s reward. Rather, because we will be perfected in love, we will be glad for the other person that he or she has received a greater reward.
However, I must admit I am struggling with Edwards’ statement that there will not only be varying degrees of glory and reward in heaven, but also varying degrees of happiness and holiness. Will one person really be happier in heaven than another? Will one person be holier than another? If Christ died not only to forgive our sins but also to make us holy, will he not make us all perfectly holy upon entering into heaven? (Philippians 1:6) Aren’t happiness and holiness different issues from glory and reward?
Anyways, those were some of my thoughts as I meditated on this portion of Edwards’ sermon. What do you think? (Click “continue reading” below to read the selection from Edwards’ message. Or, click here to read the full message at a different website.)