Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Hump Day History: St. Augustine’s City of God

Since we’re just a few days out of Easter, I thought I would get out of Book XXI, which is about judgment, and hop ahead to the final book, Book XXII to look at eternity. (We’ll get back to Book XXI next Wednesday). While heaven is happier to think about than hell, we’ll dwell on a bittersweet thought of Augustine’s today. Specifically, we’ll forget our sins in heaven so far as we will forget them experientially. But we will remember them intellectually. Here’s why…

“But their intellectual knowledge, which shall be great, shall keep them acquainted not only with their own past woes, but with the eternal sufferings of the lost. For if they were not to know that they had been miserable, how could they, as the Psalmist says, for ever sing the mercies of God? Certainly that city shall have no greater joy than the celebration of the grace of Christ, who redeemed us by His blood” (p. 866).

Our sins bring us great pain and we shall be delivered of them one day in full, but not to such a degree that we forget the great debt paid at the cross by Jesus. I don’t know how this works, but it rings true. He will wipe away every tear (Rev. 22), but we will still look upon the Lamb that was slain.

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