We will never love as we ought to love in this life. This, in turn, should lead us to rest in what Christ has accomplished and purchased for us. Though we have failed to love believers with a perfect love, we will forever render to them what we know we owe them and what we sorrow over not having shown them more of in this life.
My mom had a sudden and massive heart attack in 2014. I never got to say goodbye. I never had the chance to tell her I loved her and to ask her to forgive me for all the times that I didn’t love her as I ought to have loved her. It was an extremely painful experience. Yet, in the face of extreme sorrow, the Lord graciously filled my mind with thoughts of eternity that I never had before.
We don’t have to be weighed down with perpetual regrets for not having loved believers as we ought to have loved them here and now.
One of those thoughts came on the ride to the cemetery. With anguish of heart my dad said, “I didn’t always love your Mom the way I should have. I know that I won’t be married to Mom in heaven, but I will love her perfectly for all eternity.” This, in turn, awakened thoughts in me that I’ve never had before. One of those thoughts was that Christ has purchased for believers not only forgiveness of sins and a perfect righteousness but also the prospect of loving other believers perfectly in glory for all of eternity.
In Charity and Its Fruits, Jonathan Edwards made the following observation about the way in which the love of God will be worked out perfectly in the saints so that we will love each other perfectly forever: