Randy Alcorn is one of the most prolific evangelical writers. And so it is a great pairing that his newest devotional work features another one of the most historically prolific evangelical writers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
Alcorn opens WE SHALL SEE GOD with a solid introduction to Spurgeon's life, including how he came to faith in Christ at age 15 and served for 41 years as a preacher in London. Born in Essex, England, on June 19, 1834, Spurgeon preached to approximately 10 million people, often speaking 10 times every week while traveling to various congregations. He penned 3,561 sermons (which totaled about 20 million words) and was the author of numerous books, including MORNING BY MORNING and EVENING BY EVENING (which was later combined into the popular MORNING AND EVENING). He sold more than six million copies of his books within a six-year time span.
Alcorn then proceeds to explain why he chose Spurgeon's sermons on Heaven to create this devotional. He himself is an "expert" on Heaven and has read 150 books on the topic as well as writing his own lovely and inspiring work, HEAVEN. He believes Spurgeon offers much new information on Heaven, but his style isn"t one that would be conducive to today's reader. Thus, Alcorn offers here an abridged form. He only changes some verbiage for easier reading, and then, at the close of each of the 50 devotionals, writes his conclusion as well as summing up the main points of Spurgeon's message. This combination is a powerful one to be sure.
Christ followers will value every one of these sermon excerpts, as Alcorn very carefully selected the topics that seem to hang up Christians so often when they think about Heaven and/or discuss it amongst themselves. Just a few of the topics covered here include those promises that, when rightly understood by the Christian whose future home is Heaven, should have him thrilled beyond words: dying is really going home; groaning for perfection; longing for our new resurrected bodies; understanding I will still know myself (and others I love) in Heaven; seeing the face of Jesus; creation restored to its pre-fall perfection; friendship in Heaven; death has no power; the horrors of Hell; no place for sin in Heaven; beholding the face of God; and ruling the Earth forever.
As readers begin this devotional, they'll find that each offering is nicely formatted with the title of the actual sermon (number and date preached) followed by a short background regarding why Spurgeon spoke on this topic in this particular way. Then there's a passage of Scripture, followed by Spurgeon's words and closing out with Alcorn's comments and summing up.
Alcorn's work is always of the highest caliber, and this devotional is no exception. Readers young and old, those familiar with Spurgeon or not, will learn, grow, and be in awe of his words concerning Heaven --- every Christian's future and permanent home.
Reviewed by Michele Howe on May 18, 2011