The Lord’s Divine Nature in Heaven Is Love for Him and Thoughtfulness toward One’s Neighbor (Continued)

There are two quite distinguishable loves in heaven—love for the Lord and love for our neighbor. Love for the Lord is characteristic of the third or central heaven, while love for our neighbor is characteristic of the second or intermediate heaven. Both come from the Lord, and each one makes a heaven.

In heaven’s light, it is easy to see how these two loves differ and how they unite, but this can be seen only dimly in our world. In heaven, “loving the Lord” does not mean loving him for the image he projects but loving the good that comes from him. Loving the good is intending and doing it from love. Further, “loving one’s neighbor” does not mean loving companions for the images they project but loving the truth that comes from the Word. Loving the truth is intending and doing it. We can therefore see that these two loves differ the way “good” and “true” differ and unite the way these two unite.

All this, though, will not conform to the notions of anyone who does not know what love is, what the good is, and what the neighbor is.

I have talked with angels about this on a number of occasions. They have expressed their astonishment that church people do not know that to love the Lord and to love one’s neighbor is to love what is good and true and to do them intentionally. They should realize, though, that we demonstrate our love by intending and doing what someone else wants. This is how we become loved in return—not by “loving the other” and not doing what that other wants; in essence, that is not loving at all.

They should also realize that the good that comes from the Lord is the Lord’s own likeness because he is within it. We become likenesses of him and are united to him when we make what is good and what is true matters of our lives by doing them intentionally, since intending something is loving to do it. The Lord teaches that this is true when he says, “Those who have my commandments and do them are the ones who love me, and I will love them and make my dwelling with them” (John 14:21, 23); and again, “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love” (John 15:10, 12).

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 15, 16

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