by Jefferson David Tant
Have you ever been gone from home on a long journey? Often there comes a time when you long for home. My wife, Flora, and I have been on many journeys through the years in taking the Good News about Jesus Christ to nations far and near. And there are moments when there is a longing in our hearts, a longing for home. And now that we are in our ninth decade of life, there is a yearning for a home far away. Oh, we have always wanted to go to heaven, and hopefully have lived in such a way that the door will be open for us when we cross the divide. But as the day of our departure draws nearer, that longing becomes more real.
At this particular time in our nation’s history, with the madness and turmoil that is in the news day after day, that certainly has the effect of creating within the hearts of many a longing for home, a home far away from violence and mayhem, that God has prepared. The writer of Hebrews named various ones who have gone before us, and wrote that …
“All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them” (Hebrews 11:13-16).
Won’t it be wonderful to come face to face with Jesus, the very one who endured a cruel death to make it possible for us to be in heaven? And to talk with Abraham and Sarah, and Esther, Paul, John, Ruth, Mary, and countless others who have gone before us. I am thankful that for my wife and myself, we have the hope of seeing our beloved parents, the very ones who taught us how to live so that we might come to that place that John Clements described in the song “No Night There.” “In the land of fadeless day, Lies the city foursquare. It shall never pass away, And there is no night there. God shall wipe away all tears; There’s no death, no pain, nor fears; And they count not time by years, For there is no night there.”
And in the words of another familiar song, Robert Arnold wrote: “No tears in heaven, no sorrows given, All will be glory in that land;…There’ll be no sadness, all will be gladness, When we shall join that happy band…”
Dear Reader, for what do you live? Do you live only for today, or do you live for the future? Please understand that the day of our departure will come. Death comes to the young and the old alike. We know neither the day nor the hour, nor by reason of accident, disease, or age. But it will come. If you are not ready, please make ready, even today. Your most treasured possession, your eternal soul, is at stake.