Looking Toward Home - Ron & Nathele Graham - firstname.lastname@example.org
"In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." John 14:2. What a wonderful future home to look toward. What could possibly make a person not want a mansion prepared by Jesus? Pride. Pride causes many people to reject God, and thus reject God's free gift of salvation. Only by believing in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ can we obtain that free gift. Pride is what got in Lucifer's way and it's the stumbling block that still stops people from seeking God's grace. "The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts." Psalm 10:4. Using God's name as profanity doesn't count as keeping God in all our thoughts.
For some people the thought of being humble before God is unthinkable. Why? Is it because they cannot see Him or touch Him? The truth is that when you humbly bow before God and turn your life over to Him, you realize just how real He is. The Holy Spirit indwells you and His presence cannot easily be ignored. Unfortunately, when some folks hear the question, "Are you a believer?" their pride is activated and they answer with a resounding "No". These sad souls are perishing because of their pride. They believe they are "good enough" to get to Heaven by their own merit. It saddens me when I hear someone say "I don't fear your God". Pride is the culprit and many lost souls will find this out the hard way. "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall." Proverbs 16:18.
Jesus is the example we need to follow. Do you have any idea what it cost Him to become our only way of salvation? "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man." Hebrews 2:9. Stop and think about this for a minute. Jesus is God and He is the Creator of the universe. He humbled Himself and chose to leave Heaven and become one of us in order to purchase our salvation. You are that important to God. "Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of god and our Father:" Galatians 1:4. He suffered much, but did it willingly because He loves you and me. No one is excluded from receiving the free gift of salvation, but the gift has to be accepted in order to give you eternal life. To reject Him is to condemn yourself, and you will never receive that mansion He is preparing for believers. When you look toward home, you will have no hope.
Satan fell because of his pride, then he confronted Eve with lies. First he confused her and caused her to question God's word "...And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" Genesis 3:1b, and then he blatantly lied. "And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:" Genesis 3:4. If Eve had stood firm on what God truly said, Satan would not have been able to deceive her. Finally he promised something that was a flat out lie, but it tickled her pride. "For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." Genesis 3:5. Adam and Eve lived in Paradise, but because of Satan's lies, they were expelled from their perfect home that had been prepared for them. It is still pride that causes a person to reject God's truth. "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up." James 4:10. Stop listening to Satan's lies and come humbly before the Lord. If you have already accepted Him as your Saviour then don't allow pride to get in your way of serving Him. We can do nothing to earn salvation, but it should make a difference in our way of life. As a Christian looks toward Home, pride should melt away and a desire to live for Christ should cause us to reach out to those in need and witness to those who have rejected Christ. Adam and Eve may have lost Paradise, but Jesus is preparing a mansion for us.
As Christians look toward Home we have something marvelous to look forward to. Not only will we be eternally in the presence of the perfect love of our Saviour, but living in a mansion prepared by Him. Since we are limited by human understanding it is impossible to know exactly how beautiful it will be, but remember that it is being built by God who loved us enough to die for us. On the other hand, imagine the hopeless feeling of those who remain in prideful rebellion to God when they close their eyes in death. It is at that point that they will regret their pride and know that they should have humbled themselves before the Lord. It makes no difference if you are a sweet and kind person or a rascal, if you haven't accepted Christ's sacrifice as atonement for your sin, you will never occupy the mansion He is preparing.
When the end comes, as we know it will very soon now, all who believe death is the end of all things will be greatly surprised; death is in no way the end. "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." Philippians 1:21. Paul was not being morbid, but stating what every Christian should know; he was looking toward Home. Death is just an excursion into a whole new realm. Yes, it's the end of life on earth, but not the end of our existence. It is the end of all earthly problems, worries, materialism, bank accounts, favorite cars, family matters, and all that's worldly. When we die, all earthly treasures which we built up over a lifetime instantaneously belong to someone else. The nice house you live in will be less than a shack compared to the mansion Christ is preparing for Christians. For the lost, though, it won't be so nice. Not only will they lose everything they had acquired while alive, but they will also lose their souls to an eternal existence in the Lake of Fire.
Facing an eternity in Hell is a horrible thought. It's nothing to make light of. "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." Revelation 20:15. I can't imagine any of my brethren wishing anyone that type of eternal existence. All Christians have a great opportunity to share Jesus with the lost and to explain the difference between an eternity in Heaven and an eternity in Hell. As Christians look toward Home we should desire that everyone who crosses our path knows Christ. Death isn't on the minds of most folks; most give no thought whatsoever to where they will remain for eternity, even Christians. It should be in everyone's thoughts, because everyone is one heartbeat away from their eternal home. The most important choice you make in this life, is where your eternal life will be spent. Most Christians understand that Heaven is our future Home, but can you explain to a non-believer the difference between our eternal Home and where their eternal home will be if they continue to reject Christ?
Believers can see the end rapidly approaching and our hearts turn toward our eternal Home. The lost don't see anything different from day to day, except maybe their retirement portfolios declining, and don't think about eternity in Hell except as a joke. "Well, I'll be partying with friends" they say and everyone laughs. We should never laugh at that sorry quip. It will not be a huge kegger in the park with friends, but that's how so many of the lost souls of this world see Hell. Hell is terrible, painful, sorrowful, extremely hot, and worst of all, completely void of the existence of God. No one will want to stay there after they realize the truth, but the choice has to be made while living in this life. Once there you cannot change your mind and Hell will be your home for eternity.
Salvation by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ is all we need to avoid that horrible place called Hell or Hades and the eternal Lake of Fire. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8-9. What a precious promise. There are no prideful works involved and it's available to every atheist, agnostic, and secular humanist. It's even available to all those who are wrapped up in cults such as the Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses. It's available, but has to be accepted.
All can come to Jesus for salvation while they are still alive, because He died for everybody. Nobody will have an excuse for rejecting Christ. "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:" Romans 1:20. Creation is evidence of the Creator, so nobody has an excuse for rejecting Christ. Have you been deceived through Satan's lies? Will you set aside your pride and believe the truth? Only you can answer those questions for yourself. Salvation is personal and it's offered to everyone, but it only comes from the one true God, the Lord Jesus the Christ and you have to accept it.
"And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." John 14:3. When you look toward Home, do you see a mansion prepared by God where you will be with Him forever, or do you see a Lake of Fire where you will be eternally separated from Him? Don't let pride cause you to make the wrong decision.
God bless you all,
Ron & Nathele Graham
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This commentary was started by Ron Graham before his death on March 14, 2013, and finished by his wife, Nathele Graham
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